Yiaga Africa advocates increased women participation in politics, grassroot mobilisation

YIAGA Africa

YIAGA Africa, an international NGO, has called on youths to actively participate in politics and prepare themselves for leadership positions in the country.

The Director of Programmes, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, made the call at a four-day Community Organising Training (COT) for women on Friday in Sokoto.

Mbamalu urged youths to ensure that they fully engaged their communities by supporting young candidates and mobilising people to participate in the 2023 general elections.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the training was organised by Yiaga Africa in collaboration with UK Aid from the support of Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO).

It was aimed at building a generation of young leaders who will help to increase youth participation and votes during elections in the state.

According to her, the idea of the COT is to build young civic actors and political leaders especially in the pre-election phase toward the general elections.

She noted that investing in youth leadership would help them in mobilising their peers to participate in election peacefully.

The director explained that within seven days, more than 350 women category applications were received for activity in Sokoto state, indicating increased awareness to participate in politics at present.

Mbamalu said the participants were expected to go back to their communities, after the training, to bring about a sociopolitical change by supporting young candidates and youths to vote.

She said 40 women participants were selected in Sokoto state while similar activity was conducted for men adding that no fewer that 300 young women and men would be empowered through the programme across the country.

“ Young people play a vital role in our political space. Young people constitute the largest population.

” Participants are members of civil society and political parties in Sokoto state with requisite political organizing advocacy skills needed to increased youth and women participation toward 2023 elections.

” The training combines the theory and practice of organising in building the capacity of young activists, youth organizations and young leaders. ” Mbamalu said.

A Facilitator, Mr Ibrahim Faruk, said young people constituted the higher percentage of voters but mostly not engaged and not voting.

“This means the numerical strength is not transforming into political power to influence the outcome.

“ We want to build on that vibrancy within the youth population in Lagos to actually begin to support that process that gets them to start coming out to vote,” Faruk said.

Dr Murtala Ladan, from the Political Science Department of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, cautioned youths against the sense of entitlement and intellectual laziness but encouraged them to strive toward acquiring knowledge.

Ladan said when like-minded people come together with one goal in mind, adding their little contributions, they would be able to overcome the obstacles confronting them.

He stressed that working toward impacting the society would not have to be in big issue rather than milder that can be afforded in the communities.

“ Democracy is much more than a form of government, it’s about a society; how we organise ourselves for a social change,” he said.

He further lamented on the role of money in the election process, saying that it prevented those with the right mindset and capacity from getting involved.

A participant, Khadija Ali, described the training as important as the men-dominated politicking and political environments deprived women opportunities.

Ali said she was involved into politics and the training would make great impacts on ways to mobilize our peers and all categories of women into politics, advocacy and self reliance.

Another participant, Geogina Ijach, said the training would enrich them on the struggle to mobilize other women to understand their positions, capacity and opportunities in the society. (NAN)

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