Students of tertiary institutions in Adamawa have commenced debate on finding lasting solutions to insurgency and challenges posed by displaced persons in the North East.
The debate involved students of Moddibo Adama University of Technology, Yola; Adamawa State University, Mubi; and Federal Polytechnic, Mubi.
The event is organised by Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) with the support of North East Regional Initiative (NERI), an NGO.
Speaking at the maiden debate ceremony on Saturday in Yola, the Executive Director of CITAD, Mr Yunus Zakari, said the debate was organised to provide the youths a platform to discuss and proffer solutions to the insurgency crisis in the region.
“As students in the North East, you have experienced the problem, the hardship and dislocation caused by the insurgents.
“You are closer to the theatre of war, so we feel it’s important you to speak; let’s listen to your conversations.”
Zakari said similar discussion would be organised for students in Borno and Yobe states, adding that there is plan to extend it to students in neigbouring countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
He said the presentations and suggestions by the students would be made available to relevant stakeholders, including policy makers.
The Adamawa Programme Manager of NERI, Mr Machill Maxwell, said NERI has been supporting various kinds of interventions in areas ravaged by insurgency and such positive mobilisation of the youths was one of such support.
“This is one of our soft activities where people are encouraged to sit together and talk; come up with ideas and how solutions can be found for crisis that bedeviled the North East.
“We have started now. We have a long way to go and we need your full commitment and presence to be able to get the result that we expect,” Maxwell said.
Topics discussed at the debate included: “What should youths do to contribute to ending insurgency in the North East;
“How can young people be won away from getting recruited into insurgency;
“The North East of the Future: A vision of the youth;
“What should government do to make the counter insurgency more effective; and
“How can students of tertiary institutions contribute to addressing the problem of Internally Displaced Persons”.