By: Stephen G. Fellajuah
Several political parties’ youth have pledged to uphold peace and security by urging their fellows to desist from violence. The youth from the national youth congress of eighteen political institutions, including Unity Party (UP), All Liberian Party (ALP), Movement for Progressive Change (MPC), Movement for Economic Empowerment (MOVEE), People’s Liberation Party (PLP) among others.
“We will not settle for violence”, the young people made the statement during a one day dialogue and networking session with youth in politics recently in the Auditorium of the Cecil Dennis of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A discussion highlighted current challenges facing youth in political parties, and how can civil society support in politics towards 2023.
The engagement was initiated by Angie Brooks International Centre for Women’s Empowerment Leadership Development International Peace and Security, in partnership with ZOA Liberia with support from the United Nations Peace building Fund.
The initiative is a flagship program of the ‘’Women Situation Room (WSR)” under the project sustainable and inclusive peace in Liberia through promoting women leadership and participation in civic and political life and their strengthened role in conflict resolution.
However during the discussion, the youth lamented of marginalization in decision making coupled with limited representation, exclusion among several other challenges they are facing in their various political parties and stressed that they do not have right to vote on majoi status of the party.
“One of the challenges, is that the youth leaders are selected by the standard bearer or chairman of the party therefore, we do not have voice and we have been marginalized, our decision are not respected, Abbey Togba, National Youth Chairperson of the Liberia People’s Party disclosed.
Winston Gray, Vice Chair for Mobilization and Recruitment of the Movement for Economic Empowerment said their ideas care not going through, any attempt to insist they get expelled or suspended. We have been marginalized and we continue to be. We want our voices to be heard, he remarked further.
Lack of passion and generation envy. We pull one another down, once is not you it shouldn’t be anybody. Generation emancipation is important but we can do that without envy, ALP youth chair, Mark Nemenlah Mentee Massaquoi said.
In separate remarks, the young leaders pleaded with the Angie Brooks International Centre as civil society to continue to have engagements of said nature for the youth people in the political parties. “This process is making us better to make Liberia better.”
The problem that we have can be solved by building our capacity, to support the youth by organizing programs that will develop our minds, they enjoined.
Summing up what she had heard from the young leaders during the session, the Establishment Coordinator of the Angie Brooks International Centre, Cllr. Yvette Chesson-Wureh said her institution is going to work on building the capacity of youth for their development.
“We are talking peace and security of our country. Violence is not the way forward. You are the majority of the population, to get your political leaders pay attention, start doing the right thing. Don’t let any party use you to disrupt the peace. We are going to hold you accountable for what you have said here today”, Dr. Chesson-Wureh emphasized further.