DON ADVOCATES CRIME PREVENTION COMMISSION TO ADDRESS YOUTH RESTIVENESS

The Federal Government has been charged to establish a National Crime Prevention Commission in order to effectively address the disturbing trend of youth violence across the country.

Professor of Counseling Psychology and Peace Studies at the University of Ibadan, Ayobami Hammed, gave this charge last weekend while presenting the 546th edition of the premier university’s inaugural lecture titled ‘We Die Here Today! Youth Violence, Social Dysfunction, and a Counseling Psychologist’s Pathway to Peace’.

According to him, the proposed Commission would focus on peace education that can provide national leadership on effective ways to prevent and reduce crime.

“Peace education can help prevent youth violence and radicalism by teaching youth about the advantages of peace and conflict transformation skills. It should be incorporated into the education curriculum at all levels” he stated.

In order to achieve a greater success, Prof. Hammed called for the active involvement of all relevant stakeholders including parents, the academia, private sector, media and all tiers of government.

“Government could partner with private organizations and strengthen early warning systems to curb youth violence. Parents, teachers, guardians, and siblings should also be educated on identifying red flags indicating a child is joining a cult or being bullied,” he added.

According to Prof. Hammed, the rate at which incident of violent acts are recorded among the younger generation of the youth population is becoming too worrisome, noting that the development poses potent existential threat to the socio-political and economic future of the country.

“The aim of this lecture has been to shine light on a problem or a series of problems that seem perennial and to argue for why it is important that we chart a path to an enduring solution. The pursuit of that solution has been my preoccupation for the better part of the last twenty-eight years of my life as an academic on this campus,” the don noted.

The professor of counselling psychology and peace studies also charged government at all levels to always ensure smooth and better access to quality education for all Nigerian youth in order to equip them with knowledge, critical thinking skills, and opportunities for personal growth.

He, however, enjoined Nigerian government to seriously focus on youth welfare by upgrading existing institutions and constructing viable ones, such as community training/vocational centres.

In his words, “functional and effective institutions are crucial for preventing violence and promoting human security”.

He concluded that Nigeria must invest heavily in youth development, education, and provision of economic opportunities for its large population of young people for a safer and more prosperous future.

Apart from his many scholarly interventions, Prof. Hammed has worked with several local and international agencies on peace initiatives within and outside the country.

Prof. Ayobami Hammed, a member of the Board of Trustee of Counseling Association of Nigeria has successfully supervised over 150 Master Degree and 12 PhD students, and to the glory of God two of them are now Professors.

In his academic career, Prof. Hammed has attended international conference and summer school in Ghana, Abomeh-Calavi, Kenya, Uganda, Oxford, Northern Ireland in United Kingdom, Maryland, Chicago, Newark, Atlanta, Rhodes Island in United States of America, Paris and Geneva in Switzerland.

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