On October 18, 2017, The Naymote Partners for Democratic Development, in commemoration of the World Youth Day for Democracy, held a one-day citizen’s engagement event in Montserrado County to remind citizens on the benefits of democracy and celebrate young people contributions to sustaining democracy in Liberia.
The World Youth Day for Democracy is a global event held to celebrate young people contributions to democracy and their participation in civic and political processes on every year October 18.
The event held on October 18, 2017 brought together 75 young political leaders, student and community youth leaders from across Montserrado County. These young volunteers participated in a bus rides mounted with public address system with song of peace, chanting slogans like “Yes to Peace” and “No to Violence”. They made several stops to populated communities holding face to face discussions to help people understand the benefits of democracy in a post-conflict society, educating citizens of their roles, rights and responsibilities guaranteed in a democracy, etc. The crew provided messages on protecting the democratic gains earned by our country over the past 14 years, distributed peace posters and called on Liberians to say no to violence and yes to peace.
The event which was held under the global theme: “Youth Now” was organized to remind young people on the benefits of democracy and also to celebrate the contributions young people have made to maintain peace for past fourteen years in Liberia.
Liberian youths have played key roles in promoting peace and democracy in Liberia manifested by the different roles young people have played in maintaining our peace and democracy. Currently, young people age 18-32 years old constitute 52% of the total number of registered voters in Liberia who will head to the polls to decide their leader for the next six years during the runoff election come November 7, 2017. Political campaigns and rallies were largely conducted and are being conducted by young people.
Many of the National Elections Commission (NEC) polling staffs during the first round of elections (October 10, 2017) were young people. Liberians across the nation have attributed this manifestation to the work that NAYMOTE and other CSOs have done over the years and are calling on other CSOs to do same in promoting democracy and peace building in Liberia.
NAYMOTE is grateful to the government of Liberia for her support towards inclusive democratic environment and the international partners for supporting the consolidation of peace in Liberia. Since the inception of the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf led government, Liberians have enjoyed three democratic elections, which bore several transitions, unprecedented freedom of speech and expression. We are hopeful that the next elected government will sustain these democratic gains and create a level playing field for the contribution of more young people in our democratic processes.
As an institution since 2001, NAYMOTE has been committed to promoting democratic initiatives and providing grounds for the participation of young people in civic and democratic affairs of Liberia. We have trained thousands of young people in democratic and civic engagements, political leadership, and community organizing as well as incentivized the participation of young people in democracy and the promotion of good governance. The institution has advocated for the creation of more opportunities for youth contribution in democratic governance and peaceful participation.
We want to congratulate Liberians, especially young people for their peaceful participation in the October 10, 2017 Presidential and Legislative elections, and call on everyone to use the legal system for redress. We also call on the Supreme Court and the National Elections Commission to fast track issues escalating from the elections in a more professional way and avoid anything that will incite violence.
Finally, NAYMOTE is recommending that the U.S. Government, the European Union and other neighboring countries deny entry visa to any Liberian, especially young people who will be involved in creating violence and ruining the country during this critical period in our history. As we are cognizant of the fact that billions of United States Dollars and Euros have been spent to maintain and consolidate peace in Liberia. NAYMOTE calls on all young people to adhere to the rule of law and avoid getting involved in violent activities that would undermine democratic gains in Liberia.