ActionAid Nigeria, an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has started a week-long Peace Camp for 500 youths in Kogi.
The aim is to build their capability in peace building and prevention of violent extremism.
Mrs Funmilayo Oyefusi, Director, Organisational Effectiveness, ActionAid Nigeria and Camp Director, disclosed this on Monday at the Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja, venue of the event.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was organised by ActionAid, in partnership with its local rights partner in Kogi, Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change In Development (PIBCID).
Oyefusi said that the 2021 Annual Youth Peace Camp on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) focused on fostering youth peace and security in line with the UN Security Council Resolution 2250.
According to her, the Youth Peace Camp themed: “Shaping Peace Through Harmonious Cohabitation” is in pursuance of the System And Structural Straightening Approach Against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) project in Kogi and Nasarawa.
Oyefusi said the organisation hoped to build the physical, emotional and intellectual capacity of the participants to be able to stand as independent peace ambassadors in their communities.
“We believe that if you are empowered economically and socially, you will not be available to be recruited to engage in conflicts and be involved in violent extremism”, she said.
Declaring the Peace Camp open, Idris Musa, the Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, lauded ActionAid for its efforts at promoting peace in the state through its various intervention programmes.
According to him, there is need to promote good morals among the youth for the sustenance of peace, saying that when there is absence of peace, there will be crisis.
Hajia Fatima Buba, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, who said she was speaking as a mother, enjoined the youths to steer clear of drugs, alcohol and violence.
She said that as youths, they were vulnerable to peer influences and should guard against misusing their opportunities to misplace their economic and social values.
“Youths are the most dominant in any society and must play an active role in peace building. Through our collective efforts as peace builders, we can put an end to this menace,” she said.
Also speaking, Ms Halima Sadiq, Executive Director, PIBCID said the 2021 edition was the third of the Peace Camp held in the state, camping 500 youths drawn from 12 communities in six LGAs.
She said that the participants would be taken through diverse training skills in peace building, peace making, conflict resolution and other skills acquisition to be taken in different sessions to build their capabilities as “Peace Ambassadors“.
“The essence is to raise peace champions across our LGAs so that they can stand as mediators when it comes to conflict resolution and Preventing Violent Extremism. (NAN)