Actionaid Nigeria in bid to strengthen peaceful coexistence among the people of Kogi State has began the training of 500 youths against violence extremism in State.
The 2021 peace camp was organised by ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with Participation Initiative For Behavioral Change in Development, (PIBCID)
According to the organiser of the programme, the 500 youths who are expected to stay together in a peace camp in Lokoja to be drilled on the need to be an advocate of peace building and to ensure harmonious working relationship irrespective of religion, ethnicity or political affiliation.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2021 peace camp, the Director Organization Effectiveness in Actionaid Nigeria, Mrs Funmilayo Oyefusi said the organization expect to build the physical, emotional, and the intellectual capacity of the participants adding that participants would be able to stand as an independent peace ambassador in their various community.
Oyefusi who is also the camp director of the 2021 edition of Actionaid Nigeria peace camp said the participants will be economically dependant for themselves adding that when they are empowered economically and socially, youths will not be recruited in conflicts or involved in violence extremism.
Halima Sadiq, in her remarks noted that the essence of the peace camp is to raise peace champions across the 21 Local Government Areas of Kogi State.
“This is the third edition of the peace camp in Kogi State. This youths in the next five working days and seven camping days will be taken through diverse training skills.
“They will be taken on peace building, conflict resolution, and skill acquisitions. By the time they get to their various community, they would have become peace ambassadors. So that this people can serve as a mediator when it comes to peace resolution to prevent violence extremism” she said.
While declaring the peace camp open, the Kogi State Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development Idris Musa lauded Actionaid for their impacts in the society stressing that, participants should translate what they have learnt in the camp to the outside world.
The Commissioner also applauded the State Government under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello for his proactive steps in securing the State.
“In Nigeria today, there is insecurity everywhere. There is massive kidnapping in other state but we are not witnessing it here in Kogi State. I made bold to say this that Kogi State is 100 percent safe. Kudos, to Governor Bello, because he means well for our State”he said
In her remarks, the Kogi State Commissioner for Women affairs and social development Hajia Fatima Kabir Buba while giving the participants at the youth camp a motherly advise explained that youths are the most dominant in any society and must play an active role in peace building.
“History reminds us that young people are in the front burner of building a great nation through promoting peace and oneness. Our country have been a victim of terror which has affected our economy and education. Through our collective efforts as peace builders, we can put an end to this menace” she maintained.
On his part, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Kogi State on Sustainable Development Goal, (SDG) Hon. Nasir Ohiani urged participants to seize the opportunity of the peace camp by making positive contribution for the development of Nigeria as a nation.
The State Security Adviser Commodore Jerry Omodara who stated that the state is enjoying absolute peace, attributed the feat to the collective effort of collaboration from relevant stakeholders.
Omadara said the State Government under the leadership of Governor Yahaya will leave no stone unturned to weed out criminals elements from Kogi State.