ActionAid Nigeria wants Kogi traditional leaders’ involvement against extremism

ActionAid Nigeria on Saturday solicited the cooperation and involvement of traditional institutions in Kogi, in its campaign against violent extremism.

Mr Anicetus Atakpu, Acting Coordinator, Humanitarian and Resilience Unit, ActionAid Nigeria, made the plea in Koton-Karfe, Kogi, while presenting the Community Needs Assessment Report undertaken in September 2018 to the traditional ruler of Koton-Karfe, Alhaji Abdulrazaq Isa-Koto.

He said  the involvement of the institution would ensure adequate sensitization and mobilization of rural communities in addressing the menace.

Atakpu said the community Needs Assessment for “System and Structure Strengthening Approach against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism (SERVE) Project, was aimed at identifying key drivers of violence and means of tackling them.

The Coordinator said that the first phase of the project in Adavi and Igalamela-Odolu Local Government areas, which ended in December, 2018, recorded remarkable success and necessitated the extension to other communities in the state.

He said ActionAid Nigeria approved a second phase of the project in Kogi, with additional eight communities from four local government areas, including Okehi, Lokoja, Kogi Koton-Karfe and Ankpa, in view of the success recorded in the first phase.

Atakpu said ActionAid would intervene in the areas of skills and vocational training for women and youths,  as well as community policing, in collaboration with its Community Action Response Team (CART).

He therefore solicited the cooperation and support of the traditional institution to join hands with Non-Governmental Organisations and other stakeholders in the effort to reduce radicalisation and violent extremism, saying that efforts would be futile without their cooperation.

Responding, the paramount ruler, Abdulrazaq Isa-Koto, said the discoveries in the needs assessment excited him as the findings portrayed the real picture of the ills and developmental needs of his people.

The ruler said he was prepared to contribute his quota through any collaboration effort that would bring positive development to his kingdom.

He added that the community policing concept was a welcome development as the community was already into it.

“We are 100 per cent ready to partner ActionAid and other bodies of ActionAid, especially in the area of community policing because it is what we are doing here.

“There is a monthly interface between traditional rulers, community leaders and youths on security.

“Through this, we have been able to bring down crime rate in the kingdom; this is a platform that you can embrace any time’’, he said. (NAN)