ActionAid Nigeria, an NGO, on Monday began a 5-day Youth Peace Camp in Nasarawa State to stem the tide of violent extremism.
The youth peace camp is part of the System and Structure Strengthening Approach against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) project being implemented in the state.
The project is being in partnership with Global Peace Development (GPD) and Beacon Youth Initiative (BYI) with funding from Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF).
Speaking at the opening of the youth peace camp in Doma Local Government Area, Mrs Ene Obi, ActionAid’s Country Director, said the camp had 500 youths drawn from 12 communities across six local government areas in the state.
Represented by Mrs Funmilayo Oyefusi, the Camp Director, Obi said that participants would engage in different activities including skills acquisition trainings geared towards building their capacities and resilience to radicalisation and violent extremism.
She said that the youth peace camp 2021 was the third edition in the state, adding that the testimonial from parents and participants of the previous editions, in terms of attitudinal change and entrepreneurial growth in their communities encouraged ActionAid to hold the 2021 youth camp.
“The different activities that participants would be engaged in at the camp were meant to develop their mental, physical and social capacities to make them become peace ambassadors in their communities,” she said.
Also, Mr Ebruke Esike, Executive Director, GPD, said the camping would help to create social bonding, share knowledge and promote peace and harmonious engagement in their communities in order to mitigate any form of violent extremism.
“This is also helping to amplify the pillar of prevention as contained in the United Nations Security Council resolution 2025, which emphasises knowledge as key to preventing violent extremism.
“Through the knowledge gained, the youth would even become more resilient because they now know the tactics used by extremists to recruit people,” he said.
In his remarks, Alh. Kassim Suleiman, the Permanent Secretary, Nasarawa State ministry of Youths and Sports, commended ActionAid Nigeria for the initiative.
Represented by Ahmed Abubakar, a director in the ministry, the permanent secretary assured the organisers of maximum support towards achieving its objective.
Also, the Andoma of Doma, Alh. Aliyu Oga, represented by the Sardaunan Doma, Musa Usman, lauded ActionAid for targeting the youth to entrench peace in communities.
He noted that youths are the driving force of every society and also vulnerable to use by bad elements to perpetrate violence and other social ills.
The royal father charged participants to take advantage of the camping to make new friends promote peace wherever they found themselves irrespective of their differences. (NAN)