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ActionAid Nigeria, PIBCID trains 500 youths against violent extremism in Kogi

Actionaid Nigeria, in collaboration with Participation Initiative For Behavioral Change in Development (PIBCID), has begun the training of 500 youths against violent extremism in Kogi State.

The 500 youths, who are expected to stay together in a peace camp in Lokoja according to the organisers, will be drilled on the need to be advocates 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, Organisation Effectiveness in Actionaid Nigeria, Funmilayo Oyefusi said the organisation expected to build the physical, emotional, and intellectual capacity of the participants, adding that participants would be able to stand as independent peace ambassadors in their various communities.

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Oyefusi, who doubles also as the camp director of this year’s edition of Actionaid Nigeria peace camp, pointed out that the participants would be economically dependent on themselves, adding that when they are empowered economically and socially, the youths would not be recruited in conflicts or involved in violent 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. The 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 skills acquisitions. By the time they get to their various communities, they would have become peace ambassadors. So that these people can serve as mediators when it comes to peace resolution to prevent violent extremism,” she said.

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.

“There is need to enhance good morale that, when there is absence of peace, there will be crisis”.

The Commissioner equally commended the State Government under the leadership of Governor Yahaya Bello for his proactive steps in securing the state.

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