From Esther Akaa, Lafia
Participants at the 2021 Youth Peace Camp organised by ActionAid Nigeria, in partnership with Global Peace Development and Beacon Youth Initiative, have been charged not to allow themselves to be used as thugs to perpetuate violence in the society.
The Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria, Mrs Ene Obi gave the charge on Monday while declaring open the 2021 Youth Peace Camp in Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa state.
The Voice reports that the youth peace camp is in pursuance of the System and Structure Strengthening Approach against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) project with funding from the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF).
Mrs Obi who was represented by the Director, Organisational Effectiveness, ActionAid Nigeria, Mrs Fumilayo Oyefusi said her organisation was committed to developing the physical, mental and social capacities of youths to make them peace ambassadors rather becoming perpetuators of violent extremism in the society.
She described youths as the pillars of every nation, saying there was need to equip them with the necessary skills that will enable them become independent and self sufficient.
“This is the third year of implementing the SARVE II project and one of our initiative is to building the capacities of youths because we know they are the ones that are vulnerable to perpetuating violent extremism.
“The reason why we are doing this is because we have seen results in the 1st year 2019, 2020 and this is the third one and the testimonials from the participants, the community and the behavioural attitudes that is changing in the community and the economic empowerment that is happening with the youth is always encouraging us to come for the 2021 youth peace camp,” she said.
She, therefore, called on participants to avail themselves to the various skill acquisition programmes that will be learnt in the camp for their own benefits and the society at large.
In a remark, Country Representative of GCERF, Yetunde Adegoke, charged the youths to interact with one another with peace initiatives that will certify them as peace ambassadors within and outside the state.
“This is an opportunity for you to learn because you are coming from different backgrounds. Talk to one another, find time out amongst yourselves what future do you want. Decide on what future you want and discuss on the solutions. Youths of Nasarawa, your future lies in your hands.
“The solutions of this country lies in your hands. This is just a platform for you to come together and really talk about what type of future you really want to do. What you want to do will enable you to make your demands and participate in governace,” she said.
In a good will message, the Permanent Secretary, Nasarawa State Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, Alhaji Kassim Suleiman, represented by Director Youth, Mr Ahmed Abubakar commended ActionAid Nigeria and her partner for organising the programme, saying it was apt, considering the current security challenges bedeviling the country.
He, therefore, urged participants to shun acts that are capable of creating tension, calling on them to be peace ambassadors that will impact positively on the society.
Earlier, the Executive Director of Global Peace Development, Mr Ebruke Esike said about 500 youths selected across 12 communities in the state would be equipped with knowledge and skills to help mitigate conflict in their various communities.