By Faith Igbudu
Stakeholders in the area of development in Benue state have called for value re-orientation at the family units, in order to reduce the rising rate of violence in the country.
The stakeholders who were drawn from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) government agencies and parastatals, the media, people living with disability and students gathered in Makurdi, the Benue state capital at the instance of a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Women Environmental Programme (WEP) for a one-day sensitisation meeting on: Peace/Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE).
At the event, issues of kidnapping, sexual/drug abuse, assassination, cultism, farmer-herders crises were identified as some of the violent actions prevalent in Benue locality needing urgent attention. It was agreed that in addressing these issues, the family unit must be strengthened, noting that while tackling existing cases of violence, it is necessary to ensure the younger ones are not towing the same line.
Programme Manager, WEP, Cliff Bai, who noted that aggression has over the years become a part of people in the country, pointed out that with the aggression, there has been an increased rate of violence.
According to him, “apart from the economic issues which we have been battling with, the greatest threat to our country is extreme violence.” He said although a peace protest was one of the official ways of airing disagreements, the act has been greatly abused as the pepetrators have added violence to it and even gone extreme.
He noted that with funding from Global Community Engagement and Resilience Funds, WEP has undertaken a project called: Connecting Women and Youth in Violent Extremist Prone Areas through Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Phase ll.
Speaking further, Mr Gai, said the project has identified reasons why violence persists and it is doing the best to reduce the numbers including amplifying these concerns to the appropriate quarters for redress.