From Tunde Rahman, Lokoja
An International Non-governmental Organisation, ActionAid Nigeria on Monday call on youths to promote peaceful coexistence through constructive engagement with duty bearers rather than presenting themselves as ready tools for violence.
Halima Sadiq, Acting Executive Director, Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change In Development (PIBCID), ActionAid local rights partners in Kogi, made the call at the 2019 Igalamela Youth Renaissance Dialogue in Ajaka, Igalamela-Odolu Local Government.
The dialogue is part of the ActionAid’s three-year System and Structure Strengthening Approach Against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) project funded by Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF).
The Acting Executive Director, told the about 600 youths drawn from 320 communities in the Local Government, that peace was a necessity for growth and development hence the need to “imbibe, uphold and be guided by it in all your endeavours.”
She urged political youth leaders from the communities to always maintain peace by giving peace in all circumstances saying, “You should guard against presenting yourselves as tools to perpetrate violence.”
Mr Friday Ogezi, Project Officer ActionAid Nigeria, speaking at the occasion, also charged the youths and all participants to promote peaceful coexistence through constructive engagements with duty bearers.
Mrs Gift Omoniwa, Project Coordinator, Search for Common Ground (SEARCH) presenting a paper, “Youth Development Initiative for Preventing Violent Extremism,” charged youths to always articulate their demands and needs through development programmes and approach politicians ahead of elections.
This, according to her, gives them better grounds to negotiate and attract development into their communities and also address their needs from duty bearers when they assume office after elections.
A Guest Speaker from Kogi Health Management Board, (HMB), Mr Haruna Isiaka also presented a paper on the Role of Youth in Sustainable Democracy and Consequences of Electoral Violence.
Ali Nasiru, President of the Igalamela Youth Renaissance Group commended ActionAid Nigeria and PIBCID for their efforts at ensuring peace in and among the communities with their numerous interventions. The Etemahi of Igalamela, Chief Abel Etuh, member representing the constituency at the state House of Assembly, Cosmas Atabor, LG Administrator and representatives of the NAVY, NDLEA, NSCDC, Police and others graced the occasion.