From Beauty John, LAFIA
Actionaid Nigeria on Friday, charged youths in Nasarawa state to be peace ambassadors in their various communities and wherever they find themselves.
The country director, Mrs Ene Obi made this charge during the annual Youth Peace Camp held in St John Bosco Secondary School Doma local government area of Nasarawa state.
The second edition of the seven-day Youth Camp which commenced on 15th of November and ends on 21st had series of educative activities such as entrepreneurial skill acquisition, cultural display through cultural dances from different ethnic groups in the state, lectures and paper presentations on the dangers of violent extremism among others, lined up for the 500 participants drawn from 12 communities in six local government areas in the state.
According to Obi, the Youth Camp seeks to reduce vulnerability by engaging young men and women in Nasarawa state in constructive dialogue and peace building activities through mentorship and teachings on mediation, intercultural communication , conflict management and peace building initiatives.
She commended the state government for its enormous support and continuous collaboration which is aiding the organization in actualizing the aims of the project.
“The government has been wonderful, we have enjoyed their collaboration and right now, there is a youth bill which has passed through first reading, and what we are saying is to pay attention to the youth because when there is conflict, it’s always the youths that get used. We are saying, turn that energy into positive things.
“In Nigeria, we have over 62% of the population as youths, what that means is that we have an engine room for development,” Obi added.
In his remark, the state governor, Abdullahi A Sule commended Actionaid Nigeria and partners for their elaborate effort.
According to him, he was impressed to find out that 500 youths mobilized from different parts of the state can coexist for seven days without reports of any misdeeds, which is an indication that there is hope in the younger generation.
Governor Sule, ably represented by the deputy speaker of the state house of assembly, Rt Hon Nehemiah Tsentse Dandaura called on the participants to make adequate use of the knowledge imparted in them.
Also speaking, Mr Esike Ebruke, the director of global peace development explained that the purpose of the youth camp is to stimulate youths capacity to contribute to peace in their communities.
“This is in line with their project, System and Structure Strengthening Approach Against Radicalization to Violent Extremism (SARVE II) which is funded by Global Engagement And Resilience Fund (GCERF) and executed by Actionaid Nigerian, Global Peace Development and Beacon Youth Initiative.
“ This is also in line with the UN Security Council 2250 resolution, the resolution hinges on five pillars, Protection, Participation, Partnership, Prevention, Disengagement, and Reintegration,” he stated.
One of the participants, Emmanuel Musa Aso from Lafia community said the camp was not only fun but very educative as he had the privilege of learning the skill of his dream, photography.
Aso thanked the organizers of the youth peace camp and promised to put into use, his take home from the camp which was to be an ambassador for peace and stay away from violence and violence instigators.