The University of Ilorin Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, has conducted a two-day Capacity Building course on Community Peace and National Integration, for members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Yipata, Edu Local Government Area (LGA), of Kwara.
Speaking at the sidelines of the training, Dr. Abiola Adimula, the Desk Officer and Coordinator of the Suleiman Bogoro Mediation Project, explained that the project was her initiative which started in 2019.
“I wanted to use it as a practical class or conflict simulation and conflict resolution platform. So we started it and it made impact for the university community and the general public.
“To expand the frontier of what we did earlier, I brought the initiative of ‘Corpers for Community Peace Initiative (COCOPI)’, which stands for using youth corpers to preach peace and ensure harmonious coexistence across their respective communities of LGAs were they are posted,” she said.
Adimula explained that after the training, the corpers are expected to do two peace project towards the peaceful co-exiatence in the community, for a duration of six months.
She stated that these corpers are expected to act as peace advocates or ambassadors, settle little conflict and write report that can be used to asses them for awards after six months.
“The intention is that this project is being test-run in Kwara and we can see that its a programme that could reduce problem of insecurity in our communities and build inner peace for the corpers.
“The intention is to also take the project to the national level whereby the Unilorin centre will collaborate with the NYSC at the national level, so that it will be replicated across the federation.
Adimula observed that the initiative will improve inner peace of the Youth Corpers, reduce youth restiveness and enhance peaceful coexistence in the country.
She therefore advised the peace ambassadors to show responsibility, good ethics and integrity, so that the community will respect them, and at the long run bring about peace.
The don also advised the government to embrace any initiative that will foster and promote peace and security to the nation.
She commended the Forward in Action for Education, Poverty and Malnutrition (FACEPAM), a Non Governmental Organization based in Bauchi, for funding the project.
Also speaking, Dr. Ahmed Jega, Research Fellow at the Unilorin Centre for Peace and Strategic Studies, explained that the youth were identified as the stakeholders and leaders of tomorrow.
He noted that it is worth investing in the youth to foster peaceful coexistence, adding that everybody needs peace.
Mr Paul Moneyman, a Youth Corp member and a beneficiary of the training, commended the initiative, adding that the training had shown them how to become people of peace themselves because peace starts from within.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that certificates of participation were awarded to the participants of the peace training. (NAN)