An Abuja-based non-governmental-organisation, Cleen Foundation, has initiated a peace building process in the troubled southern part of Kaduna State.
The Cleen Foundation at workshop tagged: Strengthening Community Resilience through Peace Building” which held in Kafanchan in Jemaa Local Government Area, identified stakeholders within the communities that would drive peace building activities by the youth against violent extremism.
The Executive Director, Dr Benson Olugbuo, in a welcome address, said the project intended to leverage on existing community structures such as religious institutions, schools and civil society organizations to identify vulnerable youths who are susceptible to violence to serve as peace advocates in the area.
Olugbuo said the Foundation would partner the Kaduna State Peace Commission in the responsibility of addressing ethno-religious conflicts with a view to curbing the menace of civil unrest in the state.
To achieve these objectives, he said the foundation has mapped out a few activities on this project to include, “Baseline Study, Youth against Violent Extreemism, Forum (YAVEF) and Intergeneration Mentoring and Dialogue.”
The Executive Vice Chairman, Kaduna State Peace Commission, Mrs Priscilla Anku who was represented by Alhaji Iliasu Musa of the Jemaatu Nasiril Islam (JNI), Jemaa local government chapter, commended efforts by the NGO on peace building in the area.
She said the Commission had reconciled the affected communities to one another and would not relent in peace building efforts in the area until the area attain a lasting peace amongst all.
On her part, Mrs Ann Iyonu, the Project Officer for Institute for War and Peace Reporting in a paper presentation, stressed the need for youths to assume leadership responsibility through active participation in governmental activities, adding that youths were a social resource that can be used to achieve peaceful coexistence.
She tasked the youths to develop the interest in news from reliable media outfits to be acquainted with government’s policies and programmes to avoid being misinformed.
Also, in a remark, the Tum Ninkyob, Ninkyob Traditional Council, Mr Tanko Tete, represented by Mr Moses Barde said the workshop was well intended as it targeted the youth who according to him constitute a high percentage of Nigeria’s population.
Barde cautioned the Youths against being used as agents to cause civil unrest especially as the nation geared towards political activities.
A participant, Obadiah Jeremiah expressed satisfaction over the workshop as it will consolidate on the already existing peaceful atmosphere in the area.