ActionAid Nigeria on Thursday called for mutual collaboration from stakeholders, partners, citizens and youth group to ensure that drivers of conflicts such as poor education, perceived marginalization and idleness resulting from violence are addressed in the interest of the people of Kogi state.
The Director of Programme , ActionAid Nigeria Tasallah Chibok who made the call in Lokoja , during the 2019 Kogi State Youth Summit, said the solution to the anomalies was through the promotion of quality and inclusive education for all.
“Education is not just a strong tool for building sustainable growth through human capital development but also a means to preventing violent extremism through engagement and empowerment of the mind .
“ActionAid Nigeria, through its SERVE project in Kogi state proudly sponsored by GCERF has been working with the state and other key stakeholders to address violence Extremisms in the state” she noted.
Chibok who stated that youths have become easy baits and tools for violence as a result of joblessness , said it was important that in tackling vulnerabilities, the number of out of school , unemployed and excluded youths within Kogi state should be reduced to the minimal.
“ActionAid Nigeria having worked in Kogi for over ten years in strong partnership with Participation Initiative For Behavioural Change In Development (PIBCID) sees the youth as major catalysts of change and has therefore taken keen interest in ensuring that they are protected from the influence of violence extremist”
In his speech the Kogi state governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello charged the youth to be committed , focused and determined in what ever they choose to do that will have positive impact in their lives.
Governor Bello who was represented at the occasion by the state’s Commissioner for Youth and Sport Development , Mr Salisu Sani Ogu , advised the youth that as governorship election comes closer in the state , they should not allowed themselves to be used as agent of destructions , urging the youth to bear in mind that Kogi democracy is about the youth who are the leaders of tomorrow.
The governor commended ActionAid Nigeria and other stakeholders for their effort in ensuring that the state is free of violence extremism, promising that the state government will not relent in its support to ensure that the project succeed.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of National Youth Council of Nigeria , Kogi state chapter , Comrade Israel Alonge , said the theme of the 2019 Kogi Youth Summit “Transforming Education: Alternative to Preventing Violent Extremism was chosen because education was the only tool that can be used to effect development.
He lamented that Nigerian leaders most often than not claimed that youth are the leaders of tomorrow, frowning that after decades of this claim the elders and leaders have refused to bring the youth into the limelight of the country’s governances.