The Actionaid Nigeria has said it has budgeted the sum of N900 million for the second phase of its System and structure Strengthening Approach Against Radicalization to Violent Extremism (SERVE) project in Kogi and Nasarawa States.
The Country Director, Actionaid Nigeria, Ms. Ene Obi who stated this in Lokoja at the official launching SERVE 2, stresses that the project will last within the period of 33 months.
She noted that the project will surely have direct benefit to 36,000 men and women including children both in-school and indirect beneficiaries.
The Country Director who was represented by the organisation’s Director of Programm, Ms. Tasallah Chibok, said the phase 2 project was informed by the need to decrease vulnerability of at-risk young men and women to violent extremism, adding that the project was as a result of the impact and achievements recorded in the 1st phase of the project.
“It would be recalled that the 1st phase of the SERVE project was designed to systematically address the source of extreme restive violence that played out in Kogi state as a result of it’s numerous porous borders. By digging deep into the fundamental causes of the type of violence in the state and create workable community driven solutions to prevent and address internal conflict and general restiveness.”
“The first phase successfully reached 12,985 youths, 4,230 women and 8,705 men directly with capacity building, sensitisation programmes and socio-economic empowerment.”
“The first project also set up nine mini cottage industries including rice milling, casava processing, bakery and block moulding factories in the captured communities,” she added.
She noted that the SERVE is to be implemented in six local government areas namely Igalela/Odolu, Ankpa, Adavi, Okehi, Lokoja and Kogi LGAs in Kogi state, while in Nasarawa state, Obi, Lafia, Nasarawa-Eggon, Akwanga, Toto and Nasarawa LGAs will also be reached.
While unveiling the SERVE 2 project, the kogi state Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello commended the organisation for the reduction of Extremism radicalism among the youths in the state.
The governor who was also represented by his SSG, Mrs Folashade Ayoade Arike advised parents to always be alive to their responsibility of taking adequate monitoring of their children and wards.
She said the present government frowns at thuggery and all other predatory activities warning youths to avoid being used by politicians to foment troubles, especially as governorship election in the state draws nearer.
” The government of Alhaji Yahaya Bello believes in peace and not violence and radicalism . We dont believe in thuggery. We advised parents to curtail the excesses of their children. We are using this medium for parents not to allow their children to be used as scapegoats. Dont allow your children to carry arms for anybody for any reasons.” She warned.