Young social media influencers at the event in Kaduna

Plan International Advocates Sustenance Of Peace,Youth Empowerment In Kaduna State

18 July 2019 National News News

Plan International has urged the Kaduna state government to work with youth and ensure the sustenance of the gains recorded , as the Kaduna State Youth Peacebuilding Academy (KSYPA) project comes to an end.

The Head of Programmes and Business Development of Plan International Nigeria, Dr. Oji Ogbureke stated this at the end of
KSYPA project dissemination meeting in Kaduna on Thursday July 18, 2019.

The KSYPA project was implemented by child rights and girls’ equality organisation, Plan International Nigeria in partnership with The Kukah Center.

Dr. Ogbureke who expressed sadness that the project was coming to an end assured that with appropriate support, the young people from across the five selected communities who participated were now well equipped to advocate and promote peace in the state.

Plan Head of Programmes and Business Development urged the state government to build on the foundation of the project especially through the state’s Peace Commission which provided supported to the success of the initiative.

“We will however not pretend that we have solved decades long problem in two years. We will also not pretend that we have found the solution,” Ogbureke said.

“What we are certain of however, is that we have together with these young people come up with some ideas that could address this frightening situation, and there is ample evidence they will work if more investment is made in the approach.”

Some beneficiaries at the project end meeting in kaduna

In his goodwill message, the Special Adviser to Kaduna state governor, Dr Ayo Adedoku, admonished the youth to come together and foster peace in the state.

Violent conflicts have erupted in some states in recent years leading to loss of lives and resources.

Religiously motivated violence in Kaduna disproportionately affects youth as they are particularly vulnerable to recruitment by extremist religious groups.

According to him “The future of Nigeria depends on you (youth),” while identifying “conflict entrepreneurs, poverty and strife for land” as some of the key triggers of crisis in the state”.

Dr Adedokun noted that the state government was working hard to generate employments for youth and women to stem the tide of conflict.

Also speaking the Permanent Secretary , Kaduna State Peace Commission, Hajiya Khadijah Hawaja Gambo urged all stakeholders in the state to join the drive for a peaceful and prosperous state.

“In peace building, everyone is important. No one is insignificant. The strength of anything is as strong as the weakest link. Nobody in Kaduna is unimportant. Youths, politicians, religious leaders, elders and all that are in Kaduna,” she said.

“We don’t joke with Plan International, the Kukah center and all who come to Kaduna for the purpose of fostering peace. We are saying Plan International is dear to our heart because they supported us in delivery our mandate.”

While delivering the project scorecard, the Policy Advocacy and Research Manager, Plan International Nigeria, Mr Tunde Aremu observed that the organisation had impacted on the members of the Youth Peace Building Academy (YPA) skills relevant to playing fence mending and healing roles in the communities through the project,

“The project worked with the community youth leaders to launch initiatives that build tolerance in their home communities.”

“The conflict transformation roles of these young people include working to ensure their communities hitherto torn apart by internecine conflicts become places where young leaders would meet irrespective of ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds to exchange ideas and experiences.”

The project was implemented in five communities that have been recording crisis in recent years including Birnin-Gwari, Dangoma, Kasuwan Magani, Rigasa and Sabon Gari in Zaria.

The closeout ceremony was attended by stakeholders including beneficiaries of the projects, government officials, project partners and the media.

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