The Office of the National Security Adviser in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Monday commenced a two-day training for ‘at-risk youth’ on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) in Kano, which was also attended by religious and traditional leaders, representatives of security agencies, and members of the civil society and media, amongst others.
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The training workshop was aimed at sensitizing the participants on PVE as well as enhancing their capacities in curtailing the spread of violent extremism in Kano state.
Magret Dibigbo, chief planning officer of the International Cooperation Department at the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning who spoke on behalf of her director, Elizabeth Egbareuba, said the existing violent conflict in Nigeria was deeply rooted in ethnicity, religion and unemployment.
“We are all aware of the crisis situation and violence faced by Nigerians in recent times; some of these crises are deeply rooted in ethnicity, religion, unemployment, unfair distribution of resources, poor education, and poor governance. Our gathering here is therefore a veritable opportunity for dialogue, discussions…it is also aa platform for youths to brainstorm and share their experiences and perceptions about violent extremism,” Dibigbo said
Speaking on the role of religious leaders in countering violent extremism, Dr Bashir Umar, the Imam of Alfurqan mosque in Kano said: “Religious leaders have a fundamental role given their spiritual leadership and influence over communities. Their greatest role is that of countering erroneous beliefs through enlightenment and education.”
While providing a Christian perspective, Rev. Adeyemo Adeolu of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) blamed violent extremism on the deterioration of family values hence the lack of fear of God among people and instability at homes which means children grew up under violence and brutal abuse mostly being perpetrated by male parents against children and mothers.
The training workshop was part of a coordinated effort towards the formulation of a national policy framework and action plan for preventing and countering violent extremism in Nigeria. Similar workshops were earlier held in 3 different states: Kogi, Plateau, and Kaduna.