ActionAid Nigeria, PIBCID advocates use of culture to end violent extremism in the country.

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Actionaid Nigeria, a none Government Organization has called on Government at all to device a new structural approach to promote Nigeria culture in a bid to put an end to violent extremism and other violent crimes ravaging the country today.

Actionaid Nigeria Resilience Programme Coordinator, Anicetus Atakpu made the call on Wednesday in Lokoja at a cultural peace fiesta in commemoration of the 2021 global peace day.

The cultural peace fiesta with the theme ” Promoting harmonious cohabitation through culture” to mark the 2021 International peace day was organized by Actionaid Nigeria, in collaboration with the Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change in Development, (PIBCID), with funding from Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund, (GCERF).

Atakpu explained that over the years, it has been a general knowledge that the major divider of the country has been on religion and tribe.

He lamented that Nigeria Culture has been relegated to the background, adding that, their is need to promote harmonious cohabitation through culture if the country must overcome the growing spate of insecurity bedevilling the nation today.

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His words ” Tribalism has played a very strong role in promoting violence extremism and building conflicts in Nigeria. The most recent is the farmers, herders conflict, that has led to so much death. What we are doing today is to bring us back, to finding the solution to the problem itself.

” Culture is one good way of building harmony, and peaceful coexistence. We have been having this peaceful fiesta for the past three years, and we have come to restructur it. Rather than just gather youths to play, dance, we need to pass a message with it.

” This year we have launch the cultural peace fiesta demonstrating our cultural diversity and making our youths and our teaming population understand that yes we have diversity in culture, and our looks but we are still one. We are trying to pass a message that will make people appreciate the oneness in us despite our cultural diversity.

“We can see our self as one, before we start thinking that we are Ebira, Okun, Bassa or many more. Culture will play more role in making us one than dividing us. If the government could come up with a new model towards promoting our culture, the issue of Kidnapping, insurgency, armed robbery will be a thing is the past”.

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Adding her voice, Actionaid Nigeria country Director, Ene Obi who was represented by the organization Director, Social Mobilization Mr
Adewale Adeduntan traced the neglect of Nigeria culture to the importation of foreign culture in the society.

According to the country director, ” Am not in any way antagonizing foreign culture in our system, but I am bold to say that some of this culture brought to our country is drilled with hypocrasy, hatred, violence and many more. This does not reflect Nigeria Culture. Our culture preaches peace, and peace we must maintain if we want to move forward”

Earlier in her opening remarks, the Executive Director, Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change in Development, (PIBCID), Halima Oiza Sadiq admitted that cultural diversity has a great role to play in promoting peace and harmonious coexistence looking at the ethnic diversity of Kogi State.

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“As such, the 2021 peace fiesta (Cultural Fiesta) is an occasion for us as peace ambassadors from diverse ethnic groups, to reflect on how aspects of this culture including music, dance, attire, craft and cultural expression can be exploited to enrich the lives of the people of Kogi and our country as a whole.

“As we celebrate the 2021 Peace Fiesta, it is important to emphasize that the founding principle of the cultural festival still remains- that is, bridging the gap between cultures as a pre-requisite for peace, stability and development.

“The Fiesta is therefore, also envisaged as an avenue for enabling different communities to interact with the culture of the Kogi people in a manner that will create deeper understanding, appreciation and accommodation of each other.

” In this way, the fiesta will help strengthen the sense of purpose of the Kogi communities while at the same time contributing to the enhancement of national cohesion peace and stability” she added.




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