In line with the 2019 International Youth Day Celebration, an International Non-Governmental Organization, ActionAid Nigeria in partnership with Global Peace Development, supported by Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), held a One-Day Youth Summit to commemorate the International Youth Day involving some Governmental Ministries, resource persons , selected Nasarawa State Communities, youth organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations, in localizing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through advocacy and SDGs project implementation, with the theme: “Transforming Education -Alternative to Preventing Violent Extremism”.
The youth summit had young people and target audience create resolutions and strategic roadmap on how governments at all levels and the private sector can work with the Nigerian Youth and vulnerable people to usher in a “decade of delivery” on the SDGs by the year 2030
The state youth summit participants came up with the following observations that:
Violent Extremism constitutes beliefs and actions for people who support or use violent ideology for political goal– (International Organization for Migration).
Violent extremism is a negative phenomenon and has great negative global consequences, irrespective of colour, creed, race, beliefs and or faith.
The remote causes of Violent extremism are fuelled by push and pull factors like victimization, marginalization, exclusion, government taking decisions without including the Youth, horizontal inequality, Unemployment, under employment, weak family systems, denial of rights, Lack of rule of law, corruption, criminality, and social media.
Violent extremism is driven by denial of basic political rights, highly repressive regimes, endemic corruption, absence of government presence, economic exclusion which fuels violent extremism and injustice.
Violent extremism is driven by perceived political and religious ideologies among people of vulnerable class especially the youths.
Effects of violent extremism are evident in our current security challenges which lead to arms proliferation, humanitarian crises, trust deficit, loss of lives, properties and revenues as well as under- development.
Majority of those involved in violent extremism are the Youth and unemployed class.
Also, the state youth summit participants came up with the following resolutions that;
To mitigate or counter violent extremism, there should be ideological transformation of the people, by deradicalizing their minds, reduce the use of military mechanism (force) on the extremists, target the root causes of conflicts, and embark on peace building.
The government should investment in the entertainment industry, provide agricultural and skills acquisition opportunities, support with credit facilities to engage the youth, provide educational opportunities for the youth and inclusion of youth in government and decision making.
The SARVE project is a clarion call on the Nigerian Government and private sector leaders to take urgent action to deliver communities with sustainable ability, capacity, and structure to utilize available resources to prevent radicalization, respond to, withstand, and overcome adverse impact of violent extremism, should it occur.
Like other states, a youth should be appointed as Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development and into other youth-related offices and ministries in Nasarawa State for inclusion in governance and policy making, which are the fundamental ways of building a just and equitable society for both the youth and the women.
Atose Mohammed Ebruke Onajita Esike David Habba
Deputy Coordinator, Executive Director Humanitarian and Resilience Manager
National Youth Council of Nigeria, Global Peace Development, Lafia. ActionAid Nigeria.
Nasarawa State, Chapter.