ActioAid/PIBCID trains 500 pupils as ambassadors of peace
By John Akubo
Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change in Development (PIBCID) in partnership with ActionAid Nigeria is training over 500 pupils to be Peace ambassadors in their communities to nip violent extremism in the bud in Kogi State.
The PIBCID and ActionAid Nigeria are working through the office of the Special Adviser to Governor Yahaya Bello on Education and Kogi State Universal Basic Education Board in a bid to tackle the issue of insecurity to prevent terrorism in the Northeast and all of other crimes in the country from spreading to Kogi State.
ActionAid Country director Ene Obi speaking at the launch of the mentors guide for facilitating Peace Club activities among young people said the mentors’ guide has been designed for facilitating Peace Club Sessions in Schools in Kogi State which is also applicable anywhere across the country.
Speaking through Director of Finance ActionAid Oluwole Elegbede she said the essence of the club is for them to be proactive and take measures to ensure that the things that are happening in the North east does not happen down here. “We need to be prepared to take adequate steps ahead.”
She observed that they have been involved in Kogi State for more than 10years working in various communities adding that in the course of their work they got to know a lot of things.
“One of the things we challenge ourselves is to combat this issue of radicalism among our youths. One vehicle through which it can be achieved we believe is to engage directly with the youths and their groups and that informed the formation of these peace clubs across the various youth organizations here.
“What we are doing is the launch of the mentors’ guide. We are launching the Mentors’Guide because you don’t give people a responsibility without a guide.”
According to her, It is participatory, it is going to be owned by the youths themselves so at the end they are contributing to something they know is theirs.
“That has been our approach. We call it participatory Vulnerability Analyses.”
She indicated that they have programs in about 30 States of the country.
“One thing we do first is community assessment when we enter any community or State to know the issue. It cuts across various dimensions, it might be something else in other States but what we do essentially is to partner with the community and the State to make sure that whatever we see as an issue that needs our collective engagement we do that and that is what we are doing.
The country director urged the people to embrace peace to make sure everyone appreciate the fact that everybody needs other people. “There is no denarrative to any issue, your wisdom ends where my own starts why don’t we engage one another and learn from one another that will engender enduring peace.
Executive Director of Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change in Development, Gift Omoniwa Owonikpa said apart from the launch of the Mentors guide they also formerly inaugurated the Peace clubs in 6 schools in 6 communities in Kogi State.
“It is our hope that the peace clubs after the inauguration and when fully operational from today would work for peace.
“We expect that the children will be Peace Ambassadors in their communities, they will develop the culture of peace right from when they are young.
“So we are able to prevent the tendencies of radicalisation and violent extremism as it is obtainable today. We also hope that the children would be able to communicate peace in their communities and encourage to live in an atmosphere of peace.
“The focus is the young ones, we are targeting the younger generation so they could grow up to be peaceful Nigerians.”
The peace ambassadors she said are made up of over 500 children in the loop drawn from community primary schools Ofuloko and Ojapapata in Igalamela Local Government areas.
Others are Osara Gada community primary school, Anu community primary school and Osara community primary schools.
“They are pilot schools where we hope to learn from and spread to other schools in the other Local Government areas in Kogi State.”
‘What we are expecting is for in every community what is necessary for development is peaceful coexistence among various stakeholders.
“What we expect at the end of this, going forward is a peaceful Kogi State in the course of time, where everybody would be his brothers’ keeper. That is our contribution.”
Gov Bello grieves over death of Adeboye’s son, condoles with family
Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has expressed deep sorrow over the demise of the son of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye
He extended his cindolence to the Adeboye family and the entire RCCG over the loss of Pastor Dare Adeboye.
The Governor’s condolence message was contained in a statement issyef on Thursday by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Muhammed Onogwu
He noted that the death of the highly revered minister’s son was a deep pain in the heart, which cannot be explained unless by those who have had similar experience.
Bello noted that despite the heaviness of the loss he urged the General Overseer to take the son’s death as the will of God Almighty.
He said only God can console the Adeboye family and give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Late Pastor Dare Adeboye was an assistant Pastor at the church’s branch in Eket, Akwa Ibom State.
The 42-year-old clergy died in his sleep on Wednesday
56 days after abduction freed 27 students arrive State Police Command, Kaduna
After 56 days in the kidnappers den 27 students abducted by bandits from Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna have regained their freedom.
The students were released in Kindanda village, Giwa local government area of the state.
The Sheikh Abubakar Gumi dialogue committee with support from former President Olusegun Obasanjo was said to have facilitated theur release was on Wednesday
The students are the remainder of the 39 abducted two months ago as 10 were released earlier after payment of ransom by parents and the school management, two others had escaped from captivity.
Chairman of the parents’ forum, Mallam Abdullahi Usman, commended the roles played by Obasanjo, Sheikh Gumi and other stakeholders, saying “their facilitation was very helpful in the release of the students.”
Asked if additional ransom was paid to the bandits before the release, Usman said: “I cannot confirm whether ransom was paid or not. Our main joy and happiness is that our students are back.”
Recall that Parents of the kidnapped students on Tuesday protested the prolonged abduction of their wards at the National Assembly complex.
The freed students are different from the 16 students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, who are yet to be released Their kidnappers are threatening to kill enmass, if ransom is not paid.
The freed students were received at the state Police Command Headquarters.
The students, who were escorted by security agents, arrived in two 18-seater Hiace buses and an ambulance. Most of the students appeared weak and could barely walk, as one of the female students was carried by a security agent on mufti.
It was observed that majority of the students appeared in tattered clothes. Some were in their night wears while others dressed half-clad. Journalists were barred from taking shots of the students as they were led into the conference hall of the police command.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai in a statement by Aruwan, charged the students to view their ordeal as a motivation to put the past behind and work hard towards a happier and successful future ahead.
Inter faith group to champion campaign on maternal mortality in Nasarawa
From Abel Daniel, Lafia
A group of Muslims and christian clerics in Nasarawa state has expressed their readiness to champion the campaign on Family Planning(FP) and Child Birth Spacing(CBS) to reduce maternal mortality rate.
The group made their intentions known yesterday at a three day workshop organized by The Challenge initiative(TCI), state ministry of health to strengthen the sensitization campaign towards ensuring adequate awareness fot women in remote communities in the state.
Amongst the participants at the 3 day workshop which held at Kini country hotel Akwanga yesterday are pastors, imams, Muslims and christian scholars both men and women.
The director public Health, state ministry of Health, Dr. Hassan Ibrahim in a remark at the workshop noted that FP/CBS has accounted for 30% reduction in maternal mortality in the country.
Dr. Ibrahim however expressed optimism that with religious clerics at the forefront of FP and CBS propagation, more women and men will accept and practice FP to allow for birth spacing which would enhance the health of women.
Ibrahim assured at the end of the three day workshop participants are expected to come up with workable plans to reach out to more women in the communities.
A facilitator and coordinator of Inter Faith Forum plateau chapter, Mr. Umar Faruk, attested that religious clerics command more respect of their congregation more than any political office holder hence the need to carry them along in the campaign.
“If you want to fail in any policy implementation in Nigeria, over look the role of religious and traditional rulers. Nigerians listen to their religious leaders more than any body else. That is why FB, CBS are becoming more and more acceptable even in the most remote communities today”, Faruk stated.
PresentationS at the workshop by both the Muslims and christian clerics, all pointed out that both the Qur’an and the Bible support FM and CBS.
Both faith came to term with the decision of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and the Christian Association of Nigeria at the national approved FM and CBS.
The various presentations by the groups discussions also acknowledged that child spacing or family planning is not population control as some religious and traditional proponents holds but a way to help a women rest well between child birth to enable both the mother and the child maintain healthy living.
At the end of the worksop leaders of both faith pledged to enhance and widen their reach to women both in rural and urban communities with the message of encouraging both men and women to embrace and practice CBS through the use of FP methods.
The state coordinator of CTI Dr. Deborah Hassan, while responding to question on whether child spacing makes birth difficult for women due to tight vigina, she said medically as soon as a woman delivers the vigina returns to it size except where there are cuts at the point of delivery.
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