JUST IN: NGO Unveils Project Against Violence In North West

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NGO Unveils Project Against Violence In North West

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A non-governmental organisation, International Alert (IA), has launched a project aimed at promoting stability and justice while preventing gender-based violence in the troubled northwest region.

Addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, the country director of IA, Dr Paul Benshima Nyulaku, during a workshop with the theme: “Strategic Communications Assessment in North-West Nigeria,” stressed the importance of the project, which is supported by the UK International Development through the Conflict Stability and Security Fund (CSSF).

He emphasised that to promote stability and increase access to justice in most of the communities in the northwest states such as Kaduna, Zamfara, and Katsina, which have been ravaged by insecurity, IA, has launched the project “Samun Adalchi Shi Ne Kwanciyar Hankali” to promote stability.

Nyulaku said the project seeks to create a community of practice in dealing with the various narratives that have impeded access to justice by understanding the key drivers of violent extremism in these North West states.

“A few months ago, we convened a stakeholders’ meeting in Sokoto State with religious leaders and media practitioners in attendance to understand the negative narratives behind violent extremism, narratives that have impeded justice and promoted gender-based violence in the northwest.

“Most of the negative narratives discovered have created a state of hopelessness for many marginalized communities in the northwest.

“The residents of these communities decry partial neglect, constant human rights violations, and gender-based violence by extremists and bandits, among others,” he said.

He emphasized that all these narratives were reviewed at that meeting, and it was resolved that strategic communication (STRATCOM) of the northwest be carried out, leading to the outcome of this workshop.

“Therefore, the objectives of today’s workshop are to share lessons, insights, and messages that fuel radicalisation, and alternative narratives and communication tools that may be used to address them.

“Key findings from our recent STRATCOM assessment conducted in Kaduna and Zamfara states will be analyzed.

“The workshop also aims to stimulate discussions and generate diverse perspectives to enrich the evidence on the use of STRATCOM for addressing violent behavior in the northwest,” he said.

On his part, the chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Chikun local government, Rev. Aminu Buba, emphasized the untold agonies faced by residents at the hands of bandits and extremists at the workshop.

He said kidnapping and abduction of innocent citizens have become rampant in the northwest.

“The abduction of 287 girls while in school in Chikun local government Kaduna is one of the most recent incidents. All our efforts to secure the freedom of these innocent young girls have been difficult because the ransom demanded by these kidnappers is too high for poor people like us. The kidnappers demanded N4 trillion ransom. How do we get such an amount of money?” he asked.

 

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