From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
ActionAid Nigeria has inaugurated 500 member Peace Clubs in six Pilot Schools comprising of pupils and students across the three Senatorial District of the state.
The formation of the Peace Clubs is part of the efforts of the non-governmental organization to engage the youths profitably and redirect their energy from violence.
The Country Director of the organisation, Mr. Ene Obi while performing the ceremony at the Glass House of Government in Lokoja, bemoaned the level in which youths in the country are mostly being used as tools of violence, crime and other social vices.
Obi said that the programme was put in place by the ActionAid Nigeria in collaboration with Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change in Development (PIBCID) to boost the potentials of the future leaders.
He lamented that the vulnerability of youths had led to several violent activities such as thuggery and other criminalities in the country.
The Country Director who was represented by the Director of Finance of the organisation, Mr Oluwole Elegbede however, noted that youths are always victims of structural injustice and inequality saying that the essence of the programme was keyed into participatory approach on conflict resolution.
He said that the programme is also aimed at engaging the youths particularly pupils and students in peace advocacy and conflict resolution.
According to him, the campaign will be carried out across 30 states of the federation and that the campaign will be geared towards curbing street urchins and violence especially now that political activities have kicked off in the country.
Also speaking, the Executive Director of PIBCID, Mrs. Gift Omoniwa Owonipa, said the idea was to create peace ambassadors in six communities in the state in order to develop the culture of peace in the youths.
She also said that the programme was targeted at preventing radicalization among the youths and to communicate peace among themselves, disclosing that the pilot phase was kicked off in Ofuloko, Ogbakpate in Igalamela and Osara Community Primary Schools in Adavi Local Government.