By Wale Ibrahim, Lokoja
The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has urged the youths to shun all forms of radicalisation and violent extremism that were threatening the peace and unity of the country
The Director General of NOA, Dr Garba Abari gave the advice at one-day Sensitisation Forum on “Anti-Radicalisation and Violent Extremism”, organised for Kogi youths on Tuesday in Lokoja.
Abari explained that the forum was aimed to sensitise Nigerians on some methods adopted in luring people into extreme political, social and religious ideologies, which had resulted to violence as in the cases of Boko Haram and Niger Delta militants.
He stated that the youths that most predisposed into radicalism, that is why NOA has embarked on various strategic engagements with the youths to sensitise them on the need for peace, unity and dialogue in national security and development.
He therefore appealed to the youths to shun hate speeches on social media by refusing to generate, broadcast or rebroadcast hate contents for any reason.
The Director General who was represented Mrs Ngozi Ekeoba, the Director, Political, Civic, Ethics and Values, NOA, Abuja, called on religious, traditional and ethnic leaders to discourage their followers from extreme philosophies.
“Parents must take their responsibility seriously to inculcate into their children and wards the cherished core values of our society which promote tolerance, peaceful coexistence and dialogue.
“If truly the future belongs to the youths, then we must be conscious of how the future of our nation or community should look like,” Abari said.
Mr Charles Nwoji, NOA, Abuja, who delivered a paper on: “Understanding the Phenomenon of Radicalisation and Violent”, said Nigeria was currently experiencing profound and complex security and other related challenges such as radicalisation and violent extremism.
He said that the challenges have continued to be source of concern both to the government and and the citizens because of the implications they have on the economy and the general security of the nation.
Nwoji, a legal practitioner, defined Radicalisation as “an action or process of causing someone to adopt extreme positions on political and other social issues”.
He highlighted some drivers of radicalisation to include: poverty, unemployment, high level of illiteracy, widespread corruption, backgrounds, marginalisation, discrimination, and prolonged conflicts, among others.
He, however recommended the creation of adequate job opportunities for Nigerian youths, regulations and monitoring of religious extreme philosophies facilitation and sustenance of proactive system, entrenchment of social justice, among others.
Earlier in his remarks, the State Director of NOA, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, urged Nigerians to demonstrate tolerance for one another and avoid hate speeches and discrimination based on language.
Abdullahi stressed that radicalisation and violent extremism had been the bane of national security and threat to unity of the country, saying the forum was meant to eliminate the breeding grounds for violent extremism and entrench peace and unity in the Nation.
The Youths, students, and representatives of security agencies such as Police, NSCDC, Immigration, Prison were present at the occasion.