ActionAid Nigeria has disclosed that it has resolved to positively involve the traditional institutions in its campaign against violent extremism to ensure adequate sensitization and mobilisation of rural communities to critically address the menace.
Mr Anicetus Atakpu, Acting Coordinator, Humanitarian and Resilience Unit, ActionAid Nigeria, disclosed this while presenting the Community Needs Assessment Report undertaken September, 2018 to Ohimege-Igu of Koton-Karfe, Alhaji Abdulrazaq Isa-Koto in Koton-Karfe.
Atakpu said the community needs assessment for “System and Structure Strengthening Approach against Radicalization to Violent Extremism (SERVE) Project was aimed at identifying key drivers of violence and means of tackling them.
The Coordinator said that first phase of the project in Adavi and Igalamela-Odolu ocal governments which ended in December, 2018, recorded remarkable achievements and necessitated the extension to other communities in the state.
He said that ActionAid Nigeria approved a second phase of the project in Kogi with additional eight communities from four Local Governments including Okehi, Lokoja, Kogi Koton-Karfe and Ankpa in view of the success recorded in the first phase.
“We discovered from the needs assessment reports that there are pockets of crises and element of violent extremism within the Lokoja and Kogi-Koton-Karfe Local governments”, he said.
Atakpu said that ActionAid would intervene in the areas of skills and vocational training for women and youths as well as community policing in collaboration with its Community Action Response Team (CART) to be set up in the areas and the police command in the state.
He therefore, solicited the cooperation and support of the traditional institution to join hands with the NGO and other stakeholders to reduce radicalization and violent extremism saying that the efforts would be futile without their cooperation.
Responding, the Paramount ruler, Abdulrazaq Isa-Koto, said the discoveries in the needs assessment excited him as the findings portrayed the real picture of the ills and developmental needs of his people.
The Ohimege-Igu said he was 100 per cent ready being favourably disposed to any collaboration that would bring positive development to his kingdom adding that the community policing concept was a welcome development as the community was already into it.
“We are 100 per cent ready to partner ActionAid and other collaborative bodies of ActionAid especially in the area of community policing because it is what we are doing here.
“There is a monthly interface between traditional rulers, community leaders and youths on security. Through this, we have been able to bring down crime rate in the kingdom. This is a platform that you can embrace any time”, he said.