From Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna
The Kaduna Stakeholders Meeting, a one-day workshop, has received commendation from Mr. Ibrahima Yakubu, the National President of the Nigeria Network of Peace Journalists (NNPJ), for its efforts in promoting peace and inclusivity in the region.
During the workshop, Mr. Yakubu underscored the pivotal role played by the media in peace-building, conflict de-escalation, and crisis mitigation within the state.
The event, jointly organized by the Kaduna State Ministry of Human Services and Social Development, the Kaduna State Peace Commission, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Women, has successfully engaged youth and women from various communities. Its primary objective is to foster peace-building, interreligious tolerance, and various strategies for advocating peace and unity across all 23 local governments in the state.
Mr. Yakubu, a Media expert, also highlighted the substantial contributions of women and youth in conflict prevention and peace support. It is imperative to create free, safe, and enabling civic spaces to ensure their continued efforts and the exercise of their rights to freedom of opinion and expression.
Furthermore, he stressed the necessity for a human rights-based approach to conflict prevention and social cohesion, emphasizing the importance of involving women and young people as integral parts of the solution for achieving sustainable peace.
Mr. Yakubu noted that the Network of Peace Journalists greatly benefits from the UNDP project on early warning and early response, which aids media authorities in addressing crises in the state. He emphasized the critical role played by the media in the UNDP and Kaduna State Peace Commission’s project for sustainable peace development in the region.
He concluded by emphasizing the media’s role in promoting peace and cohesion by offering a platform for diverse voices and perspectives. In societies marked by competing narratives and conflicting views, the media’s ability to amplify diverse voices fosters greater understanding and empathy among different groups.
Mr. Yakubu expressed his gratitude to all the organizers of the one-day event and urged other NGOs to consistently engage the media in their activities, recognizing its potential as a powerful tool for promoting peace and unity not only in Kaduna but also in neighboring states and countries.
Dr. Ma’aji Peterx, a Consultant with the United Nations, also addressed the training session. He emphasized the unprecedented youth population in human history, with 1.8 billion people between the ages of 10 and 24, with over 600 million living in conflict zones. Dr. Peterx stressed the need to involve youths in peace and security conversations, highlighting the importance of education, political engagement, and youth entrepreneurship as vital tools to enhance their employability and support their positive development.
He called for increased political, financial, technical, and logistical support from UN Agencies, Regional, and International Organizations for young peace builders and the development of programs to disconnect young individuals from involvement in armed conflicts and reintegrate them into society.
In her welcome address, Mrs. Rabi Salisu, Commissioner of the Ministry of Human Services and Social Development, expressed her appreciation for the support provided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Women (UN Women), Peace Building Fund (PBF), and Kaduna State Peace Commission (KSPC) in the development of the Kaduna State Action Plan on Youth, Peace, and Security (KAD-SAP/YPS). This initiative aims to promote youth-inclusive peace processes and strengthen the government’s commitment to involving young people in peace-building, with a particular focus on young women as peace builders.
Mrs. Rabi Salisu highlighted the understudied role of young people in peace building and security, emphasizing the need for their recognition and involvement in terms of the five pillars of Resolution 2250: Participation, Protection, Prevention, Partnership, and Disengagement/Reintegration. She concluded by emphasizing the essential roles young people play in promoting peace and security.
Similarly ,the UNDP reprentative at the workshop mallam Nurudden Bashar saleh said the aims of gathering all youth and women is to sthrenthens their capacity on promoting peace building at the grass roots
He concluded by thanking all participants of the workshop.