Peace Day: NGO urges FG to harness cultural potential in fighting insurgency, banditry


Peace Day: NGO urges FG to harness cultural potential in fighting insurgency, banditry

Story from Rabi’atu, Lokoja

A non governmental organization, Action aid Nigeria, has called on government at all levels to device a new structural approach to promote Nigeria culture in a bid to put an end to insurgency, armed robbery, kidnapping  and banditry ravaging the country.

Action aid Nigeria  Resilience Programme Coordinator, Anicetus Atakpu made the call at a cultural peace fiesta in commemoration of the 2021 global peace day in lokoja. Kogi  state.

The cultural peace fiesta with the theme ” Promoting harmonious cohabitation through culture” to mark the 2021 International peace day was organized by Actionaid Nigeria, in collaboration with the Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change in Development, (PIBCID).

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Atakpu explained that over the years, it has been a general knowledge  that the major divider of the country has been the country’s religious and tribal differences.

He lamented that Nigeria Culture has been relegated to the background,  adding that, there is need to promote harmonious cohabitation through culture if the country must overcome the growing spate of insecurity bedevilling the nation today.

“Tribalism has played a very strong role in promoting violent extremism and building conflicts in Nigeria, most recent is the farmers, herders conflict, that has led to so much death. What we are doing today is to bring us back, to finding the solution to the problem itself.”

Mr. Anicetus said one major means to fight insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and other forms of insecurity is for Nigerians to embrace their diversity and multiplicity, urging Nigerians to return to the culture and traditions that breeds togetherness and cohesiveness, insisting that culture if well utilized as was the case in the past, played more roles in uniting the people.

He advocated the use of culture in preventing issues of violent extremism, pointing out that cultures from time immemorial has put in place mechanism that help check drivers of violent extremism in the family, society and in other areas of Peoples lives.

The Resilience program coordinator tasked Governments at all levels in Kogi State on the need for the sustainability of the systems and structures approach.

Actionaid Nigeria country Director, Ene Obi, represented by the organization Director, Social Mobilization  Mr Adewale Adeduntan traced the neglect of Nigeria culture to the importation of foreign culture in the society.

According to the country Director, ” I am not in any way antagonizing foreign culture in our system, but I am bold to say that some of this culture brought to our country is drilled with hypocrisy, hatred, violence and many more. This does not reflect Nigeria Culture. Our culture preaches peace, and peace we must maintain if we want to move forward”

Earlier in her opening remarks, the Executive Director, Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change in Development, (PIBCID), Halima Oiza Sadiq admitted that cultural diversity has a great role to play in promoting peace and harmonious coexistence looking at the ethnic diversity of Kogi State.

“As such, the 2021 peace fiesta (Cultural Fiesta) is an occasion for us as peace ambassadors from diverse ethnic groups, to reflect on how aspects of this culture including music, dance, attire, craft and cultural expression can be exploited to enrich the lives of the people of Kogi and our country as a whole.

“As we celebrate the 2021 Peace Fiesta, it is important to emphasize that the founding principle of the cultural festival still remains, that is, bridging the gap between cultures as a pre-requisite for peace, stability and development.

“The Fiesta is therefore, also envisaged as an avenue which can enable different communities to interact with the culture of Kogi people in a manner that will create deeper understanding, appreciation and accommodation of each other.

“In this way, the fiesta will help strengthen the sense of purpose of the Kogi communities while at the same time contributing to the enhancement of national cohesion, peace and stability” she added.


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