Plan International, a development and humanitarian organisation,
has called for increased invest in education and health as a solution in tackling insecurity in the society, especially in the Lake Chad region.
The Country Director of the organisation, Mr Charles Usie, made this known in Abuja at the Youth Regional Exchange meeting of European Union Lake Chad Basin Project.
Usie said that investing in education and health remained keys to resolving the insecurity challenges bedeviling the region especially Nigeria.
”It the money spent on security in the last decade is channelled into education, it would go a long way to mold the character of citizens and encourage them to be agent of change as well as always workin towards peaceful coexistence.
” The regional exchange meeting hopes to build the movement of young people who are peace and security ambassadors for the Lake Chad region and that is why we are investigating in people.
” So, over the last three years, we have been doing a lot of capacity building in digital sensitisation, digital enablement, data collection, data analysis, peace and security models and we use these
ambassadors to propagate peace and stability in these communities,” he said.
The country director also said that the programme would build the capacity of young Nigerians as agent of change to propagate the gospel of peace in conflict areas.
According to him, this peace network of young people will generate evidence and data of what is lacking in their communities and present it to the governors forum and the lake chad basin authority to see how they can build it as part of development project.
” What we are trying to do is to see how we engage young people to build a movement first as agent of change for peace and security.
” The idea is if this investment is made for young people across education, livelihood, health care, the tendency for young people to become destructive, chaotic and join armed group will be reduced,” he said.
Also, the Regional Project Manager, Youth Leading the Stability Efforts in Lake Chad Basin, Lisa Maza said the meeting gathered youths from violence communities in Nigeria, Niger and Cameroun to train them on how they could best address cross border issues in their region.
Maza said that efforts had been made especially on political engagement to address issues in violent areas.
” A key to the progress of what we are doing is the youth involvement, you know the violent extremism, the consequence of climate change, the scarcity of natural resources, and these are all issues that keep getting worse over over time.
” We’ve progressed quite far in what we’re trying to do. Like I said, we can’t do everything. You can’t solve the conflict in Lake Chad Basin.
” But what we’re trying to do is to get the youth to work together and find a network that will last over time. So I think in the two and a half years, we’ve been working with them, we’ve really progress towards that goal,” she said.
The Programme Specialist, Plan International, Germany, Paula Blanco called for more advocacy at all levels that would contribute to peace and security components in conflict settings.
Some of the beneficiaries of the capacity who spoke during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) said the various meetings held had deepened their conscious in wanting to exhibit peace in the community.
Miss Safiya Mallum, from Maiduguri, said the programme had built their capacity to enable them ensure there are peace and security bonding with their communities.
Also, Binta Mustapha, from Niger, said she would take the message of peace advocacy to her region while reminding youths on the importance of oneness for the advancement of her country.
The programme is a regional learning from participating countries of Nigeria, Cameroon and Niger to share experiences on best practices aimed at championing the stability of peace in the various regions. (NAN)