By; JACOB ONJEWU DICKSON
Mercy Corps is adopting a multi approach strategy in addressing violent extremism and other conflicts across four states in Nigeria.
Deputy Chief of Party Mercy Corps, Sani Suleiman said this, while fielding questions from newsmen on the sidelines of the three-day ‘Training of Trainers’ workshop, which started in Kaduna on 2nd to 4th of February, 2021 in partnership with the state Ministry for Women Affairs.
“We are applying multi approach strategy in addressing policy and enlightenment on violent extremism through sensitization,” he said.
Deputy Chief of Party, said that the training was targeted at trainers on peace training.
According to him, the approaches adopted include sensitization, training key stakeholders on identifying early warning signals and use of the media.
“We are also working with media through radio programmes running all through the programme which is to last for five years.
“We are also working with religious groups, teachers of Islamic schools, security agencies,” he informed.
Speaking further, he said that parents have to do a lot at home to address violent extremism.
“Parents have to create time to monitor their children and take necessary precautionary measures,” he said.
At the training the trainers workshop, he said that they identified key stakeholders of the society and are training them on how to identify early signs of violent extremism.
He informed that 40 participants drawn from several communities are participating at the workshop.
“We are working closely with the commissioner of internal security and the Kaduna State Peace Commission.
“They are exoected to go back and impact their individual communities,” he said.
In a separate interview, a participant, Abigail James who is retiree from Kaduna State Ministry of Education, resident in Zaria, described the workshop as fruitful.
“I find it interesting and very good for the nation. I have learnt a lot on how to promote peace in Nigeria.
“There are parents who don’t care about their children and there are those who train theirs. It is the parents responsibility to train the child properly. With religion teachings and better understanding, they will be able to practice and live in peace in their communities.
“When I go back, will call on women, men and youth and train them on what we have learnt,” she assured.
Also in an interview, another participant, Isah Sani from Kaduna North said that proper parenting can end violent extremism.
“I am here representing Initiative for Muslim Women of Nigeria (IMWON). I have learnt about how to address violent extremism which is disturbing the world in general and parenting can be used to address it,’ he said.
Mercy Corps is doing the trainings in collaboration with USAID.