The National Coordinator, Nigeria Youth 4 Peace Initiative (NY4PI), Mr. Lawal Rafiu Adeniran recently attended and participated in the Regional Youth Summit on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) organised by Search For Common Ground (SFCG) in collaboration with USAID, North East Regional Initiative (NERI) and the University of Maiduguri. The Coordinator was amongst the few youth selected to represent Nigeria at the summit.
The summit which held between November 28th to November 30th, 2016 brought together over a hundred (100) participants from Niger, Chad, Mali, Cameroon and Nigeria to identify and discuss the roles of youth in countering the surge of violent extremism in the region.
Rajendra Mulmi, Country Director, Search For Common Ground (SFCG), while welcoming participants, opined that one of the reasons for the summit was to bring youth from the countries in the Sahel who are at the frontline of peacebuilding together with experts to strategies on how to facilitate lasting peace in Africa.
Professor Aliyu Shugaba, who represented the Vice Chancellor, University of Maiduguri, also joined others to welcome participants to Maiduguri, Borno State. He posited that the choice of the University of Maiduguri, located in the heart of Borno State, Nigeria; which traditionally has been known as the home of peace before violent extremist groups demonized it, by the organizers for the summit was commendable. The Professor, who is the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic Services), University of Maiduguri, posited that part of the commitments of the University of Maiduguri to finding lasting solutions to the insurgency in the Sahel was the collaboration with Search For Common Ground to host youth and youth led organisations from five (5) African countries to hear and learn from them on how to counter violent extremism.
One of the outcomes of the summit aside the opportunity to exchange and share peacebuilding initiatives and experiences, the rich working group discussions on preventing violence and recruitment into violent groups, facilitating young people’s disengagement from violent groups, producing and amplifying new narratives, fostering new partnerships; was the production of National Action Plans by youth of the various countries represented at the summit and their commitments for onward implementation.