Not fewer than 500 youths drawn from Geidam Local Government of Yobe state have converged for a peace symposium on Geidam, the headquarters of Giedam Local Government.
The event which was put together by Centre for Innovative Community Development(CICD) in collaboration with Northeast Regional Initiative (NERI) was held at the multipurpose Hall of Geidam Polytechnic over the weekend with the theme; ‘Promoting Youth Participation in Peacemaking and Religious Tolerance ‘.
Presentations were made on rich topics on peace and security including Peace and Development; The Roles of Youth in Community Peace Building Process; Culture, Political and Religious Divides; Gender Based Violence; Community Role in Disarmament, De-Radicalization and Re- Integration for Ex-combatant; Roles of Government and Security Agencies in Community Peacebuilding efforts among others.
Speakers and resource persons at the event admonished youths to shun of all sorts of social vices so as they do not mortgage their future, just as they were equally challenged to learn to live and tolerate one another in the society irrespective of his religious or ethnic background.
In his remarks at the event, the Emir of Ngarzargamu Alhaji Tijjani Saleh Gaidam called on youth to shun all forms of drug abuse, observing that such vice are fertile gradients on which the Boko Haram insurgents thrived.
Saleh said the consumption of illicit drugs has ruined the lives of many youths that were fully involved in Boko haram militancy.
The Emir, who was represented by District head of Pichimiram, Mohammad Zannah Nur said for sustainable peace to endure, youths should be tolerant and respectful to everyone irrespective of religious or cultural background.
“I am appealing to Youths across Gaidam, Yobe and indeed the entire Northeast to desist from the act of sales and consumption of illicit drugs, which is the root cause of the Boko haram militancy.
“You should be veritable instruments for peace and development instead of becoming ready weapons of destruction of your own people as we have witnessed in this crisis. You should never allow yourselves to be used for conflict, war and insurgency,” the Emir advised.
He tasked government and security agencies to deal decisively against illegal drugs and those consuming the products.
Another District Head, Alhaji Ali Lawan, called on youths to listen to their parents, constituted authority and pledged more loyalty to Nigerian Nation.
Some of the participants who spoke with jounalists expressed hope for a better Nigeria in the future,
Aisha Nuhu informed that the training has open her horizon to new things. She stated that there has been a lot of gap between what they get and what the media
Highlights of the symposium were the presentation of public lectures, Peace road-walk, and participants’ engagement in throughout the sessions.