AFRYDEV empowers 12 Yobe communities on violent extremism early warning

Participants in Violent Extremism Training organized by AFRYDEV in Potiskum, Yobe State

As violent extremism continues to escalate in the North East sub-region of Nigeria, the need to engage and sensitize communities on its early warning has become paramount.

This situation informed the decision of the African Foundation for Peace Development and Empowerment (AFRYDEV) with financial support from USAID through Northeastern Connection on a project titled “Supporting community platforms in Damaturu and Potiskum to detect and report early warning threats”. Declaring the validation meeting open in Potiskum, the chairman of the local government represented by his vice chairman, Ado Hamza Ngojin, revealed that if violent extremism was mitigated in its early stages, most of the problems would not have occurred. He thanked AFRYDEV for coming up with such initiatives and called for the engagement of more communities.

The program was aimed at fostering unity with the specific objective of building a comprehensive and self-sustaining mechanism to report and respond to violent extremism/conflict triggers in the LGA communities of Damaturu and Potiskum, as well as identify issues that trigger and reduce threats of ISWAP infiltration into vulnerable communities in Damaturu and Potiskum.

Blueprint put together, the project would work with relevant stakeholders to identify and strengthen the first existing structures and support the establishment of new mechanisms where none exist, as violent extremism is believed to start from the communities and if the response is early enough, it will mitigate its escalation.

In his opening address, the State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Dungus Abdulkarim, instructs communities to engage their neighborhoods in peacebuilding. “I want to thank the team for this wonderful project, indeed if this gets full attention and community members comply with it by reporting early warnings, then our community will be free from violent extremism.

For his part, the Emir of Fika, president of the councils of chiefs, HRH Dr. Muhammad Abali Muhammad Idris pledges his support. “Based on the purpose and objectives of the project, I believe that this will go a long way in bringing peace to our communities, we will give you all the maximum support necessary during the implementation of the project and ensure compliance from community members from all angles.

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