National Orientation Agency (NOA) has charged the nation’s youth to shun all forms of radicalisation and violent extremism which threaten the peace and unity of the country.
Director-General of the agency, Dr Garba Abari, who gave the charge yesterday at a one-day sensitisation forum on “Anti-Radicalisation and Violent Extremism,” organised for Kogi youths in Lokoja, said the initiative was aimed at sensitising Nigerians on some methods adopted in luring people into extreme political, social and religious ideologies, which he noted has resulted to violence, making reference to Boko Haram insurgent and Niger Delta militants.
“The youth are most predisposed into radicalism, that is why NOA has embarked on various strategic engagements with the youths to sensitise them on the need for peace, unity and dialogue in national security and development,” he said.
He appealed to the youth to shun hate speeches on social media by refusing to generate, broadcast or rebroadcast hate contents for any reason.
Represented by the Director, Political, Civic, Ethics and Values of the agency in Abuja, Mrs. Ngozi Ekeoba, he called on religious, traditional and ethnic leaders to discourage their followers from extreme philosophies.
“Parents must take their responsibility seriously to inculcate into their children and wards the cherished core values of our society which promote tolerance, peaceful coexistence and dialogue.
“If truly the future belongs to the youths, then we must be conscious of how the future of our nation or community should look like.”
Mr. Charles Nwoji, NOA, Abuja, who delivered a paper on: “Understanding the Phenomenon of Radicalisation and Violent,” said “Nigeria is currently experiencing profound and complex security and other related challenges such as radicalisation and violent extremism.”
Nwoji listed some drivers of radicalisation as poverty, unemployment, high level of illiteracy, widespread corruption, backgrounds, marginalisation, discrimination, and prolonged conflicts, among others.
Earlier, in his remarks, the State Director of NOA, Malam Mohammed Abdullahi, urged Nigerians to demonstrate tolerance for one another and avoid hate speeches and discrimination based on language.