ActionAid Nigeria has called on government at all levels to sustain and strengthen all efforts and activities that promote peace among peoples of different communities and ethnic groups in the country.
Mr. Gbenro Olajuyigbe, ActionAid Manager, Human Security in Conflict and Emergency, made the call in Lokoja on Saturday when he led a procession in commemoration of the International Day of Peace.
Olajuyigbe led top government functionaries, community and religious leaders, coalition of youth and women groups from different communities in Kogi on the ‘Walk of Peace’.
He said the different communities and ethnic nationalities in the country could still work together for peace in Nigeria.
“Our walk for peace today has shown that ordinary people from different communities and ethnic groups can work together for peace to happen.
“We must all collectively work to ensure peace in our communities,” he said.
The ActionAid Human Security Manager said there was need for government to provide unfettered access to education , especially for the less privileged.
“I am using this opportunity to urge the government to integrate young Fulani children into the existing school structure.
“As we build physical structures, it is time to begin to focus more investments in human infrastructure.
“Any government that shuts down education , either by lack of access or through strike actions, has opened the door to violence and extremism,” he said.
According to Olajuyigbe, because Kogi is bordered by 10 states, it is susceptible to violent attacks and conflicts.
Olajuyigbe said that several collaborative efforts between ActionAid Nigeria and the state government had led to significant reduction in violent conflicts in the state.
The state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello,vrepresented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Isah Omade, maintained that the government would not relent in its effort to ensure peace in the state.
“Our goal as a government is to promote peaceful co-existence of all. We are working day and night to invest in activities and infrastructure that will guarantee peace among our people,” he said.