A non-profit organisation, Brain Builders Youth Development Initiative (BBYDI), has called on young Nigerians to brainstorm on possible solutions to the lingering insecurity in the North Central region and share their ideas through an essay competition.
Entrants, who should be aged between 15 and 35 and hail from or reside in Nasarawa State, are expected to answer the question of how they would tackle “the rising issue of farmers-herdsmen clashes, banditry, and intergroup intolerance” if the were to be governor.
The competition, supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), is part of a project aimed at promoting regional peace and amplifying the role of youth in supporting COVID-19 response in Nasarawa State. The essays received will form part of a policy drafting process to tackle security challenges in the region, BBYDI stated.
“As an organisation, we want to leave no one behind in ensuring peace is restored to the community and the issue of conflict remains a thing of the past,” the organisation’s Executive Director, Olasupo Abideen, told HumAngle.
“We are organising the essay to hear from the largest constituency in the state on what their contributions will be with a view to ensuring that we capture their opinion and speak their mind in the policy document that will be produced.”
BBYDI expects that entries for the contest would be submitted via email by Jan.30 and be between 500 and 1,00o words in length.
It said that the top three participants would receive prizes totalling N300,000.
Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule observed last year that bandits and kidnappers displaced from the surrounding geopolitical zones were taking refuge in the state because of its hilly terrain.
To resolve clashes between herding and farming communities, the governor said the government would provide grazing areas to discourage open grazing by livestock farmers.
“These are huge sites with one not less than 7,000 hectares of land that is going to address our own security problem in the state,” Sule told journalists in March 2020.
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