PEACE PICNIC

Nigeria is bedeviled with a number of challenges and sitting at the center is insecurity. The high level of insecurity is occasioned by the high rate of unemployment, growing poverty rate caused by high cost of living, growing inequalities, declining public educational system and a public lack of faith in institutions of state to protect the interest of the general populace.

All of these and more have triggered armed robbery, kidnapping, separatist ideologies for the creation of the sovereign state of Biafra, war on resource control and rights to safe environment giving rise to militancy in the Niger-Delta, changing climates and some fanatical religious ideologies has also given birth to insurgency and terrorism in most of the North-East and North-West region of Nigeria.

With threatened security, peace has become a high priced commodity and daily; Nigerians especially youths are losing tolerance for each other, socialization systems are collapsing such that there exist a lot of tribal stereotyping, ethnic and religious bias for each other.

People, especially youths have lost faith in state institutions charged with the mandate of ensuring peace and maintenance of law and order and because of this there are a lot of youths walking around with frustration, aggression, pain without knowledge of channels to air their annoyance and grievances, hence the need for safe spaces to allow youths voice out.

PEACE PICNIC: RAISING A GENERATION OF YOUTHFUL PEACE AMBASSADORS USING CONCERT.

#PeacePicnic a franchise of HipCity Innovation Centre, Campaign against Violent Elections and Peace Talk with Mercy, three youth-led organizations came together to promote the concept of peace among youths.

In Nigeria today, most youths are aggrieved and frustrated, this is exacerbated by the seeming collapse of institutions mandated to maintain civil order and justice, Nigerian youths daily vent their anger on social media platforms and the online space recently is seen to be gagged by state institutions who rather than listen to the yearnings of the people are suppressing the voices of dissent groups and these have led to youths taking arms against the state through kidnapping, arm banditry, terrorism etc

Our socialization systems as Nigerians are gradually losing its values, Nigerians no longer trust each other; in recent times some sections of the Nigerian state have issued ultimatum to other ethnic groups to exit their lands or risk being killed, others now nurse separatist ideologies as they feel like they don’t belong to the Nigerian State.

The #PeacePicnic was conceived and birth as a unifying agent and catalyst to foster peace, the picnic creates a safe space in the atmosphere of fun using the Toguna ideals to teach humility, dialogue, respect and humanity to youths.

The event held on 1st October 2019 as a symbolic day of our National unity to further propagate the ideals of Nigeria’s founding fathers who saw the strength in our diversity and spirit of cohesion.

The #PeacePicnic featured dialogue sessions on Stereotyping as triggers of conflicts, social media as a tool for peace promotion and climate action for peace.

The PeacePicnic will be spread across most local communities in the FCT and Nigeria in the coming months.

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