The Executive Director of Victims Support Fund (VSF), Prof. Sunday Ochoche says the foundation is partnering with Hausa movie actors and musicians, popularly known as Kannywood, to develop movies and music to counter extremism in the North-East.
Ochoche made this known on Monday in Abuja during the opening of the “Behavior Change Communication workshop on using indigenous content to prevent and counter violent extremism in the North-East’’.
He noted that the Kannywood celebrities are highly influential in the North-East and partnering with the stars was one of the strategies of the VSF to promote peace in the region.
He said that as part of the partnership, the stars would produce music, short clips and movies with contents on the theme of peace, forgiveness, deradicalization, patriotism and encouragement for the Nigerian Army.
He said that the partnership also aimed to produce messages against extremist ideologies that have led to the radicalization of many youths in the region who have joined the Boko Haram insurgents.
“We realise in Victims Support Fund very early that if we are going to move forward in the peace agenda of the North East, we need to address issues of education, health, livelihood and the governance. We started our peace building projects and what is happening now is an integral component of our peace building programme.
“Peace involves everybody and all hands must be on deck, and here today are some of the most influential people in society, the musicians and movie stars.
“We are here to see how we can all work together to promote peace; peace does not just happen, we must work on peace to have peace, and you are a very important component of the VSF programme.
“Peace building is about trying to identify the root causes of conflicts and to respond to them in such a way that addresses these root causes so that they do not reoccur,’’ Ochoche said.
He noted that research had shown that across the world, traditional peace keeping or military intervention in conflicts alone do not provide lasting solutions to conflicts.
He explained that 50 per cent of conflicts usually reoccur at the end of military intervention because military solutions were not designed to address the root causes.
According to him, peacekeeping missions are only designed to keep away the warring factions, to create an enabling environment for peace talks and dialogue.
NAN also reports that Mr Alkassim Abdulkadir, Spokesperson of the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI) and facilitator of the workshop, said that the project would also help checkmate further recruitment of Boko Haram.