In a significant development, media networks are urging both state and federal governments to allocate 30% of their budgets to peace-building initiatives.
Comrade Ibrahima Yakubu, Chairman of the Network of Peace Journalists Kaduna (NPJK), advocates for the allocation of 30% of annual budgets to peace-building across all states of Nigeria.
He emphasizes the crucial need to allocate a substantial portion of the budget to peace education in primary, secondary, and tertiary institutes. Additionally, Yakubu calls for empowering women and youth groups in rural communities with vocational skills and training to alleviate the hardships of poverty and illiteracy.
According to Yakubu, the primary goals of peace-building programs include preventing disputes from escalating, detecting concerns before they become conflicts, and formulating long-term plans to maintain a defined peaceful environment.
In a statement made today, Wednesday, December 20, 2023 on bahalf of 100 media organization under the networks, Yakubu expresses concern about the 2024 budgets presented by every state government across the 36 states of Nigeria, noting a lack of significant allocation and percentage dedicated to peace-building education.
He note that,The aim is to mitigate conflicts and crises through early warning and early response mechanisms, preventing crises in communities that has to pass through peace building programs and education to the citizens.
Yakubu stresses the urgency of a substantial budget allocation to peace-building due to the rising cases of conflict, including gender-based violence, rape, ethno-religious tensions, political unrest, farmer and herder battles, phone snatchings, and youth gangsterism, which are jeopardizing peace stability across the states.
He highlights the necessity for a separate budget for peace-building, aimed at training and retraining citizens on peace and unity in every state in the country.
Yakubu appeals to President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to allocate a significant portion of the 2024 budget to peace-building, especially in the North East, North West, and Southern parts of the country. Simultaneously, he calls on the Kaduna state government to revive Operation Yaki and equip them with the latest digital gadgets to combat insecurity in the state.
The Network of Peace Journalists equally urges state and federal governments to address the rising causes of price hikes in the market, including poverty, unemployment, corruption, and illiteracy.
There is need to be interpreting the annual budgets into local languages for every citizens to be acquinted with ,so as to carry every one along