NGOs laud Student Group for Challenging Extremism and Hate Speeches 

…. Promises to support campaign for 2018

By Our Reporter

Zaria – A non-government organization, Women Connect Initiative (WCI) on Tuesday lauded the “Peer-to-Peer Challenging Extremism” campaign recently concluded by a student group of the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Speak Out Act Right – SOAR, saying that WCI is set to support SOAR’s 2018 campaign.
Women Connect Initiative, a Kaduna based NGO, made this commendation during a courtesy visit to the Gender Policy Unit of Ahmadu Bello University. Whilst appreciating the efforts of the Unit in supporting women in enterprise development, education for rural girls and meaningful policy formulation for the university, the coordinator of WCI, Hajiya Murjanatu Suleiman-Shika stated that the “Challenging Extremism Campaign” organized by SOAR has succeeded in changing the mindset students had among and between themselves
“Our organization has closely followed the activities of a student group in this university that goes by the name, Speak Out Act Right – SOAR. We are told that SOAR operates under this Unit and that is why we chose to visit; to acknowledge the campaign and to show our readiness to support the campaign for 2018
“P2P: Challenging Extremism” is in the mouth of everyone. Reports from our researchers in Zaria show that the dominant narrative of ethnicity and religion is changing and we believe that such campaign should be sustained as we look forward to 2019 General elections. Our unity and peace is not negotiable and to build a peaceable society campaign of this size, along with their programs should be promoted”, she said.
In a similar vein, Dr Jamila Moh’d, coordinator, Professor Aliyu Mohammed Foundation (PAMF) noted that there is a shifting paradigm in Zaria where students now see themselves one irrespective of the divergent religions and sects within campus.
“Records show that over 76.7% of the university population have been reached through the activities of SOAR with another 63.2% reaching members of Samaru and Zaria communities. We cannot measure the impact this campaign has had on the internet because of our own limitations. However, we are satisfied with the impacts in our immediate community
“Students now see themselves in one another. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ibrahim Garba and university’s administration has done well to support this campaign within the university. The support from the community people has been massive as well. The campaign has exposed community members to the truths in humanity over religious teaching”, she said.
On her part, the director of Gender Policy Unit, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Dr Binta Abdulkarim acknowledged the visit and thanked the groups for identifying with the campaign which she noted is supported by Edventure Partners from the United States. She thanked the groups for promising to sustain the campaign via their support for the 2018 campaign.

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