It is no news that we have had recurrent cases of inter-cult/gang clashes within the state and at different locations, as well as the use of violence among some youths and students in the state and across the federation. In some cases this has led to death, bodily harm and injury with some been disfigured for life.
Every life is worth living and our youths deserve to live in peace and harmony among themselves. The implication of a peaceful society to the family in particular and to the tourism/investment drive of the Government of Cross River State/Nigeria cannot be over emphasised.
Therefore, the state government under the leadership of Senator Professor Ben Ayade is determined to put an end to cultism and violence in Cross River/Nigeria and to achieve this, proactive and out of the box measure is been taken to address same.
The state is launching an anti-cultism and non-violence campaign which will involve but not limited to:
- Road walk and sensitization on the negative effect of cultism.
- Provision of contacts for counseling, in security threat or emergency situation.
- Presentations from various stakeholders on dispute resolutions, effects of cultism and violence etc
- Provide platforms for denouncing cultism and sharing of experience of past members etc.
- Interactive sessions, essay competitions, reading and comprehension exercises.
- Setting up of anti-cultism and non-violence team to handle, act as an intermediary and counsel on related issues on and off campus comprising of school and state security personnel and other stakeholders etc.
- Possible legislation to end violence amongst youths and in our tertiary institutions while also encouraging reading.
It is in line with deepening the peace in the state and putting an end to cultism and violence among youths/students of the state that this initiative is launched.
While also giving students and youths an alternative to the best future which is a “BOOK” -THE PROJECT BACK TO BOOK INITIATIVE.
Readers are leaders and readers are those that positively shape the world, throughout the history of man nowhere have we had civilization and advancement of humanity without corresponding knowledge derived from reading books and the application of the said knowledge.
In Africa, nay Nigeria, it is widely acclaimed that reading amongst our population is becoming unpopular especially with the advent of social media and the internet.
Therefore, there’s a need to embark on an intensive campaign to restore reading habit amongst the populace.
The “Back to Book Project” is launched as a means to not only encourage a positive reading culture amongst our populace but to make reading part of our daily lives.
This initiative will ensure the following:
- Youths/students have access to books.
- Youths/students utilize the library and effectively too.
- A pledge is made by youths/students in the state to read a book for at least two (2) hours daily.
- Provide a compass and contact of libraries within the state to ensure utilization by the public.
- Provide support for and reactivate book, readers and literary clubs in the state etc
The program is in two phases and would be replicated across the three (3) Senatorial districts of the State, commencing from the Southern Senatorial District:
PHASE ONE (SHORT TERM TARGET) – DAY ONE
The organization of a road walk/sensitization rally against cultism within the state capital and also distribution of educational materials on the menace of cultism as well as relevant contacts in cases of dispute resolution, security or emergency circumstances.
This exercise will be carried out within Calabar Municipality and its environment.
DAY TWO – PART ONE
Inspirational/motivational sessions involving student leaders, youth groups, community/traditional leaders
- Presentations (From the Traditional Institutions, Academic Institution, Student and Youth Groups as well as Individuals) And Group Discussions
- Denouncing Cultism and Prayer Session
- Paper Presentations Etc.
SHORT/LONG TERM PLAN
- Ensure successful host of the non violence and anti-cultism sensitization and stakeholders’ forum and back to book initiative.
- The committee will partner with relevant stakeholders and set up a non violence and anti-cultism team in relevant institutions across the state.
- Ensure a buy in and implementation of the Project Back to Book Initiative by the populace.
- Distribute flyers and display signs for around the clock contact for counseling, emergency situation and appraisal in cultism and violent related matters.
- Work towards providing a bill for legislation to end violence among youths and our academic institutions.
- Organize annual literary competitions and give academic incentives to encourage academic activities in the state.
MEMBERS OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE
- Prince Michael Nku Abuo, JP – Chairman
- Ken Edet – Vice Chairman
- Ogar Helen Osie – Secretary
- Cyril Iso Akiba – Member
- Miss Doris Etta Nkom – Member
- Egbelo Ntebri Edward – Member
- Prince Ekanem Ekpo – Member
- Hope Obeten – Member
- Maurice Ekpeyong (Don Morphy) – Member
- Office Of The Deputy Governor Of Cross River State
- The Vice Chancellor, University Of Calabar
- The Vice Chancellor Cross River University Of Science And Technology
- The Provost, College Of Health Technology
- The Provost, College Of Education Obudu/Akamkpa
- Ministry Of Niger Delta
- Ministry Of Education, CRS/Federal
- Ministry Of Information, CRS/Federal
- Commissioner of Youths And Sports
- AIG/Commissioner Of Police
- House Committee Chair on Education State And Federal
- The State Security Adviser
- Paramount Ruler Of Calabar Municipality
- Member Representing Calabar Municipality In The House Of Assembly
- Conflict Resolution Office
- The State and National Library,
- Operation Scolombo Task Force
- Micro-Finance and Enterprise Development Agency
- Corporate Organizations
Signed: Prince Michael Nku Abuo, JP
Special Assistant Student Affairs and Youth Mobilization