Youth Coalition against Terrorism (YOCAT) is a volunteer-based youth organization working to unite youth against violent extremism in north-eastern Nigeria. YOCAT is a coalition of students, lawyers, health care professionals, educators, development workers, and most importantly, all dedicated young activists between 18 to 29 years. It was founded by Imrana Alhaji Buba on 12th August 2010 in Maiduguri, Borno state (one of the hotspots of Boko Haram insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria).
It is affiliate member of the International Action Against Terrorism (IYAAT) and the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (UN MGCY). The main aim of YOCAT is to weaken the appeal of violent extremism in north-eastern Nigeria, through organizing enlightenment and empowerment programs for young people, and amplifying the voices of the victims of terrorism.
•To unite youth against violent extremism through counter-radical peace education programs in schools and villages.
•To conduct training programs and workshops periodically against terrorism, so that various stakeholders working against terrorism can interact and find solution to the menace.
•To dialogue social inclusion agendas at every possible level as goals in themselves, recognizing that success in this area, especially on youth employment could help further in reducing marginalization and the subsequent sense of victimization that gives room for terrorism and extremism.
Because most terror-groups recruits villagers, we visits villages regularly to meet with their youth organizations and village heads to explain the negative effects of religious extremism and terrorism , how to be security conscious and how to assist the security agencies to win the war against terrorism. Also, we offer counseling services to the victims of terrorism, so that frustration and hopelessness would not force them to join the terrorists.
Many of the students that survived Boko Haram attacks are likely to suffer severe emotional trauma. Left unchecked, many of these students will grow up believing that violence is the only solution to coping, and as a result, many of them become vulnerable to extremist viewpoints. The objective of our Peace Education and Mentorship for Students (PEMS) program is to enable these students learn how to better cope with emotional trauma, reject violence, respect one another, and to embrace the values of peace in their everyday living.
The emergence of the insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria led to the deployment of large number of security personnel. But in 2013, a conspiracy theory emerged that the security agencies are the ones carrying out the attacks. This conspiracy theory was compounded by the fact that most of the terrorists wear military uniforms. To address this conflict, we organize many town hall meetings with the representatives of security agencies in attendance so as to promote understanding and friendly civil-military relations.
In order to minimize the problems of education suffered by many students in Yobe and Borno states (were 115 schools were completely destroyed, while 139 schools were partially touched), we come up with the idea of “My TV-My school” initiative in November 2014. The initiative aims to teach all primary school subjects through the use of Televisions and DVD players. We produced all the subjects of each primary school class (year) in DVD plates and distributed them free-of-charge.
Malam Usman Abbas, a younger brother to late Prof. Aliyu Usman Mani, who was killed during a suicide bomb attack at the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), has said Abubakar Shekau is a “dead man waiting to go to hell”. Usman stated this in an open letter to Abubakar Shekau, factional leader of the Boko Haram […]
Lords of Misrule by Joel Hirst is the first literary novel I have read that reflects the motivations and consequences of Jihadist movements in the post-colonial Africa. Being a Muslim and living in the hotspot of the Boko Haram insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria, I find a lot of familiar events in the book. Lords of […]
The Nigerian Army yesterday said troops on Operation Lafiya Dole in the North-Eastern part of Nigerian intercepted fleeing Boko Haram members with 100 motorbikes. A statement by Army spokesman, Brigadier General Sani Usman said following the dislodgement and subsequent occupation of Boko Haram stronghold at Camp Zairo, Sambisa Forest, the terrorists have been escaping the […]
The State Security Service, SSS, said on Tuesday that its operatives arrested 13 Boko Haram suspects in various parts of Nigerian including Lagos State. In a report by Tony Opuiyo on behalf of the agency, the secret service said its operatives on January 10 in Oko Oba area of Lagos State arrested four suspected fleeing […]