WASHINGTON, Jan. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- President Barack Obama recently announced a February White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism to highlight efforts to "prevent violent extremists and their supporters from radicalizing, recruiting, or inspiring individuals or groups in the United States and abroad to commit acts of violence."
The American University of Nigeria (AUN) and the AUN-Adamawa Peace Initiative (AUN-API) have successfully led efforts to forestall violence in Yola, Adamawa State in northeastern Nigeria. AUN-API brings together religious, community and sectarian leaders from the area. The result: youth in Yola have NOT joined Boko Haram, despite recruitment efforts in the area.
Following recent terrorist acts in Paris, Sydney, Ottawa and Baga, world leaders are uniting in their war on terrorism and radical fundamentalism. In calling for a Summit, the White House recognizes that these complex problems require understanding and supporting local peace building efforts. AUN/AUN-API provides an outstanding example that has worked in the heart of Boko Haram territory.
AUN/AUN-API have been providing humanitarian relief to 200,000 of the 400,000 IDPs who have fled violence and unrest in Yobe, Borno and northern Adamawa. AUN-API programs include Peace through Sports, and entrepreneurship, literacy and technology training. AUN is also educating 21 of the girls from Chibok who escaped the kidnapping by Boko Haram last spring.
Dr. Margee Ensign, President of AUN, leads numerous community and peace-building initiatives including AUN-API in northeastern Nigeria. A widely published scholar on international development, she has worked on the continent for fifteen years and has served as advisor to the Uganda and Rwanda government.
Imam Dauda Muhammad Bello, Head of Preaching and Guidance nationwide for Jama'atu Nasril Islam (Society for the Support of Islam), an umbrella group for all Nigerian Islamic organizations presided by the Sultan of Sokoto. He is the founder of a number of local schools including the University of Maiduguri Muslim Women's School.
Bishop Ransom Stephen, Adamawa State Coordinator and Northeast Assistant Regional Coordinator for Nigeria Prays, an international NGO with a reach of 50 million people founded and led by Nigeria's former head of state, Yakubu Gowon.
Turai Kidar, Director of Women and Adolescent Girls Empowerment, a northern Nigeria NGO supporting vulnerable women and identifying and removing young women from forced marriages
Dr. Lionel von Frederick Rawlins, Professor and Head of Security at AUN, is a former US Marine and has worked as a criminologist on counter-terrorist and peace-building efforts in Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle and Far East.
Imam Bello, Ms. Kidar and Bishop Stephen will join via video conference from Yola.
National Press Club, Lisagor Room
529 14th Street NW, Washington, DC
Thursday, January 15, 2015 at 10AM EDT
Video available: humanitarian relief efforts, interviews with escaped Chibok girls and B-roll of humanitarian relief trips.
INDIVIDUAL INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE
The event is open to accredited members of the press.
Conover + Gould Strategic Communications is sending this information on behalf of the American University of Nigeria. Additional information is on file with the Department of Justice, Washington DC.
SOURCE American University of Nigeria