Wednesday, August 31, 2016 5:29 pm
Some people from the Northeast zone have urged traditional rulers and Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) in the Southwest to do everything possible to avoid the type of crisis currently in the northeast.
Speaking in Ibadan at a workshop on “Conflict Prevention, Tolerance, Peaceful Coexistence and Alternative Dispute Resolutions for traditional rulers and CSOs in Southwest”, the speakers urged the rulers to promote tolerance.
A woman leader from the Northeast, Dr Hannatu Ibrahim, decried the condition of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and described it as pathetic.
“I come from the Northeast region where there is Boko Haram crisis; women are dying, our children cannot go to school and our men cannot go to the farm.
“My heart bleeds because some of the IDPs have one meal per day and you need to see how they are struggling to get the one meal.
“The one meal, sometimes, they have it at about 4 p.m. The IDPs challenges are huge and we don’t want any more violent conflicts in our country,” she said.
Ibrahim, a Second Republic Commissioner for Information in Bauchi State, challenged traditional rulers and CSOs to always keep their domains crisis-free as violence did no good.
“We must tolerate and accommodate one another and say no to those who are using politics to cause crises for their own selfish interests.
“You (royal fathers) are our parents; traditional leaders have a way traditionally of judging issues and solving problems; if you say no to conflicts, there will be no conflicts.
“God Has endowed you with the wisdom to govern your domain; be a father to all and never allow politics to infiltrate into your roles,” she advised.
Alhaji Abba Modu from Borno urged southwest leaders to jealously guard the peace they enjoyed in the zone and never take it for granted.
Modu, an IDPs Protection Monitor volunteer – UN Development Programme-funded volunteer group, blamed insurgency in the northeast partly on a breakdown in communication between the citizens and their leaders.
“I am from Borno, the hitherto Home of Peace but now devastated by Boko Haram crisis.
“With the respect given to the traditional rulers, if the royal fathers are able to maintain and sustain it, there will never be violent conflicts in their domains.
“There is peace in the southwest but the leaders should not relax in their palaces because Boko Haram has been degraded and they are now moving to the south.”
Dr Shatu Garba from Gombe commended the peaceful nature of the communities in the southwest and urged the leaders not to rest on their oars to prevent crisis in their communities.
Shata, who is President, Rotary Club of Greenwich, London, said; “my husband was killed, the house he built for me and the children was destroyed and the children’s certificates were destroyed.
“I am happy that the situation in Southwest is peaceful but ‘prevention is better than cure’; Boko Haram members are displaced and they are going from one place to another.
“They are trying to recruit; so the youth in our communities in the Southwest should be careful of whom they associate with.
“Being the leaders of the communities, the traditional rulers should educate their subjects on the dangers of crises because they are respected and their subjects listen to them.”
Mr Emmanuel Mamman, Deputy Director, Research, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, organisers of the workshop, said the Northeast participants were brought to Ibadan to share their insurgency experiences with others.
“These people from the Northeast have been from the Boko Haram enclave and they have seen the destructions caused by the insurgency.
“We brought them to share experiences with the Southwest participants to know that the cost of prevention is cheaper than the cost of solving violence when it breaks out,” he said. (NAN)