*expert says all hands must be on deck for the entrenchment of peace
By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Nextier, an international development consulting firm based in Nigeria which uses evidence-based research and policy in developing and building knowledge and skills for governing the society, has a core work of ensuring Security, peace, and development (SPD) in communities facing security challenges.
The Nextier inline with its mandate, organised a dissemination event for entrenching peace, assessing community resilience, and peacebuilding initiative in the Northeast-Nigeria project.
The event invited critical stakeholders in ensuring peace in the society at Jimeta Yola with support from the British council and European Union-funded managing conflict in the North-East Nigeria project (MCN) and discussed a way forward for peace entrenchment in the North East.
Nextier SPD, organizers of the event through its Senior Policy and Research Analyst, Ndidi Anyanwu revealed that peacebuilding initiative is one of the organisation’s vision, and it collaborates with the British Council, Managing conflict in Nigeria (MCN) to ensure peace is entrenched in the Northeast region of Nigeria.
According to her, Nextier’s work is directed at enhancing human security, peace and sustainable development as a means to achieve stability and prosperity in Nigeria and in the African region.
The event which brought together stakeholders that include religious leaders, security agencies, traditional leaders, and the media, contributed immensely on the way forward for lasting peace in the region.
An expert in Peacebuilding, peacemaking from the Department of Peace and Conflict Resolution, Modibbo Adama University (MAU) Yola, Dr. Saheed Owonikoko said the issue of security is everyone’s business.
Saheed revealed this in a paper he presented, depicting that peace in Nigeria’s societies is the work of all well meaning citizens and must not be left in the hands of a few.
“All hands must be on deck for North East to regain its peaceful atmosphere.” He said.
Saheed while giving the background of his paper, said that the North Eastern part of Nigeria as one of the six geopolitical zones in the country, is an essential part of the Northern Region, and has transformed significantly since independence in 1960 till date.
He expressed worries that the activities of insurgents in the name of Boko Haram still in control of some communities in Borno and Yobe are making the region less attractive to investors and other well-meaning individuals in the world.
“For about ten years, this region has been locked in fierce insurgency and terrorism. This has led to the death of over 3.5 million people and displaced over 2 million people. Some of these people are displaced within and outside Nigeria.
“The decade long crisis in the region has also brought about the dire humanitarian crisis in the affected areas with about 10.6 million people needing urgent assistance,” Saheed said.
Chairman, Adamawa State chapter of the Muslim Council of Nigeria, Alhaji Gambo Jika reiterated his views that justice is what will give birth to peace, and whenever there is injustice it produces crisis and people feel the absence of peace.
“Peace is the presence of justice. Whenever peace misses in a particular society, certainly there is no justice in that society.” He said
He enjoined authorities concerned to treat everyone equal within the ambit of law.
According to him, unfair treatment at the expense of the law is what is bringing injustice and lack of peace in the society.