By Ochiaka Ugwu
Stakeholders on peace building across the nation has been urged to always work towards stopping violent conflict from escalating by applying all means within the law to prevent it from taking root.
This was made known Monday by Director General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Dr Bakut Tswah Bakut during a One-Day-Seminar on Agenda for Peace Building in Nigeria organized by the Institute in Abuja.
Bakut noted that peace agenda should be the issue now as the nation needs to be at peace through the engagement of its peoples by peace stakeholders by way of peace building and mainstreaming processes.
In a keynote address delivered by United Nations Resident Coordinator and Representative of the United Nations Secretary General in the Kyrgyz Republic, Dr. Ozonnia Ojielo, he noted the topic under discussion has become absolutely necessary given the fact the nation was engaged in armed internal PK in majority of the states.
Ojielo said it means the mechanisms for amicable and peaceful resolution of differences and conflicts have frayed or are not working.
He said the global indexes that measure peace, security, stability, economic factors and governance had placed Nigeria as performing poorly or not performing well on their respective indexes.
He stated they refer to rule of law, security and human rights challenges, poor cohesion, challenges to state legitimacy, poor public service provisioning, economic decline, uneven development, flight of human capital, internal displacement, uneven development, management of our demographic challenges, etc.
He informed that nation’s woes were well known which leave us to direct discussions on solution building instead of finger pointing.
His words, “Through research evidence, analyzing more than 20 case studies, some clear patterns emerge in the experience of countries that have addressed conflict risks early, prevented violence escalation, and/or avoided recurrence. While the strategies vary by context, three overarching elements emerge as important:
“First, prevention efforts were generally nationally led and addressed some critical, immediate risks. National actors may be state or non-state actors, groups or individuals, and formal or informal leaders. It is national actors who can make meaningful changes that address underlying grievances, though international support can also be critical.
“Second, whether before or after violence, all countries addressed grievances related to power, services, security, and resources. They directly addressed grievances through changing incentives of actors, investments, and medium term and longer-term institutional reforms.
“Third, effective prevention involved the formation of coalitions—local to global, government and nongovernmental, public and private—to ensure that prevention, like conflict, was a collective effort” he said.