Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has declared open a 2-day capacity building training for traditional rulers from across the state, aimed at entrenching the culture of peace and harmonious co-existence not only in the region but the country at large.
Engineer Sule declared the training session open on Monday, at the conference hall of the Ministry for Local Government, Community Development and Chieftaincy Affairs.
According to the Governor, the theme of the training, “Community Grievance Management Training for Traditional Rulers”, organised by the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT), in collaboration with the Middle Belt Brain Trust (MBBT), is in line with the commitment of his administration to support traditional rulers as key partners in the maintenance of peace and unity in the state.
While acknowledging the presence community leaders and other critical stakeholders in the security sector at the event, he added that, the theme is also in tandem with the policy thrust of the administration towards stemming the tide of insecurity not only in Nasarawa State but the North-central and the country at large.
Engineer Sule noted that traditional rulers play pivotal roles in maintaining peace and security, especially at the grassroots.
“This is why Government has continued to accord priority attention to the institution by providing the enabling environment for our Royal Fathers to contribute their quota to peaceful co-existence and societal development,” he said.
He described the training as timely, as it will provide technical capacity and support in the areas of leadership, alternative dispute resolution, ethics, do no harm principles, arbitration skills and how to design and improve community based dispute resolution mechanism for effective security coverage.
The Governor emphasized that, the training will further enhance the administration’s initiative, the community-based conflict resolution mechanism, which creates synergy among conventional security agents and community leaders such as traditional rulers, religious/opinion leaders, critical stakeholders and youths.
He used the opportunity to call on the participants to leverage on the training to add to their experiences on how to resolve disputes.
“It is my hope and expectation that the outcome of this training will add value in our continued commitment of finding solution to the menace of insecurity at the grassroots,” the Governor stated.
As part of the event, Engineer Sule launched a research report undertaken jointly by the IFIT and MBBT, tagged “Ending Violence in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, a Strategic Report on Nasarawa State”.
He said the report will add to the efforts of his administration towards tackling insecurity through sustained attention to matters that bother on security and active engagement of all stakeholders.
The Governor assured that government will study the report towards adopting its recommendations for the benefit of the people.
One of the conveners of the training and former Chief of Army Staff, Gen (rtd) Martin Luther Agwai, said the main focus of the training is on strengthening Nasarawa State community grievance management system as part of the community security structure, with traditional rulers as the first port of call.
Gen Agwai (rtd) commended the state government for showing sufficient commitment towards ensuring lasting peace and harmony, which cuts across all sectors, thereby strengthening the resolve of both the IFIT and MBBT to continue the search for peace and sustainable development.
“Our effort is to see how we resolve disputes and justice could be taken to the disadvantaged people in the rural areas, which could help prevent civil disorder,” he said.
In a goodwill message, Emir of Lafia, HRH Justice Sidi Muhammad Bage (rtd) and Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Chiefs, thanked the Governor for the initiative.
Represented at the event by the Emir of Keffi, HRH Dr Shehu Chindo Yamusa III, the royal father pointed out that there is no community that exists without conflict.
He emphasized that non handling of grievances could lead to unrest in communities which could increase the rate of gangsterism and indiscipline which can adversely affect the doctrine of social contract.