By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
The Community Initiatives to Promote Peace (CIPP) has commenced rigorous Interest Based Negotiation and Mediation (IBNM) training of a select group of local leaders in Plateau State, especially regarding the farmer-herdsmen crises and communities with high communal crises.
The aim of the programme is to strengthen the leaders’ capacity to mitigate conflicts at risk communities which has caused devastating consequences on development, democracy, security, economy, human life and climate.
The concept note read: “This programme is building the capacity of local actors, religious and community leaders to resolve disputes in an inclusive manner; using the Interest-Based Negotiation and Mediation (IBNM) approach.
“This activity will strengthen the ability of local actors, community leaders and local government officials to effectively resolve disputes before they escalate and build relationships among conflicting groups.
“Proceeds of this activity will also contribute to the UN’s SDG 16 of peace, justice and strong institutions in Nigeria and across the entire globe. This round of training is directed at male and female community and opinion leaders from across selected local government areas in Jos, Plateau State and will be conducted in separate male and female batches to allow free participation.
Mercy Corps Deputy Chief of Party for Community Initiative for Peaceful Coexistence, Sani Suleiman, in his remarks, said the overall focus of the programme is to also understand the efforts the communities are making to resolve their problems and to boost their endeavours in that respect.
Suleiman maintained that the essence of strengthening community mediation is to check little crises and resolved it before it snowball into big crises crises that will claim lives and properties.
According to him, the community members suffering from the impact of the crises should be the ones to be engaged and not the ones speaking English on television about communal crises that more or less has no impact on them.
Suleiman said the programme has multiple stages, adding that the programme is implemented in North Central and North West states.
The CIPP is funded by USAID is through a consortium, led by Mercy Corps, including the African Radio Drama Association (ARDA), Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC), Pastoral Resolve (PARE) and Savannah Center for Diplomacy Democracy and Development (SCDDD).