From Melvin Uche , Maiduguri
British Council in conjunction with Managing Conflict In the Northeast Nigeria ( MCN ) with funding from the European Union, has trained Borno Traditional Rulers on Alternative Dispute Resolution ( ADR ) and conflict management.
The training programme which was rounded off during the Weekend at a-5 -day workshop in Maiduguri, emphasised on enhancing state and community level conflict management capability to prevent the escalation of conflict into violence in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.
Other areas discussed at the workshop include ; strengthening the capacity of conflict and security management actors and institutions; promoting reconciliation and stability in polarised conflict affected communities; providing support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence; enhancing community resilience through reorientation; reintegration and empowerment of young men and women; and influencing key decision-makers and opinion-formers through targeted research and advocacy among others.
Speaking during the workshop, Ibrahim Barkindo , a development consultant and expert on justice of the British Council, said the aim of the training workshop is to enhance capacity of traditional rulers towards Alternative Dispute Resolution ( ADR ) and conflict management.
“The training has been packaged in stages. Today , we are training 80 traditional rulers comprising district heads and ward heads. We have previously trained 160 traditional rulers from each of six emirates from States of Borno, Adamawa , and Yobe. In 2019, we trained 160 each in Dikwa emirate ,Gwoza ,Barde and Potiskum emirate in Yobe State; Ganye and Bachama Chiefdon in Adamawa state.
“We have trained their scribes on record keeping system. Now traditional rulers resolve dispute in more effective and more efficient manner. They have been capacitated on law ,human rights ,ADR skills and family law,” Barkindo said.
Meanwhile , a cross section of distrct heads who spoke at the workshop, expressed worry over lack of synergy, checks and balances between the traditional rulers and the security agencies, which they said is responsible for the persistent insecurity, rape cases, kidnapping and other forms of crimes.
According to Alhaji Abba Bukar ,the district head of Magumeri, the workshop has afforded a lot to them in terms dispute resolution within communities.
“We have learned a lot . As traditional rulers, we are very much close to the grassroots. This workshop has built our capacity on Alternative Dispute Resolution and how to manage conflict in our society. As community leaders ,these days ,we are handicapped as a result of lack of synergy between us and security agencies. But with this workshop , we hope for an improvement on working relationship with relevant agencies for a peaceful society.
Participants at the 5-day training programme also include district heads; Nigeria Police Force; Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; Upper Shari’a Court Judges; and Senior Magistrates from Maiduguri Magistrate Courts.