Understanding UN, NSSG, UNDP efforts to curb conflict in Nasarawa

From Francis Nansak,Lafia

Following the determination of the present administration in Nasarawa state under the leadership of the governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, at ensuring lasting peace and unity of the state citizenry, relevant stakeholders of international repute have supported the drive for peace among the various ethnic groups of the state.

Despite the high level of kidnapping, robbery and the latest being the murder of the APC chairman ,Mr Philip Tatare, who was gruesomely killed near his residence by a dozen of unidentified gunmen, the move to bring peace and security in Nasarawa state has remained topmost in the administration of Governor, Abdullahi Sule.

The Authority reports that in the midst of these inhuman acts, the state government is not in deterred, but has continued to forge ahead on how best to return peace and security to Nasarawa state for the sake of progress and development.

Government efforts can best be demonstrated in the plethora of interventions, the latest being a collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for a one day stakeholders sensitisation on Early Warning and Response on Peace and Security of the state.

In in practical attempt at resolving the recurring impasse, the state government assembled local government officials, traditional rulers, religious leaders, farmers and herders together at the conference hall of the Local Government, Chieftaincy and Rural Development, ministry on Thursday in Lafia, the Nasarawa state capital.

Declaring open the workshop on behalf of the governor, special adviser to the governor on NGOs and Development Partners to the governor, Munirat Abdullahi, welcomed participants on the presentation of the Conflict Early Warning and Early Response System (C-EWERS)

The Governor said the workshop is a collaborative development project of the Nasarawa State Government and the United Nations, geared towards peace building.

He pointed out that C-EWERS is a component of a broader project; The integrated Approach to Building Peace in Nigeria’s Herders-Farmers Conflict, stating further that the UN entities involved in this initiative are the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), United Nations Women and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Governor Sule added that The UNDP is the UN’s Global Development Network which seeks to promote technical investment cooperation among nations and advocates for change and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life for themselves.

“His Excellency is very particular about ensuring peace and security in Nasarawa State. As this commitment is demonstrated in several deliberate steps he has taken and continues to take towards safeguarding the lives and properties of the people of Nasarawa State.

“This program is one of such engagements that serves as a follow up to series of high-level dialogues held between the UN and representatives across traditional institutions, religious organizations, security agencies, government officials including the executive, legislative, judiciary and other civil society organizations in the state,” he said

The several components of the project include a proposed Peace Building Agency in Nasarawa State that would harness and consolidate the knowledge gathered through engagements with the traditional institutions, civil society, Local, State and Federal Governments as well as International Partners.

” I urge us all to observe carefully what the presenters will put before us and participate actively through questions, observations and suggestions,” Governor Sule added.

And in a separate interview, the senior special assistant to the governor on Conflict Resolution, Engineer Moses Otundu, called on all citizens of Nasarawa state to key into the governor’s vision of building peace, unity and progress of all without variances.

According to him, the state government under the leadership of governor Abdullahi Sule is not mincing words on achieving peace and the unity of Nasarawa state people, hence the need to drop all provocations tendencies and tolerate one another.

“Let me urge our farmers and herders to live in peace by deliberately creating a conducive atmosphere in the interest of one another and stop taking the law into their hands,” Otundu pleaded.

Meanwhile, United Nation’s Women on Tuesday and Wednesday took focal persons of various MDAs and civil society organisations on a sensitization workshop for the implementation of State Action Plan , purported at ending conflict and violence against women and girls.

The UN women programme Analyst, peace and security, Mrs Olubukola Ademola Adeyeli, said the aim of the workshop was to further educate the various relevant stakeholders on the importance of implementing the SAP document in Nasarawa state.

Olubukola pointed out that the UN women is working with the federal government and Nasarawa state government to achieve zero level of violence against women and girls in conflict situation.

She however applauded the Nasarawa state government for the recent launched of the SAP document, urging that women and girls be included in decision making in resolving conflict in the society.

Having this volume of strategy by the government and foreign partners, who have demonstrated willingness to ensuring peace and security in Nasarawa state, the various securities’ formations in the state, need to be up and doing in the discharged of their duty that can further boost government dream of a peaceful state.

The recent killing of the state APC chieftain, was one slap on the face of the security that most not be repeated, Governor Sule after expressing shocked over the gruesome murder of his party chairman, summoned an emergency security meeting, pledging to boost their operations with provision of more vehicles and logistics.

Nasarawa state can be safe from crime and criminality, if the government, the security and citizens will take seriously the views of the United Nations and it entities.

The Authority reports that participant at the 2 days’ workshop on Ending violence and conflict against women and girls appreciated the UN women and the Nasarawa state government.

Mrs Justina Ali, the gender focal person in the state ministry of justice, said the workshop was apt in time,since the SAP was launched in the state, it was lying fallow, but in the course of the workshop ,it has opened her knowledge to know that as an individual ,she need to know her time frame work on ensuring the implementation of the document.

She called on the public to be aware that gone are the days where a man wakes up and start beating his wife as there is now a law in place which is against such act or behaviour, despite the repugnant cultural backgrounds.

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