IPCR In Search For Solution To Conflict, Set Agenda For Peacebuilding In Nigeria

The Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) has put modality in place to address conflict in the country.

To this end, it has organized a one-day seminar on “agenda for peacebuilding in Nigeria.”

In his opening remarks, the Director General of IPCR, Dr. Bakut T. Bakut, said that what the nation need at this moment is to build peace.

He expressed concern over the situation in Nigeria, noting that although the country is not at war, but the nation is tensed.

He pointed out that tensed situation usually creates agitations that lead to severe violent conflicts.

Explaining the best way to build peace, Dr. Bakut said, “those in peacekeeping operations, peace enforcement talk about peace and they think that peacebuilding is after the war.”

He added that “peace building starts even before the war and walks through even during the war and after the war. What peace builders do is to try and prevent the escalation of those severe agitations that will lead to violence.”

The Guest Speaker at the occasion, Dr. Ozonnia Ojielo, who is the United Nations Resident Co-ordinator and Representative of the UN Secretary General in the Kyrgyz Republic, said that Nigeria has been rated low in all the global indexes that measure peace and stability.

He said: “All the global indexes that measure peace, security, stability, economic factors and governance have placed Nigeria as performing poorly or not performing well on their respective indexes.”

Explaining how peace can be achieved and how to prevent conflict, Ojielo said, “It is important to say at the outset that conflict prevention and sustaining peace cannot be achieved through an approach driven mostly by security considerations.

“Security provisioning is important especially when violence is threatened or is occurring. However, it needs to be borne in mind that a security driven approach should be only one component of a much larger integrated approach to conflict management and resolution. Many of the driving factors in conflict formation have social and economic underpinnings but manifest as security challenges.

“Very often, the security approach should be the last option, rather than the first and easy option. The role of the IPCR in the development and implementation of a comprehensive and integrated approach to prevention and sustaining peace is crucial and I will come back to this in my concluding remarks.

“The structural foundation for sustainable peace is that states intentionally pursue policies that promote and sustain cohesion, that increase the material well-being of
people, that foster inclusive political and economic regimes and that leverage the history of peaceful relations and cooperation among the constituent groups.

“Sustaining peace is a design effort. It doesnt occur by chance or happenstance.

“There are many risk factors and opportunities that influence trajectories of pathways, and some of them include: horizontal inequalities; inclusive approaches (collaborative
leadership), preventing recurrence, access to justice and security, access to power (coalition building), access to land and natural resources, macro-fiscal stability etc.”

Dr. Ozonnia Ojielo
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