IPCR’s Peace Academy: Nigeria’s Truncheon Of Annihilating Adverse Sentiments
In a deliberate move to fulfilling parts of its mandate as contained in its Establishment Act Number 34 of 2007, the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) which was established in the year 2000 by the Nigerian Government consequently set up the National Peace Academy (NPA).
The rationale for the NPA predicated on the fact that conflict is intrinsic in human society and in its worst, is violence which negatively affects individuals, communities, social groupings, institutions and the larger society - the nation states; its unconstructiveness results in loss of human lives, destruction of property, general insecurity and economic losses causing untold hardship. Knowledge and skills are as well fundamental therefore, for human persons to manage challenges of conflicts and insecurity. The quest for peace has led to series of studies and researches culminating into various conflict-solving trainings.
IPCR in the first place was established to conduct in-depth researches on peace, security and conflict issues, provide quality advice to the federal and state governments, and the designing of intervention strategies for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in Nigeria and Africa.
In order to build Nigeria’s and indeed Africa’s capacity in the areas of peace-building, peacemaking and peace enforcement, conflict prevention and management - all these forming parts of IPCR’s intervention strategies, the NPA introduced Conflict Resolution, or Management Courses. It is worth mentioning that security personnel, top government officials, the media and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) among others have since key-into these certificated courses to acquire requisite skills of mainstreaming peace in their interventions and activities.
Perhaps launching into the continental rostrum to open up access for all Africa countries as indicated in its mandate, the IPCR through its NPA has in collaboration with the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) commenced training of foreign countries; the training is on African Peace-building Innovation for Change - West Africa Skills Training for Youth-led CSOs.
Twenty-three (23) participants from Ghana and Cameroon on the sponsorship of ISS have already started a 2 weeklong course at IPCR in Abuja with some Nigerian participants; 6 Ghanaians, 6 Nigerians, and 11 Cameroonians. The course is being run with the ISS’s African Centre for Peace Studies and Training. The IPCR-ISS partnership is to build capacities for peace promotion and conflict mitigation in order to reel out many ambassadors of peace across West Africa and Africa as a whole in way that will reconfigure people’s mentality towards appreciating regional and ethno-religious tolerance. The youths who represent the future of every country must conscientiously be made to imbibe the spirit of tolerance for a more peaceful and stable state; every policy in Nigeria, West Africa and in the entire continent must become a driver for this to be achieved.
I quite agree with the Director General of IPCR, Professor Oshita O. Oshita who while addressing participants of the course pointed out that African youths need programming experience to prepare them towards contributing usefully as game changers in the continent, and that it was high time for African’s Governments to ensure that the capacity of the youths be developed so that they would fit well into leadership responsibility for the good of Africans and the world. Speaking in the same vein, the Programme Manager for ISS’s African Centre for Peace Studies and Training, Mrs. Golda Keng disclosed that ISS is a Pan-African think-tank-and-do, but non-profit organization that has been involved in improving human security in Africa and the attention on the youths is paramount.
ISS has been working with UN, AU, Governments, strategic agencies and civil societies among others to impact policy change, better skills and accountability in Africa. It has been in the business of training the police, investigators, judicial workers, peace builders on conflict analysis and prevention.
IPCR and ISS are in partnership to promote peace, robust human security and better delivery in Nigeria and Africa. The partnership is an indication that IPCR is already being appreciated, and seen as Nigeria’s truncheon of annihilating adverse sentiments from the minds of the people of Nigeria and Africa.
It is the more reason why Dr. Bose Awodola, the Coordinator of the Peace Academy enjoined state governments and organizations as well as individuals in the country to avail themselves the opportunity provided by IPCR to train themselves and their employees in order to mainstream peace generally in our entire system for us to attain enviable peace, national unity and sustainability.