DG IPCR, Prof. Oshita presenting a copy of the 2016 Strategic Conflict Assessment (SCA) of Nigeria to the VC, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Ahaneku.
Recently, the Director General of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Professor Oshita Osang Oshita led a high-level advocacy team to Anambra State shortly before its November 18 gubernatorial contest. The team included the Institute’s Director of External Conflict Prevention and Resolution (ECPR), Dr. Bakut t. Bakut; Director of Internal Conflict Prevention and Resolution (ICPR), Mr. Peter Opara; and the Director of Democracy and Development Studies (DDS), Barrister Gabriel Jiya. The management team was accompanied by the Coordinator of the Conflict Early Warning and Early Response (CEWER) for South East Zone, Mrs. Amaka Uzordinnma; and the Media Assistant to the Director General/IPCR’s RIO, Mr. Abu I. Michael.
In many aspects, the Anambra State advocacy visit is a very important one for the people of the South East and Nigeria as a whole. Socio-politically, the state is strategically situated in the South East geopolitical zone; it is one of the major economic/commercial rendezvouses in the country, and it also doorknobs the activities of separatist agitators in Nigeria.
The advocacy visit aimed at strengthening the Institute’s campaign against any acts that may prompt violence, and secondly to enable IPCR engage critical stakeholders in Anambra State for a collaboration generating ideas of dealing with separatist agitations in a most rewarding manner for people of the South East and Nigeria, and enhance peaceful coexistence across that may encourage viable structures for national unity. The visit was also to afford the IPCR management firsthand information on the maximization of the CEWER in order to boost proactive appropriate security operations in Anambra State and the South East geopolitical zone.
General interactions with critical stakeholders in the state and the engagement with the authority of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU) for us at the IPCR reveal the yearnings of the Anambra people and the Southeasterners for peaceful coexistence guaranteeing the hope for a more united Nigeria. Discussions between the Director General of the Institute, Professor Oshita Osang Oshita and the Vice Chancellor of NAU, Professor Joseph E. Ahaneku were promising.
In the upcoming weeks, IPCR and NAU will be signing the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for their engagements. In 2018, the duo will be rolling out events for hosting of International Conference on peaceful coexistence and national unity. In the words of Professor Ahaneku, the conference will help the duo harvest ideas that are pragmatic in tackling situations that are threatening peaceful coexistence in Nigeria and national cohesion. He said Nigeria needs IPCR now than ever, and that the Government must accord it the required support for peacebuilding and conflict mitigation activities among other interventions that will encourage tolerance and harmonious living for Nigeria to advance. He then promised to support the activities of the IPCR towards finding lasting solutions to the conflicts and insecurity situations disrupting the peace of the South East Nigeria.
Professor Oshita Oshita stressed the need for institutions of Government to appreciate the essence of synergy towards providing the energies needed to address our socioeconomic challenges such as the pastoralists-herders’ clash, activities of ethnic militias, separatist agitations, kidnapping, armed robberies, insurgency and acts of terrorism among other insecurity issues would be x-rayed and recommendations and supports required to arrest them will be provided for the Government.
At the request of the NAU Vice Chancellor, Professor Oshita pledged to ensure the takeoff of the Peace and Strategic Studies course at the Peace and Conflict Resolution Centre of the University in no distant time. While commending the commitment of the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Ahaneku towards durable peace in the geopolitical zone and in one united Nigeria, and for providing an office for the Conflict Early Warning and Early Response (CEWER), Oshita said the IPCR management would train the Director of the Peace and Conflict Resolution Centre and do all that is necessary in order to maximize the facilities of the CEWER.
Earlier, the Director of Internal Conflict Prevention and Resolution, Mr. Peter Opara who oversees the operations of CEWERs across the country during which the Director General of the Institute was inspecting facilities of the CEWER situated at the Peace and Conflict Resolution Centre in the Faculty of Law of the University said that the CEWER is expected to interface with the National Hub in picking up early warning signals, collate data for proper analysis of the nature, trend and pattern of a specific conflict that could be registered on the IPCR data-base since each state’s conflict may be peculiar. He further noted that the proper analysis of a conflict situation will help in generating response options that would be made available to relevant authorities.
The Director General and his team was conducted round the CEWER facilities by the Director of the Centre, Dr. Obioma Helen Onyi-Ogelle.