Dr Ozonnia Ojielo, UN Coordinator and Representative of the UN Secretary General in the Kyrgyz Republic, says security is not the only solution and agenda for peace building in Nigeria but only a countermeasure.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ojielo said this at a one-day seminar on: Agenda for Peace building in Nigeria on Monday, in Abuja.
According to Ojielo, issues that causes conflict do manifest as security challenges, but most of them are not security nature rather they stem from many driving factors like social, economic, environmental and even political problems.
Therefore, security is not the only solution to peace building in Nigeria.
“We know that it is important to say that the outset that conflict prevention and sustaining peace cannot be achieved through an approach driven mostly by security considerations.
“Though 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.
“Very often, the security approach should be the last option, rather than the first and easy option.
“So, if you have a social problem, you can’t use a tool box of security to address it,” Ojielo said.
He also noted that establishing a process for peace building in Nigeria is very important because one may not be able to solve it alone.
“In order to break the cycle of violence, an early warning mechanism should be adopted.
“One of this mechanism is technology. When people discern that violence is threatened, they should be able to call or send message to somewhere,
“Someone should be able to respond to that call and message immediately.
“The role of the IPCR in the development and implementation of a comprehensive and integrated approach to prevention and sustaining peace is crucial.” he said.
Ojielo also added that the timing of this discussion is appropriate because the various political parties are selecting candidates for various elective offices at state and national levels.
“I am hoping therefore, that this discussion will provoke a reflection among state actors on what’s working, not working and needs to change in the remaining period of the various administrations in the country.
“More importantly, it is my hope that our discussion today can help frame a new agenda for conflict prevention and sustaining peace for the incoming administrations in 2023.”
Ojielo also cautioned citizens to stop taking laws into their hands and trust the state actors to step in.
Earlier in his remarks, Dr Bakut Tswah Bakut, the Director General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, said that Nigeria needed to build peace presently and not just rely on solving it.
According to him, the country is tense and this tension creates agitation that leads to severe violence therefore, peace builders should step up and prevent the escalation of this agitations.(NAN)