Insecurity: Stakeholders, NEEM Foundation Launch Peace, Reconcilation Panel In Sokoto

Sokoto State Governor, Ahmed Aliyu
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From Ankeli Emmanuel, Sokoto

Stakeholders in Sokoto State have partnered a non-governmental organization (NGO), NEEM Foundation, to launch a community-led peace and reconcilation committee in the state as part of the Trans-Sahara Counter-Terrorism Project.

Recall that Sokoto is one of the states in the north affected by insecurity orchestrated through banditry, kidnapping, farmers/ herders crisis and other forms of crimes. 

Addressing stakeholders at the launch of Trans Sahara Counter-Terrorism (TSC) Early Warning and Early Response (EWER) tool at Sokoto Guest Inn, Programme Manager, TSC , Aishat Ibrahim, lamented that Nigeria was in the grips of diverse forms of challenges. 

Ibrahim said part of the most alarming challenges confronting Nigeria was that of insecurity 

According to her, the North Eastern axis of the country has been facing issues of unending terrorism through Boko Haram and others. The southern axis of Nigeria is bitterly experiencing kidnapping and armed robbery while North West and North Central are battling with banditry, kidnnaping, herders/farmers clashes, resulting in diverse forms of conflicts. 

Giving her submission on why community-based peace and conflict resolution is crucial to lasting peace, Ibrahim said violent and conflict of whatever nature have negative effect on both the active and non-active actors as they disrupt social cohession, increase mutual distrust and retard development. 

She added that to overcome some of these security challenges, aside setting up the community-based peace and reconciliation committee,  the EWER strategy should be deployed to elicit immediate response from different actors. 

In her welcome address, Sokoto State TSC) Programme Officer, Mrs. Comfort Abah, said the TSC project was aimed at building trust and increasing service provision in communities at risk of recruitment into violent extremism. 

She also hinted that TSC wa poised to provide positive alternatives such as economic empowerment, capacity building, entrepreneurship skills training and livelihood support for vulnerable women and youths at the risk of radicalization. 

Abah noted that the Community Peace and Reconciliatory Committee would, amongst other things, help identify causes of local grievinaces, identify current gaps, organize focus group discussions to scrutinize early warnings and profer early response capable of mitigating whatever that might deescalate to violent. 

In his security counsel, Sokoto State Commissioner of Police (CP) Ali Kaigama, represented by one of his Deputies, appealed to communities to be vigilant and report threats themselves rather than waiting for the media. 

Kaigama, who appealed for swift engagement of traditional and religious leaders towards recovery of arms in the hands of wrong people, affirmed that these respected leaders if genuinely engaged by the authority would unearth many things as they were the custodians of people in their jurisdictions. 

While appealing for the setting up of the Ministry of Traditional Leaders, Kagama also advocated the enlistment of representative of all ethnic groups resident in any place into local vigilnatee to help boost intelligent gathering and sharing. 

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