Gov. Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State has commended the efforts of Kaduna State Peace Commission in conflict prevention and peace building in the state.
The governor made the commendation in Kaduna on Wednesday, while declaring open a two-day workshop on “Early Warning Signals, Response and Conflict Prevention for Communities and Security’’.
The workshop was organised by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), in collaboration with the State Peace Commission and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).
Represented by Hajiya Hafsat Baba, the Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, the governor described the workshop as apt, saying that it would help prevent conflicts in many communities.
“This process of collection and analysis of information about potential and actual conflict situations as well as the provision of policy options to influential actors at all levels are welcome,” he said.
According to him, variety of activities and strategies, within the field of peace building, should be deployed to pre-empt and subsequently neutralise potential factors that trigger widespread violent conflicts.
“At a time like this, when the world is responding to a global pandemic and several events occurring after that, our hope is that these early warning signs to early actions are essential for the prevention and response to violence and the promotion of peaceful coexistence in the state.”
In her remarks, Mrs Priscilla Ankut, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Peace Commission, said that the workshop was designed to build the capacity of relevant stakeholders in peace-making, peace-building, conflict mitigation and prevention.
She said that the workshop was also to empower peace workers in undertaking peace works, mediation and negotiation across the state.
According to her, the purpose of the workshop is to develop as many stakeholders as possible to handle issues of mitigation, negotiation and mediation at state, local government and ward levels.
Ankut stressed that early warning and response signals were critical aspects of conflict prevention and management which could make mitigation easier and more effective in limiting conflicts.
She said that participants at the workshop were expected to draw the attention of responders and emergency service providers to the possibility of breakdown of peace, law and order in their environments in real time.
“Furthermore, communities will take ownership of whatever initiative the Peace Commission launches,” she added.
Ankut said that the commission would soon deploy a software application for people to report signs of potential conflict situations in their communities.
She said that the mobile application had a web-based component, an SMS and call-in capability that linked responders to the situation on the ground, adding that this would then be verified via GPS technology that supplied information on the reporter.
“Another feature of the application is the capacity to pick up information on reported tensions via the social media, using certain key words,’’ she added.