SECURITY STRENGTHEN SOCIAL COHESION

SECURITY STRENGTHEN SOCIAL COHESION

BY TAJUDEEN A. TIJJANI

The security challenges facing the country over the past six years have put all Nigerians on their toes and something urgent must be done to arrest the situation. It is regrettable that for the past many years, the nation has witnessed one crisis too many across the entire country on either religious or communal rifts which have claimed lives and property.

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It is against this backdrop, that Nigerians must rethink that approach to peace and peaceful co-existence as a whole in order to strengthen social cohesion, thus reducing tension and conflict in society and accelerating national development. For any nation to move forward in today’s competitive global economy, peace remains a crucial ingredient.

Worried by the development and effect of the insecurity across the country, Traditional and Religious leaders meet in Kaduna last Monday to inaugurate a Board of a newly created Centre for Peace and Reconciliation (CPR) comprising of five Muslim and Christian leaders across the country.

Sultan of Sokoto, and President General of Jamatul Nasir Islam (JNI), Alhaji Saa’d Abubakar who performed the inauguration of the Board members appreciated the existence of such other organizations and added that the new organization was is established to supplement their efforts and that of the government on the need for peaceful co-existence among all Nigerians.

Sultan Saa’d Abubakar who was supported by the President of Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), Most Rev Emmanuel Josiah Udofia explained the rationale behind the establishment of the new centre that the situation of insecurity has almost stifled the development of the country, and this has made the formation of the new centre a necessity. There is also the compelling need to strengthen those in existence in order to work together to achieve the same goals. They also believe that the more the merrier for such organizations to exist at this time in the history of our country to preach peace and peaceful, co-existence, adding that there was the need for the intervention of religious and traditional leaders.

President of CCN, the Most Reverend Emmanuel Josiah Udofia who is also a Co-Chairman of the Centre said the new Centre was is not established to confront other organizations on peace advocacy but to work as a team with any other similar organizations already in existence.

The Most Reverend Udofia believed that the daunting tasks before the country today are too many and only in a peaceful atmosphere can we achieve development in all areas. We must therefore ensure that all hands are on deck towards peaceful co-existence among all of us irrespective of tribe or religion.

Also, speaking, Rev. (Dr) Ibrahim Wushishi said both Christians and Muslim consultants were hired to do the needs assessment and collate views from stakeholders on how the centre would be run. According to him, the centre shall serve as a documentation Centre for Peace and Reconciliation which will address issues of trauma, conflicts and peace building among many other related sundry matters.

The new board members are, Prof D.O.S Noibi, Rev. Dr. Ibrahim Wushishi, Dr Khalid Abubakar, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Dr. Atiku Balarabe Zawiya, Others are Mrs Uzoaku Juhanah Williams Rev. Timothy Yahaya and Hajia Aisha Ahmed Haskan.

In conclusion, time has indeed come to deal with every appearance of lawlessness and insecurity in our land. Some people and groups in the last few decades have constituted themselves into nuisance embarrassing state agents, traditional rulers and ordinary citizens alike. 

No sane Nigerian or friends of Nigeria would support the lawlessness and indiscipline which have caused insecurity of lives and property. The Government must support genuine organizations and non-government organizations that preach peace and tolerance. The country is undoubtedly finding it difficult to cope with the issue of insecurity and unless we come together and take security as everyone’s responsibility, the situation may remain same. The coming on board therefore, of the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation (CPR) with eminent Nigerians at the forefront is a welcome development and should be supported by all and sundry.

Tijjani writes from Kaduna.

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