COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE TRAINING PROGRAMME ON CONFLICT PREVENTION AND PEACE BUILDING HELD FOR YOUTH-DRIVEN COMMUNITY, ETHNIC FAITH-BASED ORGANISATIONS IN THE SOUTH WEST AREA HELD AT WALLAN HOTEL, IBADAN, ORGANISED BY THE JOURNALISTS FOR DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS, (JODER) WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE FORD FOUNDATION, WEST AFRICA REGION ON JULY 05, 2017
Representatives of various stakeholders met here in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state to deliberate on the future of the people in relation to the social, cultural and economic developments that affect the wellbeing of the people;
The representatives were drawn from faith based, ethnic and other social and cultural organisations spread across the South West states of Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun and Kwara, Kogi and Edo States. The representatives of the Police, Civil Defense and the Governor of Oyo and Osun States were also well represented at the event held at Wallan Hotel, Ibadan.
Participants agree that irrespective of the differences in religion, culture, heritage and faith, there are common aspirations of the people in the South West which include but not limited to shared history, sustainable livelihood, peaceful coexistence, protection of tradition and values, food and social security, dignity and mutual respect;
Participants recognize the importance of the training on conflict prevention especially at this crucial period of the nation’s history. Recognition was also given to the fact that the training was held at Ibadan, given the historic significance of the ancient city in the annals of Nigerians history;
Participants admit that crisis and instability are impediments to sustainable livelihood in the region. The participants also identify the various threats to all the people of the South West region to include violent extremism Boko Haram, religious intolerance, poverty, exclusion (Political and Economic), lack of access to opportunities, absence of constructive engagement by the authorities and by the people themselves.
Other sources of conflict identified are violent herdsmen, migration and competition for scarce natural resources, climate change and stiff competition for resources.
Participants also recognize that violence in all forms either through cultism, access to illicit weapons, corruption and weak judicial and security institutions as common threats to the livelihood of the people.
Participants identify what have been absent in the search for sustainable development in the region to include the lack of consensus on the part of the fending communities on what is best practices in dealing with conflict and its ugly manifestations,failure to act promptly when crisis begin to brew, inability to admit guilt and make amends, lack of people driven mechanism, partisanship of the security agencies, ethnic or race stereotyping, profiling and old prejudices.
After the one-day training spanning several hours marked by interactive sessions between and among the participants, the following resolutions were adopted:
- That the various ethnic, faith-based and cultural organisations in the South West recognize the importance of peaceful co-existence as an imperative for sustainable development in the region;
- Participants agree to set up a common platform, driven by the people to monitor and report on issues of conflict that may affect the wellbeing of the people in the area;
- Delegates agree to organize quarterly meetings between the leaders of ethnic, faith-based and other cultural groups where issues of potential conflict sources will be identified and resolved;
- Participants agree to work together to ensure the success of the National Working Group on Peace Building and Conflict Prevention set up by Ford Foundation, West Africa Region and the Journalists for Democratic Rights, JODER.
- Participants request for more frequent meetings and training for stakeholders realizing how useful and impactful the one day training had been.
- The participants express full appreciation to the Ford Foundation, West Africa Region and the Journalists for Democratic Rights, (JODER) for the opportunities offers and the knowledge shared during the training.