Swiss Organization Tasks Nigerian Communities On Ensuring Violence-Free Polls

The Oasis Reporters

January 30, 2019

Nigerian flag, Swiss flag.
By Moses Gbande, Jos

A Swiss based private organization, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, has expressed worries over the high level of apprehension, mistrust and religious conflicts that have become the order of the day in Nigeria under any slight provocation.

It’s Nigeria’s Projects Associate, Olufemi Ellison Nankap told journalists in Jos that the global community is at a loss, over what led to the fragile relationship amongst Nigerians as compared to what was obtainable in the early 80s when communities coexisted without much rancour.

According to Mrs. Nankap, it was based on this premise that the Swiss based private organization set in motion mechanisms to mediate, and proffer possible solutions towards resolving conflicts through dialogue and the mitigation of conflicts.

She said, Centre For Humanitarian Dialogue, a Swiss based private diplomatic organization founded on the principles of humanity, impartiality and independence, with a clear vision to prevent, mitigate, and resolve armed conflicts through dialogue mitigations.

According to her, for the past two decades, it has pursued vigorously the objectives of the organization, particularly in having an interface with communities and religious leaders to understand the need to coexist peacefully.

“Almost two decades now, Centre For Humanitarian Dialogue has supported arguments around the world, we are currently involved in over forty dialogues in Churches and in Mosques.

“We came to Nigeria in 2013, and moved to Jos at the heat of the crises, we worked with eight deserted communities and at the end of the the process it supported peace agreements.

“We were also invited to work in Southern Kaduna and we worked with 29 Communities, and in the southern plateau we worked with 56 communities. The essence of this is to promote peaceful coexistence with each other, to make people understand what their challenges are, and to proffer solutions amicably and chart a way forward for peaceful coexistence”.

She added that, the current project being pursued by the organization is to engage traditional and religious leaders, youths and community leaders to tighten nuts for peaceful 2019 elections.

“In Nigeria, election means everything, and as February 2019 elections is around the corner, there is fear of possible violence and attacks, that’s why the Centre For Humanitarian Dialogue considers that it is important to sensitize the people and other stakeholders on the need to chart a way forward for peaceful coexistence instead of looking back to the dark days of violence.

“We have been meeting with youths, women, traditional and religious leaders as well as security agencies in both Plateau and southern Kaduna communities to ensure peaceful elections.

“We have a team on conflict early warning signals trying to follow up with peace monitors on ensuring that lines of communication are clear enough to communicate early warning signs that will help us mitigate conflict early enough, one way or the other.

“The message we have for the people is that we can go through the elections without having any form of conflict or killings. We must respect the sanctity of human life. No man has any right to take another person’s life.

“As we look forward to the elections, let’s have a mind set that the future of Plateau and Nigeria can be changed. In the 80’s Plateau was one of the most peaceful states compared to modern days, the difference is clear. There is mistrust, we create enemies for ourselves, and religious difference is very high, vis a vis fear of possible conflict”.

“We however call on Nigerians to bury their differences and go to the polls with one mind and vote in peace, and vote for peace to make Nigeria a better society”.

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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