The Oasis Reporters
June 11, 2023
By Asile Abel, Jos
Nigeria’s Consultant to UN-Women, Professor Chris Kwaja, has urged the government to urgently look at ways of demilitarising peace, as a cheaper option towards promoting peaceful coexistence rather than the old reactive security measures it spends so much on.
Kwaja gave the advice while speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2-Day Planning/Review Workshop with Women Peace, and Security (WPS Phase II) Structures in Plateau State, organised by UN-Women in collaboration with State Ministry for Women Affairs and Social Development as sponsored by Norwegian Embassy, held at the Valada Hotel and Resort, Jos, Plateau state.
He commended the partners for building an edifice that has attracted the support of UN-Women.
“We have made programs aimed at peace building in the Country, but not in security, though we have proffered means that can nip in the bud, what triggers insecurity.
“Unfortunately, we are dealing with a component in the country that so not seem much willing to prioritise peace building, that is why when there is problem, government is ready to approve fifty Million naira for security and give five million naira to peace building work.
“Let us see how we can demilitarise peace by voicing alternatives because if we prioritise processes that are impactful on peaceful coexistence, it will be cheaper to invest in peace than to invest in security. We must engage the government in peace building development and women in peace and security”, Kwaja advised.
Earlier, the Programme Manager of WPS, Peter Mancha, said the essence of this 2-Day Planning/Review Workshop was for them to have a review meeting and analyse the progress made so far and agreed on ways of addressing some of these challenges witnessed over time and commended Plateau State for ranking second in WPS process.
On her part, Justina Mike of the Women Peace Mentors in Plateau State commended the UN-Women for the wonderful support given to them and hoped that more of this would be seen so that more voices could be heard in Nigeria.
Also, the State Coordinator of HeForShe Network, Da Dalyop Dudu, observed that most of its members have not been up to date in the Network programme and called on the UN-Women to train its members to understand the importance of this network.
Declaring the workshop open, the Plateau State Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Hassana Ayika, represented by the Ministry’s Director of Social Welfare, Mrs. Justina Guful, called on stakeholders to open up and say what their challenges were so that they would look at them and proffer solutions to the problem.