Nigeria: Organizations Offer Solutions to Communal Conflicts and Violence in Niger Delta

Nigeria: Organizations Offer Solutions to Communal Conflicts and Violence in Niger Delta

By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria

In an effort to address the diverse conflicts and violence prevalent in the Niger Delta communities, the organization Search for Common Ground (SCG) has identified the lack of inclusive communal leadership as one of the key drivers. SCG has joined forces with Stakeholders Democracy Network, Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta, and Academic Associates PeaceWorks to embark on a four-day training of trainers (TOT) program. The aim of this program is to promote conflict transformation and inclusive community security approaches in the region.

The project, titled “Community-Centered Approach to Transforming Criminality and Violence in Niger Delta,” is funded by the European Union. It seeks to reinforce the goal of fostering inclusive community security approaches in Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers states, with a focus on over 60 communities. By engaging diverse stakeholders, including security agencies, traditional rulers, government representatives, youth groups, women groups, and marginalized communities, the initiative aims to establish resilient peace architectures at the grassroots level.

Yacinthe Agbadjagan, the Head of Programme Implementation, Niger Delta, emphasized the need for stakeholders in the Niger Delta region to support this initiative in order to achieve lasting peace and development. The consortium behind the project is working closely with key societal organizations to deepen peace efforts in the region.

Philip Kalio, the Training Coordinator of the project, explained that the consortium has adopted a bottom-up approach to promote inclusive communal leadership, collaborative approaches, and meaningful engagement by communities. SCG’s strategy of transforming conflict through a “common ground approach” focuses on shifting from an adversarial approach to a non-adversarial form of conflict resolution. This approach takes into account the perspectives and experiences of the community members in order to effectively address the root causes of conflict.

Anicetus Atakpo, the Consortium Manager of the project, highlighted the importance of empowering community leaders to address the drivers of conflict, criminality, and violence in the Niger Delta. Participants in the TOT program are expected to pass on their training to community leaders in their respective communities. The primary goal is to strengthen the capacity of community leaders to address issues such as marginalization of youths, women, and other vulnerable groups within their communities.

The collaborative efforts of SCG and its partners signify a positive step towards promoting peace and security in the Niger Delta region. By addressing the lack of inclusive leadership and promoting community engagement, this project aims to create a conducive environment for lasting peace and development. It is hoped that these initiatives will contribute to the overall well-being and prosperity of the Niger Delta communities.

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