Dons advocate empowerment of citizens to achieve inclusive devt
Empowering of citizens to find solutions to societal challenges will engender stability, peace and cohesion needed to achieve sustainable development and growth, an Associate Professor of policy analysis and security studies at the University of Abuja, Mutiullah Olasupo has said.
He stated this at the second roundtable organised by the Political Science and International Relations Department of the University of Abuja with support from Rosa Luxemburg Foundation West Africa.
He said there is an urgent need to empower the traditional institutions to play an active role in engendering peace in communities, saying the economic base of Nigeria is largely in the rural areas, where raw materials for industries are produced.
In his paper titled, ‘Promoting peace through traditional authority, citizen consultation and participation in Nigerian public affairs’, he argued that the capacities of the traditional institutions must be built to be in tune with the modern-day administration and information gathering techniques.
“A series of workshops need to be periodically organised for traditional rulers on alternative dispute resolution, mediation, conflict management, record management, civil and Sharia/customary law, human rights law, and family law. The traditional rulers should be partnered by the government and security agencies to obtain information on security matters in an area. Such information should be treated with utmost secrecy,” he stated.
On the importance of citizens in engendering lasting peace at the community level, Olasupo maintained that traditional rulers should expand the medium of citizen’s consultation and involvement in conflict resolution within their jurisdiction, adding that there is a need for the government to give security allocation for the traditional institution, which will enable the institution to mobilise the people for the maintenance of security.
He submitted that as the rulers of various communities, and the custodian of the people’s culture, traditional leaders have a grip of the people at the grassroots and can mobilise the people for action against insecurity in their domain and by extension the nation.