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‘Nigeria needs more mediators to tackle rising conflicts’

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(Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP)

In the face of rising conflicts, financial meltdown and agitations by secessionists, a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has stressed the need to scale up the number of mediators to tame the tide in Nigeria.

They pointed out that the most populous black nation had more negotiators than mediators, explaining why some conflicts have remained protracted.

The CSOs argued that mediation and conflict management skills are most needed in the country.

Executive Director, Sarahtrishpany Limited, Sarah Anlade Dantsoho, lamented the absence of mediation in the society, stating that people really needed to understand what it means to mediate and bring peace to the community.

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An alumnus of Mediators Beyond Borders International Peace Training Institute (MBBI-IPTI), Daantsoho made the remarks while speaking at a mediation and conflict management workshop on building a cohesive community, organised by Sarahtrihpany and supported by MBBI-IPTI Women in Peace building, Rotary Club of Ikeja, Lagos and the Emmaus Rotary Club, Pennsylvania, United States in Abuja.

She observed that most clashes begin from little disagreement before escalating, adding that if mediators were able to intervene promptly, peace would be sustained in the society.

In his contribution, the Director of International Services, Rotary Club of Asokoro, Dr. Ignatius Onyekwere, said politicisation of peace processes was behind some of the lingering conflict, stressing the need to implement the Constitution.

“Note that people have right to say what they don’t like and what they want and it’s important for government to hear them and know what their needs are. Government should try and suppress them through court process,” he appealed.

Founder of Great Minds Empire, Tama Monday Yari, regretted that Nigeria is where it is today because the leaders lacked the capacity to fully understand people.

To Gloria Opute Oridia of First Initiative, there is urgency to deal with the root cause of conflicts rather than just treating it on the face value, saying when resolving differences, both parties must be understood to broker a lasting peace.

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