Researchers have been dispatched to conduct a Strategic Conflict Assessment (SCA) of the length and breadth of Nigeria, to enhance peace building, and prevention and containment of violent conflicts.
This initiative is a collaborative effort of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme (NSRP).
The SCA will cover the 36 States of the federation, grouped into the 6 geo-political zones and the Federal Capital Territory.
Already, the Institute held pre-engagement meetings with the consultants, and briefed researchers of the Institute traveling to the States for the exercise. The decision to conduct the SCA was to understand the present dynamics that account for the widespread violent conflicts and inter-communal clashes across the country.
In May 2002, IPCR, supported by DFID, the World Bank, USAID and UNDP, conducted the first national SCA in Nigeria. This was applauded by the United Nations, which recommended SCA as component of development plan for countries in the world.
Ever since the 2002 assessment, updates of the SCA had been done in 2007 and 2012/2013, through the support of the UNDP. The outcomes of these assessments resulted in the conception and formulation of the draft National Peace Policy in Nigeria, and the first of its kind in Africa.
Nigeria’s attempts to deal with the root causes of violent conflicts have taken several dimensions, one of which is the conduct of the SCA as technique designed to systematically examine the nature, dimensions, scope, causes and actors of violent conflicts, and proffer appropriate recommendations and strategies for resolving them.
It also identifies violent conflict processes and options for conflict management or resolution. Overall, it provides basic, but analytical information, which is essential to planning a constructive response to violent conflict.
The justification for the updating of the conflict map of Nigeria is the need to develop policy options and implementation strategies for dealing with dysfunctional conflicts in Nigeria. The update of the SCA will reveal available domestic capacities and frameworks for effective resolution of civil, socio-economic and political differences, capable of resulting into violent conflicts.
The exercise will strengthen Government’s efforts in understanding (or conduct further research into) the root causes of violent conflicts and adapt sustainable, interconnected/multifaceted, but home-grown solutions to the myriads of violent conflicts plaguing the country.
The study will also boost stakeholders’ efforts to establish national, State and community-based peace infrastructure, strengthen conflict prevention and management capacities for dialogue in conflict-prone areas, and reinforce institutions’ ability to build capacities in mediation and dialogue, as well as help key stakeholders to constructively engage in these violent conflicts, through advocacy and adoption of conflict sensitive approach to nation building, thereby preventing violent conflicts.
It will also recommend appropriate support to victims of violent conflicts, help reintegrate them back into the society and local economy, as well as support policy makers, Government agencies, humanitarian organizations, CSOs, NGOs and communities, in identifying causes, actors and dynamics of conflicts across the country, and to plan their development interventions in a conflict sensitive manner.
ECOWAS Court Restrains Nigeria From Imposing Sanctions On Twitter
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice in Abuja has restrained the federal government from imposing sanctions or harassing, intimidating, arresting or prosecuting Twitter.
It also restricted the government from carrying out such actions against any other social media service provider, as well as media houses, pending the hearing and determination of a suit challenging the government’s suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria.
The court gave the restraining order following the suit filed by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 176 concerned Nigerians.
In the suit, the applicants argued that the suspension of Twitter by the Nigerian government was illegal
The federal government on June 4 said it has suspended, indefinitely, the operations of the microblogging and social networking service in Nigeria as its operation threatened national security.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, announced the suspension in a statement issued by his office in Abuja.
The statement cited the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.
According to the statement, the Minister said the federal government has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria.
The suspension came a few days after Twitter deleted a tweet from President Muhammadu Buhari’s official account.
The tweet had referenced the Nigerian civil war as the President threatened to treat Nigerians “misbehaving” in “the language they understand”.
It sparked reactions from many Nigerians who interpreted the statement as a threat to commit human rights violations.
On Tuesday, the federal government set up a team to engage with Twitter over the recent suspension of the operations of the microblogging and social networking service in Nigeria.
The approval was announced in a statement in Abuja today by Mr Mohammed, who will chair the team.
The committee comprises the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Works and Housing, Minister of State for Labour and Employment as well as other relevant government agencies.
Buhari Constitutes Team to Engage Twitter Over Ban
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A team has been put together by President Muhammadu Buhari to engage Twitter, popular social media platform, over the suspension of its operations in Nigeria.
Twitter was banned in Nigeria by the federal government in early June after it deleted a tweet of President Buhari for violating one of its rules.
The President had posted a series of tweets and in one of them, he threatened to treat those fomenting trouble in the South-East in a language they understand.
He had earlier said those agitating to leave the country were too young to know about the losses the region suffered in the Nigerian Civil War that last 30 months between. Millions of Igbos were said to have died during the war.
A few days before Mr Buhari’s tweet, the heroes of the war were honoured on May 30 across the region and there was a stay-at-home order given by the Indigenous People of Briafra (IPOB), which was strictly adhered to.
So, when the President posted about dealing with people from the region in a language they understand, it was taken to be a genocide threat, which Twitter frowns at.
The federal government, which was angered by the action of the microblogging website, retaliated by suspending operations of the company in Nigeria, making it impossible for residents of the country to have access to the platform.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, who announced the ban, has been going around to explain the reason for the action.
He had said the indefinite suspension was because the platform to undermine the “corporate existence” of Nigeria. He later said Twitter has approached the government for talks.
On Tuesday, his media aide, Mr Segun Adeyemi, disclosed in a statement that Mr Buhari has “approved the composition” of a team to have discussions with Twitter over the issue.
He said the team is to be led by Mr Mohammed with the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami; the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama; the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola; the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo; as well as other relevant government agencies as members.
Second Niger Bridge to be Ready 2022—FG Assures
By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government has reaffirmed its determination to complete the construction of the Second Niger Bridge next year.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, gave this assurance at a forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, June 20, to mark the sixth year anniversary of the present administration.
According to Mr Fashola, the bridge, which will serve as a major link between South-East and South-West Nigeria, will be delivered between the second and third quarter of 2022.
Records show that construction of the bridge commenced on September 1, 2018, with construction cost put at N336 billion when the contract deal was signed.
The minister, however, made no mention if the construction cost of the facility had changed since the commencement of work.
He said that the project would facilitate the influx of investments to the South East when completed, noting that the construction work had gone beyond the water level, explaining that most bridge works were done underwater.
“So, what you see currently is the final work. The sub-structure which entailed building cement structures underwater often costs a lot of money.
“We should finish the bridge next year between the second quarter and third quarter,” he affirmed, saying that construction time was lost because of COVID-19.
The bridge is 1.6 kilometres long and furnished with other ancillary infrastructure, including a 10.3 kilometres highway and an inter-change expected to be completed next year.
The bridge spans from Asaba in Delta State to Ozubulu, Ogbaru, and other communities in Anambra State.
The existing Niger Bridge linking Onitsha and Asaba was completed in December 1965. It was built by the French construction giant, Dumez.
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