From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye
The United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has expressed willingness to work with other donor partners and the Federal Government of Nigeria in helping to put appropriate policies in place and advance peace and security in the North-East.
A representative of UK FCDO, Paul Nyulaku, said this in Abuja at North East Conflict Management and Stabilization (NECMS) Programme joint consortium learning event and press conference.
The event was organized by UK FCDO, Mercy Corps (MC), Center for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC), Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), and Okapi Consulting/Radio Ndarason International.
According to Nyulaku, effective peace solutions in Nigeria should involve all stakeholders particularly those affected by the conflict.
The UK FCDO rep, in his goodwill message at the event said peace building initiatives have never been more critical in Nigeria than now following the devastating impacts of insecurity, which has claimed many lives, destroyed livelihoods and impacted negatively on the economy in the North-East.
Nyulaku stressed that the insurgency reverses any progress achieved, adding that Peace was critical to sustained economic growth and development.
He stated that effective response to conflict requires a comprehensive approach at all levels and the views of the people affected by the conflict matter in the process of working out the solutions.
He said: “Am aware that many useful community platforms that have done a great job were established to promote dialogue and reconciliation under NECMS. We hope the work of these groups and achievements realised is sustained and hopefully taken up by ongoing programmes in the North-East.”
Nyulaku stated that the UK has been supporting the consortium to implement the NECMS in the past 5 years.
He said the learning event was an opportunity to discuss lessons learned during the implementation of the programme and share insights on approaches and challenges experienced in implementing peace building programmes in violent and highly volatile contexts.
According to him, the lessons shared would help the UK plan future peace building programmes.
“I envisage this is same for other donor partners. I do hope you find discussions on how NECMS managed to deliver the programme, key results achieved across the different work streams and what could be of interest to other donor partners insightful.
“I wish to thank Mercy Corps and other consortium partners: Centre for Civilians in Conflict (CIVIC), Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) and Okapi Radio for the opportunity to give the opening remarks at this important event.
“I hope that through this event, key requirements for reconciliation and peace will be placed on the agenda towards improving the conflict situation in the North-East”, he said.