By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – Participants at the monthly Forum on Peace Journalism by Interfaith Mediation Centre, (IMC) Kaduna, on Wednesday expressed fear over calls by Nigerians and some Governors for citizens to defend themselves against bandits, kidnappers; saying the implications of such calls far outweighed its merits.
Even as participants called for cautioned with a charge on the governments at all levels to wake up.
The forum at a roundtable discussion to prevent conflicts proffered laudable solutions and action plans to mitigate the lingering insecurity challenges bedeviling Kaduna state cum Nigeria.
Linkering security issues like banditry, kidnapping, ethno-religious conflict, farmers-herders conflict, among others were discussed extensively.
Lead discussants, the Head of Department, Crisis Management Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp, (NSCDC) Mr. Omenuko Uche Vitalis; and IMC Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Pastor Joshua Kurmi Pyeng, noted that the issue of banditry and kidnapping could be nibbed in the bud if Nigerians are united against it.
The forum called on Nigerians to see insecurity as having nothing to do with religion, tribe, but simply the failure of government, hence the call for unity across religious, ethnic, political divides to end the menace.
The forum emphasized on community policing, need to be alert and report security challenges to security agencies, adding that traditional and community leaders should be able to know who is who in their community and report accordingly.
The forum also resolved that ranching as against open grazing or grazing routes is the best solution to ending in the farmers-herders conflicts in the country; while urging the Federal Government to do the needful in this regard, saying there is no way that cattle will not stray if not restricted in a ranch.
On the empass between the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC) and the Kaduna State Government, the forum called on government to dialogue with Labour in order to prevent another round of industrial action .
IMC also stressed the need for Kaduna State Government to engage NANS and Students of tertiary institutions on the contentious issue of hike in tuition fees to avoid further protests and loss of lives.