By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi, Kaduna
A non-governmental organization NGO known as International Alert has launched Access to Justice and Accountability Project In Kaduna and Zamfara respectively.
Delivering his welcome address, the Country Director of the project Paul Bemshima Nyulaku said flagging off the campaign in Kaduna and Zamfara state is very necessary because the security situation in the two states has deteriorated over the last decade.
According to him, the violence is rooted in competition over natural resources between herders and the predominant farmers which has escalated amidst a rise in organized crime, including cattle rustling, kidnapping for Ransom and village raids.
He pointed that political grievances are one of the key drivers of insecurity across the country, however, the trust of communities in their leaders and the government is eroding as most of their concerns and grievances remain unaddressed.
Hence, the need to strengthen community capacities for resolving past and emerging disputes while ensuring that local justice mechanisms are used to provide opportunities for survivors and excluded groups to seek redress by being part of decision making processes especially on matters that concern them.
Adding, “providing marginalized groups including women, their leaders and civil society organisations (CSOs) with opportunities and platforms to make their voices heard and advocate for their concerns to be addressed.
Creating a favourable environment for women and other vulnerable groups to deal with and prevent sexual and gender based violence.”
Also speaking during the event, Kaduna State Commissioner Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan calls for sincerity of purpose among all to ensure peace and stability.
While saying that the government since inception has been working towards achieving lasting peace in the state, Aruwan also called on the media to always reflect peace in their reportage, saying they are the mirror of the society.
Executive Vice Chairman Kaduna Peace Commission, Saleh Momale in his speech called on communities to take initiative that will protect lives and property in their respective communities.
He however urged all to work towards eliminating bad elements and to also promote stability, access to Justice and Accountability in North West Nigeria.
Giving an overview of the Promoting Stability, Access to Justice, and Accountability in North West Nigeria (Samun Adalchi, Shine Kwanciyar Hankali that is Achieving Justice Promotes Stability) project, the Program Manager International Alert, Anicetus Atakpu says the project is aiming to prevent gender based violence so that trust and peaceful coexistence will be attained.
He explained that the project which started in February in Kaduna and Zamfara State is expected to last for 18 months and will be spread across 4 local governments and 8 communities.