From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
United Nations Development Programme, (UNDP), in collaboration with Kaduna State Peace Commission, (KAPECOM) and the NSCDC has organized a sensitization programme for traditional, religious leaders, media and civil Society organizations in Kaduna yesterday.
Speaking during the training, the Head Department of Peace and conflict Management of NSCDC Headquarters, Commandant David Ojelabi, said the training was map out to enlightened participants on Early Warning Response (EWER) and Conflict prevention for communities and security providers in Kaduna.
He said no conflicts occurred without early warning signs, and therefore urged the participants to take the learning from the training to their various clusters.
Ojelabi said the training will take place in Kaduna, Ekiti and Osun states; saying Kaduna State was chosen because of its security challenges.
A facilitator Dr Stephen Faleti of Institute of Peace and Strategic Studies, University of Ibadan said conflict early warning seeks to forecast the outbreak of conflicts, or, at minimum, to detect the early escalation of violence, with the objective of preventing the outbreak or the further escalation of violence in order to save lives
He explained that conflict prevention is a broad term that refers to a variety of activities and strategies within the field of peace building that are deployed to pre-empt and subsequently neutralize potential triggers to widespread violent conflict.
Similarly, Mrs Folashade Olutoyin, disclosed that no conflicts occurred without giving Early warning signs.
She however said the problem is that many ignored such warnings and this usually leads to the rancour in the society.
Giving the ENDSARS protests that turned violent across the country recently, she said there are early warnings concerning the protests and plot to hijack it and if the adequate response methodology was applied the destruction would have been minimized.
The Team Lead of UNDP’s Governance, Peace and Security Unit Matthew Alao, saidtraining workshop was convened by the Nigeria Security and Civil Defense
Corps and the UNDP in collaboration with the Kaduna State Peace Commission and with funding support from the Norwegian Government.
This training is according to him is important as it seeks to advance an integrated approach to conflict prevention through the identification and reporting of Conflict EarlyWarning signs that will enhance and strengthened the peace architecture of Kaduna state and beyond.
Alao who was represented byMr. Jonathan Madaki added that it is a known fact that conflict is inevitable in every society.
“ In our daily interactions, conflicts are bound to happen. However, if they turn violent, outcomes are always destructive, thereby hindering national development.
“Hence the need to put in place mechanisms and peace infrastructures to manage such conflicts when they arise and prevent them from escalating into violence.
“ keeping this in mind, the UNDP has worked together with the Kaduna State government and provided support in the establishment of the Kaduna State Peace Commission and its effective operationalization as well as the
establishment of the ICT-based Early Warning and Early response system.” He said