By Umar Muhammad Puma
The House of Representatives said it would collaborate with traditional and religious leaders and other stakeholders at the local councils to curtail the proliferation of arms and for proper monitoring of security across the country.
Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, stated this Monday at the opening of a two-day capacity development training organised by the House committee on national security and intelligence in Abuja.
Declaring opened the training with the theme “managing security and security challenges for grassroots transformation in north west Nigeria”, the speaker stated that “there is no way we can properly monitor security without engaging stakeholders at the local government level”
Represented by the chairman of the committee, Hon. Aminu Sani Jaji, Dogara said the time has come for both traditional and religious leaders to start showing more than passing interest in the security of the people.
“I want to use this opportunity to urge traditional and religious leaders to take more interest in defending the nation’s unity. We cannot move forward without becoming one; and we cannot become one without working together.
“The problem of people smuggling illegal arms into the country through the borders cannot be properly addressed if leaders at the grassroots are not taking into consideration. We are ready to join hands with them and ensure that our borders are freed from the manipulation of illegal arms smugglers”, he stated.
He said “these are extra ordinary times in the life of this nation as we are experiencing both security challenges and economic issues. There is Boko Haram, herdsmen and farmers conflicts, kidnappings, But we strongly believe that we must not allow these difficulties to overwhelm us”
The lawmaker stressed the need for communities to work in harmony with their neighbours as a way of building up a strong ally to fight against security threats from enemies.
Speaking further, Hon. Jaji said the House was committed to strengthening the laws on firearms and other illegal weapons to ensure the security of the nation by mopping up illegal arms.
In a paper presented at the training by Dr. A.D. Umar of Yakamata Development Initiative (YADEIN) titled “conflict resolution in a conflict situation”, the resource person outlined five steps to conflict resolution, which include identifying the source of the conflict, looking beyond the incident, requesting solution, identifying solution and agreement.
Other papers presented at the training were local governments and security challenges in Nigeria by Prof. Mohammed Kabir Isa of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and ‘dispute resolution at grassroots level through traditional justice system” by Ibrahim Barkindo.