By Our Correspondent
Conflict and violent crime have been the bane of development in the Niger Delta in particular and Nigeria in general. In order to nip these in the bud, intensive and systemic trainings have effectively commenced in Akwa Ibom State with three local governments of Uyo, Oron and Itu are picked for the exercise.
The project, which is code named, “State Accountability, Transparency and Effectiveness” (“State2State”), anchored by Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development (CIEPD) and Development Alternative Initiative (DAI), directly funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
In a capacity building workshop on the theme, “Conflict Prevention, Mitigation and Transformation Strategies and Skills”, which come in different modules with a goal to, “build capacity of government agencies and CSOs in peace building and conflict management to become key champions in the prevention, mitigation and conflict transformation” identified four critical areas to watch out to as far as conflict is concerned. These are state of harmony, latent conflict, surface conflict and open conflict. State of harmony as was described in various ways was said to be characterized by a peaceful co-existence, unity, compatibility, understanding, development, people having common goal etc. while other three stages gradually snowballed into violence hence, poorly managed conflict leads to violence. Conflict in the context of the workshop was defined as, “a relationship between two or more parties with incompatible goals”.
In violence analysis however, violence has been described as, “actions, words, attitudes, structures that cause physical, psychological, social or environmental and/or prevent people from reaching their full potential”. A,B,C (Attitude, Behaviour, Context) of violence and analysis tools was also identified as a potent tool for effectively understanding and addressing violence in any society.
While B,A,C (Behaviour, Attitude, Context) are preferred method of analyzing any violence situation, ‘Behavior’ could easily be managed and violence can be arrested and nipped at this level immediately while Attitude and Context takes time as a result of age-long practice and belief.
The workshop featured questions and answers, practical/group work sessions by participants. Those in attendance included security personnel, Community leaders and royal fathers, legal practitioners, eminent personalities that manages conflicts as well as the media.