By Femi Adi
The Community Initiatives to Promote Peace (CIPP) has lamented the impact of violence on women and children in Nigeria, while calling for enduring peace, end to violence and respect of rule of law across the country.
CIPP, implemented by Mercy Corps in Nigeria, is a programme based on peace building to prevent violent conflict in the most at-risk communities across six states in the Northwest and North central regions namely; Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Benue and Plateaus states.
Speaking at the sidelines of a three-day Gender, Diversity and Social Inclusion in Peace Building Workshop held in Kaduna to mark the International Day of Peace on Tuesday with the theme ‘Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World’, CIPP said peace remained a prerequisite for development, while urging all Nigerians to work for peace to create a better society.
A statement jointly signed by representatives of Federation of Muslim Women Association in Nigeria, Women Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria, and National Association of Women Journalists, said, “this is a call from CIPP Women Peace Councils to end violence and embrace peace. We call on all parties to respect the Rule of Law stop indiscriminate killings of innocent civilians and attacks on sources of livelihood.
“C.I.P.P Women Peace Councils call on duty bearers to address the current state of insecurity and recurrent cases of kidnapping that have led to forced displacement and loss of innocent lives, including women and children in the Northwest region of Nigeria. “Communal clashes induced by widened segregation along ethnic and religious divides, unhealthy competition over scarce resources, strive for political control, violent extremism, criminalities, and uncooperative use of shared natural resources between farmers and herders are major threats to peace and security in this region.
“Peace building actors need to work together to develop and implement innovative ways to constructively engage religious and traditional institutions, ethnic leaders, youth groups, women groups, people with disabilities, political leaders, and civil society in identifying local solutions to the current crises.
“The representation of local perspectives and their voices remains critical to improving outcomes of conflict management effort and finding common grounds in addressing the root causes of conflict at all levels. This effort should promote justice, equity, and fairness in addressing ethno-religious conflicts and use of shared natural resources.
“We want to reiterate the importance of public enlightenment and education, and widening access to economic opportunities as vaccines for building resilience of the populace to engagement in criminal activities and social vices. The Women Peace Councils and women-led peace groups across the North West region stand in solidarity with women peace builders and all parties to conflict to end violence at all levels.”