Two non-governmental organisations (NGOs), United States Institute for Peace (USIP) and West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), have launched an inter-community dialogue initiative to enhance communal relationships among the diverse communities in Adamawa State.
The NGOs rounded off a two-day inaugural dialogue session on Wednesday at the state capital, Yola, on the optimistic tone that the peace building initiative would promote trust and collaborative problem solving among communities.
Adamawa State has a huge share of insecurity and communal conflicts, exhibited only last month, July 7, when a bloody attack on Dabna, a community in Hong Local Government Area, was later explained off as a revenge mission by ‘unforgiving’ Fulani herders avenging the killing of one of their own.
The Regional Programme Coordinator of USIP in Nigeria, Isioma Kemakolam, said at the Justice and Security Dialogue (JSD) launch in Yola that there are rising complexities of security and governance challenges, economic inequalities, and weak relationship between communities.
“It is for this reason,” Isioma Kemakolam said, “that we are gathered here to launch a JSD state level dialogue to strengthen community security through dialogue and to promote a constructive engagement between government and nonstate actors on security governance in Adamawa State.”
She said the Justice and Security Dialogue initiative would be addressing the underlying structural drivers of conflicts and violence in communities and that the dialogues across different levels would be responding to issues in appropriate ways to stem conflict.
“The approach will be collaborative solution-seeking dialogue rather than a finger-pointing exercise,” she said.
The Programme Manager of WANEP, Mr Kevin Abonyi, who also spoke at the JSD launch, said WANEP, in collaboration with a network of civil society organisations in Yola and with support from USIP, thought it necessary to organise the high-level dialogue sessions to create a framework for a more participatory way of dealing with security threats.