The two-day National Forum on Security Challenges and Peace Building in Nigeria Organized by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Katsina State has ended with a call for traditional institutions to be constitutionally recognized and empowered to paly ore active roles inorganizing communities for more efficient security network across the nation..
The forum which attracted a cream of traditional rulers from across the country also had the representation of the Governments of Zamfara and Sokoto States as well as the Inspector General of Police. Also present were Local Government Caretaker Committee Chairmen in Katsina State.
In his address at the forum, the Director General of NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri said the forum became necessary to foster cross cultural harmony among the traditional rulers in Nigeria; support communities, leaders and network of organization in promoting dialogue and pluralism in the nation; identify families that have members from different faiths an promote their examples; among others.
“Our citizens must constantly bear in mind and embrace the spirit of acceptance and accommodation of the divergent views. We must act with patriotism and refrain from making acerbic, emotional and inciting comments on sensitive political, religious and cultural issues; which often evoke emotions, anger and generate violent reactions. All Nigeria patriots must close ranks and save our society by embracing the values of peace, dialogue, patience and tolerance of one’s culture, custom, ethics and religion”, he said.
Governor ShehuShema of Katsina urged Nigerians to work together in building peace in the nation. Representing Governor Shema, the Katsina State Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Gide Batagarawa said the State Government, as a measure of ensuring peace and equity in the State, does not regard non-indigenes as non-indigenes but as “indigenous Nigerians living in in Katsina”. He said this had guaranteed justice and equity in the State which, according to him, were prerequisites for peace and urged other States to follow the Katsina example.
Speaking on “The Role of Religious Leaders and Traditional Rulers in the Quest for National Security and Peace”, the Emir of Dass, AlhajiUsmanBilyaminu expressed dismay that traditional institutions were not integrated into the various security committees at the Federal, State and Local Government levels. This inclusion added to a constitutional role for traditional rulers, he observed, was expedient as traditional rulers know everyone resident in their domains and no activities can be carried out within the community without their knowledge, making it easy to supervise community policing.
The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, represented by the Katsina State Commissioner of Police, AbdullahiMagaji reminded Nigerians of their constitutional responsibility to always remain security conscious in order to assist the police. He specifically charged landlords and property owners to exercise extra caution in determining who they rent their properties to in order to avoid habouring criminals rather than exposing them to security agencies.
Present at the peace forum were the Governor of Sokoto State, represented by the State’s Commissioner for Information, Alh. NasirBako; Governor of Zamfara State, represented by the State’s Commissioner for Commerce, Hassan Zule; the Emir of Katsina, AlhajiAbdulmuminiUsman, represented by the Kauran Katsina, Alh. NuhuAdbulkadir; the Chief Imam of Abuja National Mosque, UstazAbubakar Mohammed; members of both the Muslim and Christian Community; and Local Government Chairmen of Katsina State.