The Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND) is a non-profit organization that promotes peace and equitable economic growth in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region through multi- stakeholder partnerships.
PIND’s peacebuilding program is aimed at achieving the greater goal of regional and lasting peace in the Niger Delta; it hopes to achieve this through creating sustainable peace partnerships, encouraging collaboration and synergy amongst peace actors, providing support for economic development and strengthening indigenous structures for peace while also creating and building interface with larger state-level peace efforts.
According to data, incessant lands/ boundaries disputes and other communal conflicts have resulted in the destructions of numerous lives and property in various States in the Niger Delta region. Akwa Ibom, Cross and Delta States have been identified as the hotspots. If existing tensions and
grievances are not addressed appropriately, they could escalate into another cycle of violent conflicts that could derail the broader peacebuilding objectives of PIND and other stakeholders in the region. Therefore, the need for strategic engagement of notable traditional institutions to advice on what actions to take and with whom to engage to prevent, mitigate and resolve violent conflicts in the above three mentioned states. This informs the need for the establishment of ‘Prevent Councils’.
[P4P Case Study] Building Resilience in the Niger Delta – A Grassroot Approach to Peace and Development in the Region
The Prevent Council is based on the recognition of critical roles traditional rulers play in the maintenance of peace and security within their communities to their benefit and that of governments at all tiers. The role of traditional rulers as the custodian of culture which peace is integral component cannot be overemphasized. The institution of traditional leadership plays critical and proactive roles in promoting and sustaining social cohesion, peace and order as well as peaceful coexistence in societies. In this regard, traditional rulers play a vital role in peacebuilding at the grassroots level as part of the cultural heritage of the people. Although modern private and public entities recognize the role of traditional institutions in maintaining peace and security, the challenge has been in the process of engagement. There is a general believe in the tendency of the traditional rulers being too powerful at the expense of the state authority due to the seemingly support they receive from their people. However, appropriate engagement between government and traditional rulers outlaying responsibilities among the two based on an understanding that synergy is indispensable for both to govern effectively could allay the fear of traditional rulers being too powerful to the detriment of state governments.
PIND now seeks to engage 3 respective consultants for consideration to map and identify reputable traditional rulers, get their buy-in as Prevent Council members, inaugurate a Prevent Council in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, and Delta States, and build their capacities on conflict prevention, mitigation and resolution separately. The consultants will also be expected to provide training and support to the identified traditional rulers and other stakeholders to spot early warning signs of conflicts as well as early response mechanisms to engender peaceful coexistence among residents of the target communities.
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