The United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) has trained lawmakers in Ekiti and other officials on conflict resolution, budget formulation, monitoring and reporting.
The programme which held at the Premier Hotel, Ibadan was organised by the UNDP to complement the Federal Government’s efforts at enhancing peace and insecurity in the country.
Mr Mathew Alao, the Team Lead, Governance, Peace and Security Unit, UNDP Nigeria, said the essence of the training was to also ensure cooperation among the stakeholders in the state especially, the executive and legislators.
Alao, who represented the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Mr Lealam Dinku, said the workshop was to also formulate development agenda for the state.
“You will observe that most of the development programmes are done under the table and by the ministry without the due consultation with the people.
“And, this has engendered violence in so many communities and we thought it fit that engaging the government to be more open is the best way to reduce violence at the community level.
“Particularly on issues of development programming, and that is the essence of bringing the Ekiti state legislators and some executive members as well as civil society to this forum,” he said.
He said that UNDP also had other programmes to help in managing conflicts among the populace which include livelihood schemes for the victims of violence, early warning and response mechanism.
Others, he said were ICT based warning platforms that anybody could send a message to and there will be an immediate response to such a crisis.
He said that the organisation also helps in capacity building for security agencies to partner with the state government to manage the platforms created by the UNDP on conflict resolution.
Alao called on political leaders to actively engage the youth who served them in the process of getting to power.
He decried a situation where the youths are used by politicians and left to become tools in the hands of those who will use them to cause trouble in the society.
“It is appalling, this cannot help the society, a child of school age should go to school, a person of working age should find something to work.
“And, that is why UNDP is also partnering not only on this area, but by getting these youths out to train and teach them on life-long empowerment schemes, that is the way out.
“And the issue of drug proliferation is also there,”Alao said.
According to him, this is one of the ways to nip conflicts in the bud, adding that people must be constructively engaged.
“We must find something for people to do, and we must continue the campaign not by mere saying it, but in reality.
“As a political office holder, you must have a responsibility, people that you use during the campaign, you must have a way of supporting them and making them human.
“You must make them self-dependent and self-reliant, that way they will serve you better,” he said.
Responding on behalf of the legislative arm, the Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon, Funminiyi Afuye, commended the UNDP for organising the workshop.
“You will agree with me that for any meaningful development to occur in any society, efforts must be intensified towards prevention of crisis and resolution of conflicts of any nature in such societies.
“Business thrives only in societies where peace avails. Nigeria in recent times is faced with a lot of crises resulting in insecurity thereby being a clog in the wheel of the country’s development.
“Hence, this sensitisation workshop involving the critical stakeholders and civil society groups in Ekiti State is a relevant and timely intervention which will give a strategic direction to the state.
Also for the executive, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning in Ekiti, Mr Femi Ajayi, lauded UNDP for initiating the programme which he said would help in conflict prevention and inter-agency cooperation in the state.
Ajayi said UNDP had also initiated a conflict prevention and peace building programme to help build a society free of conflicts and chaos through strengthening national capacity for prevention.
He said the agency did this through building the skills of stakeholders in programme development, budget processes, monitoring and reporting for all inclusiveness and closer collaboration between them.
NAN reports that the programme with the theme: ‘Implementation of Conflict Sensitive Approach to Development Programme, Budget Formulation, Monitoring and Reporting” was also attended by Civil Society Organisations. (NAN)