From Gyang Bere, Jos
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Plateau State, has advocated for the inclusion of women in Kwok community in Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area in resolving issues that trigger violent conflicts in various communities in the areas.
The women, narrating their heart-rending experiences, blamed clashes between farmers and herders on night grazing, destruction of crops in farmland, grazing in residential areas, blockage of grazing route, violent attacks on innocent persons, poor communication and conspiracy among others to commit homicide.
Plateau State chairperson of FIDA Mrs Obioms Achilefu said the project is aimed at canvasing for the involvement of women in conflict mitigation in rural communities for peace and unity of the people.
She said the programme, tagged “Promoting the inclusion of women in peacebuilding and conflict mitigation across communities in Plateau State, Nigeria”, was set up due to the critical role women play in resolving conflict issues globally.
“We want women to be included in peacebuilding and conflict mitigation in communities because it is a tradition that women are not usually recognised as if they don’t have any good thing to contribute.
“We are saying that women are very important in conflict mitigation, most women have the capacity to stem down their husbands and children at home when there is a problem, the traditional council should be able to include women in their council so that their interest would be represented as well.”
Lucy Pam, a resident of the area, said women contribute a lot to resolving violent conflicts by cautioning their children on the need to behave themselves and avoid any form of misunderstanding with their peers.
“Women play a critical role in mitigating conflict, this is because we can spread information fast and we need to always talk to our children and spouse on the need to avoid conflict at all cause to promote peace.”
Another resident Amina Inusa said women have the capacity to engage the youths in peace talks to address violent conflict.
“We have been engaging young women and youths to educate them on how to live healthier and more peaceful with one another in various communities in Barkin-Ladi and that has helped in calming nerves when there is a breakdown of violence.”
The Youth Leader of Kwok community, Barkin-Ladi, Sam Pam Jerry said youths are always responding swiftly in terms of resolving violent conflicts.
“We have a lot of experience with regards to conflict mitigation in our community which usually start with minor conflicts between individuals and the youths are usually involved because we are the main stakeholders in terms of security.”
The traditional ruler and Gwom Kwok in Barkin-Ladi, Da Chollom Gyang described the initiative as novel and said women play a critical role in addressing security challenges in the community.
He urged the participants to take advantage of the programme to develop the necessary skills in promoting peaceful co-existence in their communities.