From John Adams, Minna
The Niger State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has strongly advocated the use of Mediation and Conciliation as the best way for resolving dispute in our society, saying that court system is not only cumbersome but time consuming and expensive.
The governor says that aside being cumbersome and expensive, litigation create animosity and at the end of the day, after spending several years and resources in court, parties in the dispute in most cases end up being enemies.
The governor who spoke in Minna, the Niger state capital on Tuesday when he declared open the 2021 Mediation week organized by the Minna branch of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC), said the need to embrace mediation in conflicts resolution had become necessary, especially family related and community dispute because “mediation and conciliation are intrinsic and part and Parcel of our everyday live.
“It is part of our established value system and societal norms. Our traditional institution use mediation to resolve different forms of community disputes,” he said.
The governor who was represented by the state Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Barrister Nasara DanMallam, maintained that the court system is far different from our traditional way of resolving dispute, stressing that while the court process may end up in creating animosity between the parties, mediation process resolves disputes amicably and the parties satisfied with the outcome.
Governor Bello pointed out that mediation is not only vast and quick in dispute resolution, it is friendlier, more reconciliatory and cost effective, saying that “at the end of the day, there is little or no hostility between the parties.”
According to him, “there are cases where the litigants and the witnesses die while their matters are still pending in court due to delay and prolonged legal process”, adding that “this should not be so. We must therefore re-think our court system if the judiciary is the last hope of the common man.”
He expressed the state government commitment towards working with Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC) so as to encourage mediation as an alternative dispute resolution in society.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Chairperson Minna branch of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators, Mrs. Abiola James, said the Minna branch of the Institute which was started in December 2017 in partnership GIZ with first set of 17 mediators now has produced more than 100 mediators in the state.
Mrs Abiola stated that theme of this year’s Mediators week, “Enhancing Socio-Economic Growth in Nigeria; the Mediation Perceptive”, was carefully chosen because over the years the country has experienced a downturn in her growth due to a number of factors, adding that “we Mediators believed that mediation has a role to play in the socio-economic growth of the nation.”
She advised Nigerians to change the narrative and embrace the use of mediation as a tool to resolving disputes and enhance socio-economic growth of Nigeria.