Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Ten prominent Nigerians, including the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Air Peace Limited, Chief Allen Onyema, were on Tuesday inducted as honorary Fellows of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC).
Other inductees at the 20th Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) conference of the Institute, held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, are the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige; the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho; a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Amina Augie; the President, Pro Value Humanity Foundation, High Chief Obiora Okonkwo and the Chief Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission, Hon. Chille Igbawua.
The rest are the Director General, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr Garba Abari; the Director General, Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Bakut Tswah Bakut; a former Commissioner, Political Affairs, Peace and Security, ECOWAS, Dr Salamatu Suleiman; National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Hajiya Saratu Aliyu; and the President, Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Hon. David Alabi.
Speaking on behalf of of the inductees, High Chief Obiora, who commended the Institute for the honour bestowed on them, pledged to assist the Institute to achieve its goals.
On his personal note, he said the award is a wake up call for him to do more in the area of human development and peaceful co-exsitence.
In his opening speech at the ceremony, ICMC President High Chief Emeka Obegolu highlighted the achievements of the Institute which he stated has “witnessed significant growth and tremendous efforts to fosters the advancement of mediation, Conciliation and ADR practice in Nigeria.”
He listed some of the notable accomplishments of the Institute in 2019 to include engagements with the Nigerian Bar Association Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NBA-ICLE); Online Dispute Resolution (ODR); Course on ADR in Universities; West Africa Network for Peace building (WANEP) among several others.
In his keynote address, the founding President of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators, Dr Ozonnia Ojielo, stressed the importance of mediation to create peaceable societies.
According to him, mediation seeks to manage difference and conflict in communities through established mechanisms based on their lived experiences for minimizing, overcoming and resolving tensions, disputes, conflict and violence.
Dr Ojielo, speaking on the theme of the conference ‘ICMC at 20: A Trajectory of Mediation Practice and Grassroots Conflict Transformation in Nigeria’, lamented that the country was witnessing a breakdown of the social contract, with the disintegration of governance system due to power imbalances between the country’s major tribes.
He called for a paradigm shift that places governance at the core of efforts aimed at sustaining peace through the refounding of a robust social contract.
The Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators, which was established in 1999, is a professional body of practitioners with a mandate to regulate the practice of mediation, train prospective candidates, and encourage institutions and organisations to employ mediation and conciliation as the primary means of addressing disputes.