The wanton destruction of public assets in the violence that trailed the recent nationwide protests by the youth against police brutality has bolstered the Federal Government-led initiatives geared towards engendering peace and security in the Country
Ministry of Interior, on Tuesday, held Stakeholders’ Engagement on Internal Security and Conflict Resolution in Lagos State, with the purpose to strengthening peace and security in the aftermath of the destruction.
The Ministry engaged in consultations with the State Government, traditional rulers, civil society groups, religious institutions and youth groups on the need to adopt dialogue as key approach in channeling grievances and resolving conflicts.
The consultative forum, held at Adeyemi Bero Auditorium in the Secretariat, Alausa, was graced by the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, his Police Affairs counterpart, Maigari Dingyadi, frontline lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, service chiefs in Lagos and representative of Iyaloja General, Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo.
Also, political leaders in the State, members of Community Development Councils (CDCs), and Community Development Associations (CDAs) attended the meeting.Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu set the tone for the discussion, saluting the Federal Government for its commitment to restoring peace in troubled States. The Governor described initiative as “a deliberate effort” to address causes of crisis and nip violence in the bud.
Sanwo-Olu said the coordinated arson that trailed the EndSARS protests was a wake-up call to all citizens of the country and security organisations to be vigilant and collectively move against actions that could undermine the wellbeing and security of Nigeria.
The Governor pleaded with the citizens to allow the seed of peace being sown to germinate, while also stressing the need to re-establish communication link between the Government and the people in order to thwart tendencies of those he dubbed fifth columnists and conspiracy theorists bent on employing disinformation and misinformation to destabilise the State.
He said: “The level of insecurity being experienced across the nation calls for serious concern, considering its implication not only on the socio-economic development and prosperity of our people but also on the unity and territorial integrity of our nation.
The importance of an effective strategy for peaceful resolution of conflict cannot be overemphasised.
“We have the opportunity today to share knowledge and ideas that could pre-empt crisis situations through conflict resolution mechanism.
That incident through which extensive damage was wrecked on public infrastructure and private businesses, is a wakeup call to all well meaning individuals and organisations that we cannot afford to allow external forces or factors threaten or undermine our wellbeing and security.
“We have to reignite the communication link between government and the people so that fifth columnists or conspiracy theorists will not be able to infiltrate and spread disinformation and misinformation that would jeopardise the future of our country or the opportunities available for our youths to contribute to the greatness of our country.”Aregbesola said the forum was the third stakeholders’ engagement which the Ministry of Interior initiated to strengthen peace across the country.
Aregbesola said the forum was the third stakeholders’ engagement which the Ministry of Interior initiated to strengthen peace across the country.
The Minister said the Federal Government particularly had a responsibility to deepen peace and reduce conflicts in Lagos, which he described as the cradle of the black race.