United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has trained 1,000 Peace Officers of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), on conflict, crisis management and prevention from 2013 to 2018.
Mr Mathew Alao, Team Leader, Governance and Peace Building Unit, UNDP, made this disclosure on Thursday in Abuja.
Alao, speaking during the closing ceremony of a three day training with the theme: ‘Refresher Course and Peer Review for NSCDC Peace Officers from Northeast, West and Central’, said the training was organised by UNDP.
He said UNDP had realised it was worthy of note to invest in the training of NSCDC officers on mediation rather than investing in the acquisition of fire arms.
“Over 100 of the 1,000 trained NSCDC officers are now Chartered mediators and Conciliators,” he said.
According to him, UNDP is set to establish a Peace Unit in the Nigeria Police Force that will help give voice to voiceless Citizens.
He said that in achieving this, joint peace activities between NSCDC and the Police could reduce violence by 50 per cent and should be greatly encouraged by well meaning Nigerians.
He, however, encouraged NSCDC to establish a mediation lab at the headquarters to help provide assistance to the less privileged in the society.
Abdullahi Gana, Commandant-General, NSCDC, said that in the emerging conflict trends occasioned by increasing statistical cases in armed violent conflicts and violent extremism, training was essential.
Represented by Emmanuel Adeoye, Deputy Commandant-General of the Corps, he said training was to positively engage officers proficiency in service delivery.
“This is paramount in areas of efficient local community peace building and conflict management at the grassroots,” he said.
Segun Ogunyanwo, Registrar, Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC), said with NSCDC officers trained by UNDP and ICMC to settle dispute, training and retraining was of paramount importance.
He advised officers to embrace and apply the knowledge acquired through the training as not every officer was opportuned to undergo the three days training.
He advocated the use of ‘mediation’ to combat dispute, saying that officers were not only peace agents but adjudicators.