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Mediation training for Benue traditional rulers ‘ll set pace for conflicts resolution – Council

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Mediation training for Benue traditional rulers ‘ll set pace for conflicts resolution – Council

The Benue State Traditional Rulers Council says the mediation and negotiation training for its members will set the pace for communal, farmer-herder, and natural resource conflict resolution in the state.

This is contained in a communique read on behalf of the Council on Thursday by Adiutu of Obi, Mr. Christopher Ijale, at the end of a three-day Mediation and Negotiation Training for Benue State Traditional Rulers in Abuja.

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, in partnership with Clingendael Netherlands Institute of International Relations, organized the training.

Ijale said that the programme had equipped them with knowledge and skills in management and conflict resolution.

He said the training focused on the fundamentals of mediation and related skills in negotiation.

“In addition to extensive theoretical analyses, participants benefited from simulations, which allowed them to experience the dynamics in mediation and negotiation.

“Traditional rulers representing communities, which are often the worst affected in communal, farmer-herder, and natural resource conflicts and armed attacks,  participated in this training.

” These traditional rulers are often the first to mitigate the worsening of the situation,” he said.

According to Ijale, the training is necessitated by the need to equip the traditional rulers in managing conflicts and negotiating common grounds among their diverse subjects.

“For this reason, this comprehensive training will set the pace in positioning the traditional council and the rulers as first responders for conflicts in Benue State,” he stated.

The Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse, who is also the Chairman of Traditional Rulers Council in Benue, sàid with the training,  the council had decided to set up mediation committees in different domains.

According to him, there will be a mediation committee in the intermediate areas, headed by first class chiefs and there will be bigger committees for the kingdoms in the state.

“Third level will be mediation committees at the level of traditional institutions across the entire state. We plan to do that between now and eight weeks,” Ayatse said.

Meanwhile, the Ochidoma, Elaigwu Odogbo John, said the participating traditional rulers had acquired special knowledge and skills in the mediation and negotiation approaches

“When we go back home, we should be able to make use of it and when you hear what we are doing as regards to training we have received, you will be happy with us.

“This is because some skills that we never learned, we have learned now.

“Some of them that we have been doing, thinking that is not right, we find out that what we have been doing before is right.

“So, if we combine them together, I believe our skills will be of high level. The knowledge, wisdom, and character we have received from this training will be put into practice,” Ochidoma said.

According to him, the participants have also learned from this meeting the essence of bringing peace to our communities.

“The level of the preparedness and how to apply a principle of flexibility in order to bring peace and we are going to do it,” he said.

Dr. Chris Agoha, the Country Manager, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, described the communique signed by the traditional rulers as an affirmation and declaration of their commitment to foster unity and bring lasting peace in domains.

According to him, it is indeed a testament to the unity of purpose and solidarity to ensure an indivisible entity called Benue state.

“This document will be historical in Benue state, middle belt and entire Nigeria. It will also serve as a point of reference for the future,” the Country manager said.

NAN reports that the participating traditional rulers were selected among first class and second class chiefs across the three senatorial zones of the state.

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