Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution, IPCR, has said that government failure to implement recommendations from its studies on possible causes of conflicts in the country was responsible for the current state of affairs.
Director General of the institute, Bakut T. Bakut, told the House of Representatives Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa during an oversight visit that the institute envisaged the events happening in the country today and made adequate recommendations to government, which were not implemented.
He said even though the institute was set up by government to do a crisis mapping of the country and advice government, successive government have failed to implement recommendations from such mapping carried out by the institute.
“In our mapping in 2002, we saw what has today become the Boko Haram and we advised government that if this thing was not addressed, it would escalate to become the danger it has become today.
“In 2007, we saw the indicators telling us of what was likely going to happen if we do not address the challenges posed by environmental issues and the movement of cattle by herdsmen to find greener pasture.
“Again we wrote to government, but unfortunately, it was not followed up the way we expected.
“I can tell you that in 2016, we were again able to identify things that prevailed today, particularly poverty and youth restiveness.
“In the 2016 document, if you look at page 70, you will see our recommendations as to what was meant to have been done by government.
“If some of these things had been done, we would not be experiencing the challenges we are having with the youths today.
“This institute was created for good reasons, but unfortunately the challenges we have revolves around our budgeting,” he said.
Some of the recommendations contained in the document include promoting sustainable human development, poverty reduction, equitable distribution of national wealth, sustainable environmental development, effective management of humanitarian assistance, good governance and human security.
Chairman of the committee, Mohammed Umar Bago, however, said the institute had failed in the discharge of its mandate of helping to prevent or resolve conflicts in the country by not doing enough advocacy and enlightenment.
Bago said not many Nigerians were aware of the existence of the institute or what they do, he insisted that even when they foresaw what would likely happen, they never spoke out by informing Nigerians what they discovered and how to avoid such conflict.
“What I have discovered is that as a government, we are not serious. If you are giving this kind of budget to an institution of this nature, then, you are not ready to resolve conflict. I saw in the 2020 budget where the Tiv/Jukun crisis was allocated N5million.
“That does not show seriousness because that conflict has been on the front burner in this country for a long time and yet, we are talking about N5million budget for advocacy in that area.
“Now, you are bringing the 2021 budget and it is not different from the 2020 budget and you are not thinking of farmers/herdsmen crisis, you are not thinking about banditry , the issue of Boko Haram is not being considered neither is the issue of ENDSARS is being considered.
“You need to write to the committee stating your challenges so that we can talk to appropriation and see how we can get funding for these important issues.
“It is a shame that people are being killed, maimed and you as an institution that is supposed to take care of those issues, you are just silent about it,” Bago said.