Following the renewed skirmish communal clash between the Ombatse ethnic militia and Assakio in Eggon and Alago ethnic groups in Obi, headquarters of Obi local government of Nasarawa State leading to the death of no fewer than 30 persons and over 7,000 residents displaced, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) observed as follows:
1. In the last decade, Nigeria has been faced with persistent inter-intra community, inter-religious clashes arising from political and ethno-religion struggles orchestrated by some selfish individuals.
2. The Nonchalant attitude of the Federal Government towards the security situation in Nasarawa State is capable of sending a wrong signal to other ethnic and terrorist militias, thereby setting a regrettable precedence.
3. The persistent clashes in the State have been ignited by previous unresolved crises.
4. The crises in the State are heightened by weak political and traditional institutions, ignorance, and intolerance among members of the communities.
5. The Violent Conflicts between the two communities have posed serious challenges to their socio-economic well-being.
6. The rising unemployment rate, illiteracy and joblessness among the youths have extensively exposed the two communities to undesirable elements that could capitalize on insecurity to attack innocent citizens.
CISLAC RECOMMENDS AS FOLLOWS:
1. Immediate and independent investigation by the Federal Government into the cause of clashes in the State; and ensure that such killings do not occur again.
2. Government should first identify the dynamics of conflicts between the two communities; as two incidents, even if occurred in the same area, may not be viewed from same perception.
3. Effort to resolve the conflicts should give priority to the roles of traditional rulers, community/village heads, and the religious leaders who are likely to be more informed on the root causes of the clashes.
4. The traditional institutions in both communities should always imbibe positive attitudinal change to their members for proper orientation.
5. The State and Local Governments should provide the communities with skill acquisition centres and Local Technical Support to promote self-help skills as essential principles toward Peace Building and employment creation.
6. The Security Agencies should quickly interfere and restore order, without resorting to tactics capable of worsening the crisis.
7. All those who were involved in the killings of innocents people and police officers should be brought to book to serve as deterrence to others.
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)