• Honourable Distinguished Federal and State Government Participants;
  • His Royal Highness Shehu of Borno (or representative)
  • Honourable Commissioners present,
  • The Nigerian Bar Association, Jama’atul Nasrul Islam,
  • The Christian Association of Nigeria,
  • FIDA (International Federation of Women Lawyers Nigeria),
  • Network of Civil Society Organization Borno State.
  • Members of the Development Community;

Partners, friends, ladies and gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to meet the distinguished participants today to jointly examine and explore opportunities of social cohesion in the communities that we serve in the North East of Nigeria; I first would like to thank the National Human Rights Commission for bringing us together with many federal and state institutions, NGOs, CSOs, community representatives and participants to have dialogue around options and opportunities to bring out sustainable conflict resolution out of this long-standing crisis.

I would like to note that the effective resolution of the issues at hand is truly hope of transformation of the states in the North East. I am sure that all of you have transformative visions, for instance, Borno State formulated the 25-year long term development plan, which has now translated the first 10-year implementation plan and has been articulated in the 2021 budgets. However, resolution is not only a government act. It is about human beings. It is about your heart, feelings, and mind. It is about love, compassion, and forgiveness.

Healing the wounded hearts, minds and community goes to the core of sustainable transformation; effective inclusion, participation and engagement of women, youth, the directly and indirectly affected persons provides an important avenue for realization of the aspirations and hopes of the states and individuals alike for the immediate, medium and long term.

Under the very challenging situations that people have to go through, some people fall to drugs and other vices, or join the insurgency and other crimes. Protecting people from such, strengthening public confidence in government, and other institutions can progressively continue to be addressed;

We all know that this work is challenging, considering that the insurgency still poses a real threat. Nonetheless the UNDP continues to provide support, especially strengthening local systems for prevention of conflict, enhancing the local systems of peace building, promoting reconciliation and advancing state level action. This work is guided by a variety of policy frameworks including the guidance note of the Secretary General on United Nations Approach to Transitional Justice; The EU Policy Framework on Support to Transitional Justice and the African Union Transitional Justice Policy and others;

We also acknowledge the significance of the traditional system of community dispute management, religious/traditional practices, local customs, values and others in contributing to community reconciliation processes.

The application of measures for demonstrating interconnections and benefits of utilizing such interlinkages between traditional and formal justice systems can facilitate the effective deployment of transitional justice measures in a community reconciliation context alongside with national and international laws.

We sincerely hope that the cooperation between government institutions that are represented here today will be strengthened and sustained. I also would like to appreciate cooperation from the UN agencies, particularly IOM and for this critical venture. I also acknowledge and thank the support from the European Union, in creating and sustaining spaces for healing, strengthening social cohesion and promoting community transformation from conflict. These are fundamentally critical in realization of the sustainable development goals agenda, where no one is left behind.

I once again thank the NHRC for organizing this event and your continuous efforts in future in respect of this work.

With this, I would like to wish you all a successful workshop over the next two days and conclude my remarks by presenting our goodwill to you all.