Experts have identified issues around urban violence in emerging cities across Nigeria with the aim of finding lasting solutions.
Experts shared resolutions at the National Convening of Urban Violence Stakeholders in Emerging Cities organized by Search for Common Ground Nigeria.
Speaking on the theme of the convening, ‘Urban Cities and Emerging Security Challenges in Nigeria: The way forward, the Country Director Search for Common Ground Nigeria, Sher Nawaz, said, for this project, we determined that Urban Violence is the most consequential conflict faced by Nigeria at the moment – we set out to know the causes so we can work to determine the solution.
Mr Nawaz said, “when we criticize the Government, we should not go into a critic mode but see how we can collaborate with the Government instead.
“We believe that when people talk to each other and listen, they could reach a solution”.
The event had in attendance state actors, government officials, peacebuilders, academia, private sector, civil society organizations, security agencies, and youth and women groups who discussed issues affecting Nigeria’s urban centres.
Dr Muhammed Mustapaha Yahaya of the Democratic Action Group, discussing unemployment, underemployment and Industrial violence said, government programs such as traderMoni, farmerMoni and other social investment programs make a minor impact as they don’t reach the target people.
“The Government should create an enabling environment for people to be self-employed and depend on themselves.” He said
Dr Pius Adejoh, Lecturer University of Lagos, harped on the increase in the reportage of drug abuse and its consumption.
Dr Adejoh said, “there is a correlation between the worsening economic realities and the increased consumption. There is also the collapse of the family system as parents abandon their responsibilities to their children along with schools and religious institutions.
“The way out is to recreate our family values and shift away from materialism. Schools should take responsibility to teach the evils of drugs.”
During his presentation on the increased cyber security problems in Nigeria, Prof Ifeanacho Martin, lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt, hinted that all crime forms are from the Nigerian structure of society.
“Youths cut ends to meet up with the focus on vanity. We need to establish our value systems and curtail the extravagance and excesses of politicians so the youth can be positively influenced. Also, examine cyber crime with an open mind and see how to re-engage the youth.
Search for Common Ground, with support from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, is implementing the “Amplifying the Expertise of African Peacebuilding Practitioners and Scholars” project to foster sustainable partnerships between African scholars and practitioners to influence international policy on emerging conflict issues such as urban violence in expanding cities in Nigeria.