The Development Director of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Christopher Pycroft has said that the rise in conflict situations in parts of Nigeria may destabilise the country’s democracy in the run-up to the 2023 elections.
He made this known at the launch of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) Peace and Inclusive Security Initiative (PISI).
He said the frequent crises across the country could be attributed to impunity and weak justice institutions.
He also added that conflicts represent an existential threat to Nigeria’s unity and development.
He highlighted that “There is an active insurgency in the north-east; farmer-herder conflicts are extending across the country; resource conflicts in the Delta; tension in the south-east; and banditry in the north-west.”
“Conflict destroys lives, destroys livelihoods, destroys hope and ambition for the future. Conflict represents an existential threat to Nigeria’s unity and its development,” he said.
He pointed out that peace and stability can be achieved at different level of government in the country, provided the causes of conflict are managed through strong, fair, and responsive mechanisms.
Pycroft however, stated that though the use of the police and army has been helpful, it is only a part of the solution.
He, advised the government at all levels to concentrate more on reconciliation, mediation, arbitration, and access to justice, these he said are all vital components of a vibrant, resilient, and effective social contract.
He further advised that for the younger generation to have a stake in a prosperous and peaceful Nigeria, creation of jobs should be a key component of the government.
He noted that the British government recognises the important role being played by the NGF in promoting peace and security across the nation, he then pledged the UK’s support in Nigeria’s fight against insecurity.