North West peace, security summit: Musawa, Hamza Idris, others, proffer solutions to region’s conflicts

Minister of Art, Culture and the Creative Economy, Barrister Hannatu Musa Musawa has highlighted the vital role of cultural integration in promoting peace and security in Nigeria.

The Minister made this known at the Northwest Peace and Security Summit, held in Katsina state from June 25-26, 2024, which brought together top government officials, security experts, and stakeholders to address the region’s security challenges.

During a panel discussion titled ‘Exploring Kinetic and Non-Kinetic Strategies for Advancing Peace and Security’ Minister Musawa emphasized the vital role of cultural integration in promoting peace and security.

“The North West  region of Nigeria is at a crossroads, facing significant security challenges that have caused profound disruption. Yet, within this adversity lies the potential for transformation and renewal. Today, I emphasize the vital role of cultural integration in promoting peace and security in our beloved region.

“By embracing our cultural differences and celebrating our unique traditions, we can build bridges of understanding and foster a profound sense of community that transcends ethnic and religious divides. Therefore, let  us harness the potential of cultural and creative industries to create jobs and provide viable opportunities for our youth. By doing so, we can empower them to become agents of positive change and provide a sustainable alternative to the cycle of conflict.

“I also urge our respected religious leaders and traditional custodians of our culture to join us in this endeavor. Your influence and wisdom are crucial in helping us find lasting solutions to these conflicts and promoting peace, understanding, and unity in our region.  Together, let us celebrate and leverage our cultural diversity to build a brighter future for all.”

However, one of the panelists and the Editor of Nigeria’s Daily Trust Newspapers, Hamza Idris posited that until the victims whose cattle have been rustled are fully compensated, support from the federal government may not yield much positive fruit.

Idris also proffered the use of kinetic strategies to decimate criminality in the region.

“Whatever the North West governors will do, including whatever support they will get from the federal government, will not succeed until they address the existential problem.

“They must look for that young man we all call a bandit, whose cattle and that of his parents and grandparents have been rustled. We must compensate and give them back their cattle and then convert all the so- called ungovernable spaces we have in the states to grazing areas. Of course, we must continue using a kinetic approach to decimate the criminals in the region.

“However, all investments of governors including buying of tractors, fertilizer and so on would amount to nothing because the farmers will not access the farmlands, unless the aggrieved herders, who have taken up arms against the state, are treated with fairness”.

Other panelists included the Hon. Minister of Youth Jamila Bio, Maj. Gen. Adamu Garba Laka, National Coordinator of the National Counter-Terrorism Centre, Chris Ngwodu, Director General, Office of Strategic Preparedness and Resilience, and Hamza Idris, Editor of Nigeria’s Daily Trust Newspapers. They discussed the importance of non-kinetic solutions, job creation, and addressing the root causes of conflict.

The summit is aimed at finding lasting solutions to the region’s security challenges, which have resulted in significant displacement, loss of lives, and hindered development efforts. With a collective effort, the region can leverage its cultural diversity and creative industries to build a brighter future for all.

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