By Uche Amunike
The Director-General, Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Joseph Ochogwu, has tasked members of the Taraba State House of Assembly to introduce peaceful agendas and issues that will make their constituencies better , so as to consciously improve the living conditions of the people of the state.
He made this call during the closing ceremony of the Strategic Legislative Course on Negotiation and Mediation with the Taraba State House of Assembly, held by the National Peace Academy of the Institute.
Speaking, during the event, the ICPR DG, Joseph Ochogwu, advised the 24 lawmakers in the house to put into practice, what they have been taught in their constituencies. His words, ‘We owe ourselves that responsibility to transform our society. It is not about the president or the governors. It is about what we do in our small spaces to make changes happen.’
‘Please, take home the training that you have gotten from here. Improve your constituencies with right legislation and discover a change in Taraba state.’
According to, the ICPR boss, the Strategic Legislative course on Negotiation and Mediation was the first ever, to aid in providing lawmakers with the required knowledge, skills and capacity needed to make Nigeria a very peaceful country. His submission: ‘The legislative branch of government derives their power directly from the people and the leaders need the right skills, knowledge and capacity to further engage with the people. The strategic skills are what we provided for the lawmakers today.’
He stressed on the violence that has prevailed in the country, so far, stressing that it is a cankerworm that needs to be nipped in the bud. He advised that it was an ugly trend that needed to be reversed, starting from an individual, community and larger society.
He further stated: ‘We hope that the partnership with the Taraba government and other organizations will continue so that we can change the narrative from issues around violence to peace alongside the renewed hope agenda of the current administration to continue to ensure that we dominate the space with the issues of peace.’
‘The issue of peace is not what one person or institution can do. We are looking towards a partnership with the Taraba government to make a difference.’
The Speaker of the Taraba State House of Assembly, John Bonzena, also spoke at the event. He promised that the House will set up a peace committee in the Assembly to take up the task of resolving issues. Hear him: ‘No one needs to be told about the importance of undergoing such training, particularly looking at the way the society is going. Maintaining peace in our society is very important.’
‘We will make our course practical when we go back to our state. We will have a peace committee in the state house of Assembly and they will be given a free mandate of making peace where necessary.’