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“Find out what agitators want” —Governor Ugwuanyi Urges Security agencies

The Executive Governor of Enugu State, His Excellency Dr. Lawrence Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has urged security agencies to endeavor to find out the grievances of agitators and what they want so as to know whether government can meet their demands, all in the spirit of mediation and conciliation.

Governor Ugwuanyi made the call in his address as Special Guest of Honor at the 2022 edition of the annual lecture series organized by Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC) Enugu branch. The lecture with the theme Stemming the Tide of Agitation & Insecurity Through Mediation, had Professor Emeka Aniagolu, Executive Director, Research Innovation and Development, Fides Et Ratio Ltd, Abuja, as the Keynote Speaker.

Gov. Ugwuanyi who was represented at the event by Hon. Miletus E. Eze, Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Enugu State, said that mediation can only work when the demands of the parties involved in conflicts or agitation are known.Therefore security agents should find out what the groups want and advise the government effectively on how best to address them.

In his words:

I listened carefully to the Guest Speaker where he categorized two groups essentially and rated them.But I know as a fact that there are mediations in clashes between farmers and herdsmen. The mediation may not have been conducted by an expert. But we have seen cases where herders with herds of cows enter farms and destroy farm crops and you see the traditional rulers who interfere and get themselves involved, and even the government. And the two of them will be persuaded and there will be mediation and if the cows have damaged the farm crops, they will be made to pay, and if the cow is killed, then they will be compensated. That is a form of mediation.

But the problem we have in this country is – how can you do mediation when you do not know the demands of the parties. A mediator can only act when the demands of the parties are known. But if they are unknown, the mediator cannot do anything. And if what the group is asking for is not known to anybody except themself, it will be difficult for subtle terror to be subjected to mediation. And this is the area where we look onto the security agents.

If there is an issue of insecurity, whichever group is involved in the insecurity, the security agency will be able to find out what they want and advise the government properly so that government can look into what that group wants if it is possible.

Gov. Ugwuanyi observed that there are a lot of problems in the country with respect to agitation and insecurity.

He specially thanked the Guest Speaker for his boldness in addressing the issue.

In his goodwill message, the Chairman Enugu State Council of Traditional Rulers, Igwe Lawrence Agubuzu, expressed pleasure to be at the event. He therefore commended the ICMC, Enugu branch, for yet another successful annual lecture.

He said:

I want to commend the Enugu branch of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators. This branch has been very active since its establishment. And annually they call us to come and witness the good work they are doing. I am pleased to be here this year again and I commend them.

Distinguished Service Awards were presented to the Guest Speaker, Prof. Aniagolu and the Enugu State Chief Judge, Hon. Justice Ozoemena, as well as other distinguished individuals.

Apart from the traditional rulers, other dignitaries at the event include Judges and other top members of the judiciary branch in Enugu State; Hon. Dr. Uchenna Cyril Anioke, the immediate past Chairman ICMC, Enugu branch, and other top members of the institute and top officials of the security and intelligence community in Enugu State as well as others.

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