From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
Executive Director, Centre For Information Technology and Development (CITAD), Malam Zakari Ya’u Zakari has said that Nigeria cannot achieve sustainable development if peace is not prevailed in the polity, saying that the issue of social justice and blatant discrimination must be addressed for the prime objective to be achieved.
Speaking at a one- day evaluation meeting on peace organized by CITAD in Kano yesterday, Ya’u stated that the notion of social justice must be predicated on the premise of equality before the law, adding that the issue of addressing violent conflict could only be realistic with the citizenry being equal in the eyes of law.
According to him the spectre of hate speech and negative propaganda stunt on social media and other means of communication had taken a heavy toll on the quest to find a lasting solution to intractable conflicts, stressing that CITAD was up and doing in creating the much needed awareness for everyone to comprehend.
He said his organistaion had also undertaken a pain staking research on myriad cases of human right abuses stemming from the ongoing Boko Haram insurgency, affirming that the result so far recorded was impressive given the level of response received from those appalled by the alleged wanton violations of their right.
He added that CITAD was not able to reach out to the legislature at the federal level and the top military officers who were major stakeholders in ending the ongoing insurgency on the issue of advocacy and collaborative synergy, saying” This is the challenge we are currently facing.”
He maintained that many people were afraid to indulge in social media communication which serves as an effective means of disseminating information needed to engender peace, lamenting that there was low awareness and poor understanding of the medium to appreciably forge ahead.
On the issue of cattle rustling, Ya’u further revealed that CITAD had established the Cattle Rustling Information System to provide an on line documentation on the incidences of the problem in the country which had now become a major problem.
He opined that the organisation had also established network of volunteers against cattle rustling that was aimed at providing the much needed framework to fight the menace, stressing that the entrenchment of peace was a collective responsibility of everyone and that the task must not be left in the hands of the government to tackle.