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Kidnappings in Western Nigeria: DAWN Commission Appeals For Calm

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…DAWN Commission has been directed by the Governors of the States of Western Nigeria to coordinate the Security Summit

…The Summit will bring together critical stakeholders to brainstorm on address the spate of insecurity in the Region

The Management of the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN Commission) has reacted to the much talked-about rise in the wave of kidnappings in the Region.

The Commission, in a statement issued on Friday appealed for calm adding that, “We are hard at work with the States of Western Nigeria and other relevant stakeholders in finding a lasting and sustainable solution to a myriad of security challenges besetting the Region and Nigeria at large. The Commission has been designated by the Western Nigeria Governors’ Forum as the coordinating secretariat for a proposed regional Security Summit.”

The statement added, “We are mindful of our strategic role in peace building, conflict resolutions and flagging issues that affect the Homeland.”

The Commission then went further to appeal to the general public that contrary to the alarmist, exaggerated and sometimes misrepresentation of facts by mischievous elements on social media and other fora, Western Nigeria largely remains peaceful, safe, welcoming and harmonious to all law abiding people and not in a state of crisis.

Read the Full Text of the Statement:

WESTERN NIGERIA: DEFEATING FEAR

We call on the Western Nigeria public whose stakeholder passion might be harnessed for the sustainability of Western Nigeria as a composite unit, and for reinforcing the uniqueness of the Region as a welcoming, tolerant and law abiding space where the collective peace and harmony of all people is paramount.

Whilst we are hard at work with the States of Western Nigeria and other relevant stakeholders in finding a lasting and sustainable solution to a myriad of security challenges besetting the Region and Nigeria at large, we are mindful of our strategic role in peace building, conflict resolutions and flagging issues that affect the Homeland.

In clear terms:

1. The Executive Governors of the States of Western Nigeria are concerned about the security situation in the Region and are committed to working actively to protect the lives of the citizens. DAWN Commission has been designated as the coordinating secretariat for a proposed Regional Security Summit.

2. DAWN Commission appeals to the general public that contrary to the alarmist, exaggerated and sometimes misrepresentation of facts by mischievous elements on social media and other fora, Western Nigeria largely remains peaceful, safe, welcoming and harmonious to all law abiding people and NOT IN A STATE OF CRISIS.

3. DAWN Commission condemns the threat to lives and properties of the people of Western Nigeria by criminal elements both in our rural and urban settlements. We are averse to the spate of robberies and abductions on our roads and highways; and economic sabotage by trespassers on farmlands in the Region.

4. DAWN Commission supports all efforts by State and Federal authorities and the International Community to ensure the protection of people in these areas, and appeals to relevant authorities not to relent in their efforts at ensuring that perpetrators and those directly or indirectly responsible for these crimes capable of disrupting the peace of the Region face justice and are held accountable for their crimes.

5. DAWN Commission also calls on all those with influence, including political, religious and traditional leaders, to exercise and encourage restraint and to refrain from incitement to hostility or violence, even in moments of outrage. An escalation of inflammatory rhetoric by influential persons or groups at a moment like this has the potential to aggravate the growing unease and could ultimately serve the interests of those averse to peace in the Region.

6. DAWN Commission calls on all influential leaders to exercise restraint in spreading unfounded and unsubstantiated messages and incitements and counter such with messages of tolerance, respect and peace. We urge the general public on all forms of social/traditional media to act responsibly and refrain from using or condoning any language that may escalate tensions and to constructively scrutinize and be keenly aware of numerous mischievous narratives and postings on social/traditional media platforms.

DAWN Commission being the Regional development institution pursuing the composite development of Western Nigeria under a co-operative and collaborative framework will continue to mobilize and work in a concerted effort with a variety of actors and stakeholders regionally, nationally and globally to prevent insecurity, incitement to violence and to avert the risk of communal crisis in Western Nigeria and Nigeria as a whole.

Thank you.

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