Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Maikanti Baru, yesterday, identified mediation and conciliation as effective ways of dispute resolution.
They spoke at the annual conference and induction ceremony of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC) in Abuja. Legal practitioners from across the country attended the event, while former Minister of Culture and Tourism, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, chaired the occasion.
Ekweremadu, in his keynote address, noted that litigation had become expensive and acrimonious and that alternative dispute resolution remained a veritable tool of resolving conflicts. Speaking on Myth and Reality of Agitations: The Place of Consensus Building, Ekweremadu held that Nigeria as presently constituted was not working.
He decried the fact that Nigerians were split along ethnic and religious lines.“I believe the constituent parts of this country must come together around the table immediately to discuss and agree on how to fix the country. I also believe that the 2014 National Conference Report is a starting point,” he said.
Speaking, Lalong noted that his state was a direct beneficiary of mediation and conciliation and urged public and private institutions to embrace the concepts for swift conflict management.
He noted that the deployment of security operatives during conflict was no longer yielding the desired results and consequently called for the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as a means of managing disputes.Baru said that the NNPC had adopted mediation and conciliation as the first route of dispute resolution, adding that they were cheaper than litigations.
A keynote speaker, Professor Isaac Albert, advised President Muhammadu Buhari to embrace mediation and reconciliation in resolving the Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast and the militant activities in other parts of the country.