Nigeria Must Tackle Violence, Impunity – American University head

The president of American University of Nigeria has written extensively on the Rwandan Genocide.

Nigeria must address violence and impunity if she must restore peace, the president of the American University of Nigeria, AUN, Margee Ensign, has said.

“These structural issues need to be mentioned and tackled,” she told an interfaith workshop held at the AUN campus on Saturday, April 26. The workshop was a program of the Interfaith Mediation Center.

Ms. Ensign, who has written extensively on the Rwandan Genocide, said there was structural violence building up, with millions out of school, uneducated, and unemployed, and that there was structural impunity when the justice system does not hold people accountable for breaking the law.

“With all who have been killed in the North and other parts of the country with this recent violence, how many people have been charged with murder? To solve this problem requires a good and dedicated government which understands this and wants to solve it,” she said.

She also said that a functioning judiciary that really holds all people accountable was an important part of the solution.

Ms, Ensign recalled how the AUN, in partnership with the Adamawa Peacemakers Initiative, API, had rendered some humanitarian assistance to the neighbouring communities, particularly the relief support extended to internally displaced victims of violence in the northeast living in Mubi and Bole in Yola.

The American who is also a Political Economists added that “It is very important that people begin to realize how serious this is”.
She urged all at the gathering to shun self-defeating thoughts when taking up the responsibility of others.

“If we leave here thinking that the problem was caused by somebody else and you can’t solve them, then it is self-defeating,” she said.

Besides its peace-building efforts through the API, a forum of community, religious, traditional leaders, intellectuals and professionals in Adamawa State, the AUN is also spearheading the Grand Alliance for Adamawa.

Launched last fall, the Grand Alliance is a forum for exchanging ideas and developing specific projects that will increase employment in the North East region, especially for vulnerable youth

AUN also sponsors a Sport-for Peace Scholarship Scheme which offers youth from Yola communities opportunities to pursue their academic and sporting careers at the same time.

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