By Bukar Bolori
The Director General, Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Dr. Joseph Ochogwu has said compassion and good mediation skill are important to making a great leader.
Ochogwu gave the verdict on Wednesday at the closing ceremony of the Strategic Legislative Course on Negotiation and Mediation with Taraba State House of Assembly by the National Peace Academy of the IPCR.
He said a compassionate leader would see things from the angle of his subjects and would be able to carry them along in all his decisions and programme which would subsequently limit crisis and whenever there is crisis a leader with mediation skill would be able to sit down and find a way out.
On the course which had in attendance 25 lawmakers from Taraba State House of Assembly, the DG said it was the first of its kind to help equip lawmakers with skills, knowledge and capacities in leading Nigerians towards a more peaceful country.
He noted “The legislative branch of government derives their power directly from the people and the leaders need the right skills, knowledge and capacity to further engage with the people.
“The strategic skills are what we provided for the lawmakers today.”
Ochogwu, while stating that violence has been prevalent in the country, noted that the ugly trend needed to be reversed, stressing that this must start from an individual, community and the society as well.
He said: “We hope that the partnership with the Taraba State government and other organisations will continue so that we can change the narrative from issues around violence to peace alongside the renewed hope agenda of the current administration to continue to ensure that we dominate the space with the issues of peace.
“The issue of peace is not what one person or institution can do. We are looking towards a partnership with the Taraba government to make a difference.”
The DG therefore advised the participating lawmakers to practicalise what have been taught in their constituencies.
He said: “We owe ourselves that responsibility to transform our society. It is not about the president or the governors. It is about what we do in our small spaces to make changes happen.
“Please, take home the training that you have gotten from here. Improve your constituencies with right legislation and discover a change in Taraba state.”
Speaking at the event, the Speaker, Taraba State House of Assembly, Hon. John Bonzena assured that a Peace Committee would be set up in the assembly to resolve issues.
Bonzena noted that: “No one needs to be told about the importance of undergoing such training particularly looking at the way the society is going. Maintaining peace in our society is very important.
“We will make our course practical when we go back to our state. We will have a peace committee in the state house of Assembly and they will be given a free mandate of making peace where necessary.”