The Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, says forgiveness, justice and reconciliation are necessary in forging an enduring peaceful society.
Egbetokun said this on Monday in Abuja at the opening of a course on Forgiveness, Justice and Reconciliation.
The course was put together by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution in collaboration with Peace Building Development Consult.
The I-G was represented by the Commissioner of Police, Directorate of Training and Development, Force Headquarters, Mr Abiodo Ashabi.
He said the Police Force would support any initiative aimed at promoting peace and conflict resolution in the country.
According to him, the course will help to achieve complete reconciliation and address crisis in all ramifications.
“We are to begin from somewhere and by the grace of God, we are going to end on a very positive note in this country.
“That is why the Police is pleased to identify with the objectives of forgiveness, reconciliation and justice which this programme is set to achieve.”
He urged the resource persons to touch all the necessary subjects that need to be discussed for the benefit of the participants.
In his remarks, the Director General of IPCR, Dr Joseph Ochogwu, said the course, which was the first of its kind across all institutions of learning in the country.
He said that it was developed to address the myriads of challenges confronting the nation in the last 20 years.
Ochogwu said there had been proliferation and liberalisation of violence, distrust, and lack of confidence between citizens and government, as well as among ethnic groups.
The D-G added that the society had become fractured and fragile, and require concerted efforts to change at individual, group and intergroup levels.
According to him, there is also mutual suspicion among security agencies.
“So we need to change these narratives to build a viral, stable and a prosperous Nigeria.
“That is why this course is designed for us to embrace ourselves as one entity, because only together can we build Nigeria.
“Once agencies are running contrary goals, you cannot make any headway.”
He said that the course was designed with inputs from Peace Building Development Consult to bring together the military, security and civil agencies, NGOs, faith and community organisations to understand the essence of forgiveness, justice and reconciliation.
“This is because the more depth you have over a particular issue, the easier it is for you to practice it.”
He added that by the time the police and the Nigerian army exchange flags of forgiveness and reconciliation for things done in time past, then it should be taken as one of the output of the course.
“We need to build our nation with key understanding of where we are going to.
“We have no option therefore than to work together in our onerous quest for peace in order for us to achieve a peaceful and stable society for the generations that are coming behind.
“It is only when we build a much more better Nigerian society, that we can engage externally and earn our respect,” he said.
It was reporeds that the three-day course has scholars from different fields.
The first lecture titled, “History of Violence and the Nigerian Security Dynamics” was delivered by Prof. Okpe Okpe, a former President of Historical Society of Nigeria.
The second lecture titled, “Concepts and Methods of Forgiveness, Justice and Reconciliation was delivered by Ochogwu.