By Ibironke Ariyo
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) has begun the training of personnel on peace building and mediation skills to enhance maximum efficiency of the service in the area of non-custodial services.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the four days training on Monday in Abuja, the Controller- General, NCoS, Mr Haliru Nababa said that mediation skills were germane to the operations of NCoS.
Nababa said that this was with NCoS expanded mandate of administering non-custodial measures, especially in the area of restorative justice which involved victim-offender mediation and the likes.
Non-custodial service is responsible for the administration of non-custodial measures such as community service, parole, restorative justice measures and such other measures as a court of competent jurisdiction may order.
He said that the need for peace-building and mediation skills across all human societies could not be overemphasised and that the service had fully keyed into the opportunity and would not relent in making the best out of it.
According to him, it is common knowledge that conflict is an inevitable phenomenon in human relations.
“As a result, different mechanisms have evolved to prevent these conflicts from further escalating to crises.
“Sometimes, failure to appropriately address conflict and build peace has resulted in several humanitarian crises experienced across the globe.
“A correctional officer should have that capacity and that understanding as to how he can mediate and the processes he need to follow in order to resolve conflicts,” he said.
He also said that every effort geared towards actualising peaceful co-existence and enhancing mutual understanding among communities was commendable and a step in the right direction.
Nababa noted that Alternative Dispute Resolution had proven to be more fruitful in resolving conflicts than formal litigation which may win a case but lose the peace.
“This underpins the contemporary philosophy that building peace through dialogue is no longer a choice but a necessity,” he said.
The NCoS boss urged all participants to pay attention to the benefits of training and justify their selection.
The President, Mediation Training Institute (MTI), Mr Segun Ogunyannwo, commended Nababa for keying into the training of its personnel.
Ogunyannwo noted that the officers of the NCoS had been mediating hence the need to further train them to build their capacity in attending to issues.
“In fact when the NCoS 2019 Act was reviewed, mediation was an integral part of what was brought on board.
“Let us partner with the NCoS to reinforce what you have been doing so that you can do it in an assured confidence and professional manner,” he said.
A participant, Department of Training Directorate of the NCoS, Dr Joseph Augustine, said that the training added value to their lives and would enhance their capacity in the area of non-custodial services.
Augustine said that the training was expected to consolidate an already existing structure that was in place that gave power to service in using mediation skills.
NAN reports that the peace-building and mediation training was organised by the Nigerian Correctional Service and the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators.(NAN)