CENGOS Restoring Peace Through Alternative Dispute Resolution In Akwa Ibom Communities

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he efforts of the Coalition of Eastern Non Governmental Organisations CENGOs, Akwa Ibom State branch in restoring peace in some homes and Communities at large in the State through Alternative Dispute Resolution has started yielding fruits.

Recall that CENGOs in collaboration with CIRDDOC through a project funded by Amplify Change had on May, 2021 engaged Community Educators in a two day capacity training on Conflict Management and Alternative Dispute Resolution in the State.

The Akwa Ibom State Coordinator of CENGOs, Mr Israel Ekanem in an interview explained that the organisation was targeting reduction of hostility and antagonism in homes and Communities through mediation.

He said Alternative Dispute Resolution if activated in the communities, would promote peace and cordiality even as the procedure therein provides greater room for compromise than litigation.

Barely three weeks after the capacity training in the State, the purpose behind the training has started materializing as the Community Educators have demonstrated in different capacities how conflicts can be resolved without litigations and the parties involved become satisfied thereafter.

At Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of the State, the Organisation waded into a case where a family was on the verge of collapse as a result of a suspected infidelity between a husband and the house help.

The wife had accused the husband of having an illicit affair with the househelp and insisted that the girl must go, but the husband vehemently opposed but later accepted on a condition that the wife’s mother living with them should also go.

That became the bone of contention in the family as non of the spouses yielded to each other’s condition. The issue was leading to domestic violence until the Community Educators intervened and pleaded with the two parties to come to a compromise. Both the house help and the mother inlaw, later left and peace returned to the family.

The Community Educator, Mrs Aniefiok Raphael said, “when I learnt of the incident, I pleaded with each of them to resolve the issue amicably, at the end, the wife said the house girl must go. The husband on his own, said the mother in law must also go since her wife didn’t want any help then they should all stay alone with the children.

“But the wife said her mother can’t leave her house, then the husband insisted. Then he later said, the wife should also leave his house, I went personally and pleaded with each of them but to no avail. So their pastor was involved but he said we should be praying for them.

“After two weeks, nothing happened. The husband called me saying since the wife wants to be stubborn, she should go with her mother. I went to the mother inlaw pleading with her to go while she can be visiting. The mother inlaw accepted to leave but vowed not to visit them again even when she dies, the son inlaw should not come.”

Also, another case of widowhood Injustice and inheritance right was recorded in Udung Usoatai, Oron local government Area of the State where one Mrs Nene James Esin, a widow was denied of her late husband’s landed property.

According to the Educator who mediated over the case, the widow’s brother in-law destroyed her farm crops claiming that he(brother in-law)was the rightful owner of the land since his brother is dead.

Through the intervention of the NGO, the matter was resolved peacefully even as the Educator, Mrs Patience Oke reported the case to the village council which intervened and pointed out the wrong sharing formular of the property and re-shared it to the satisfaction of both parties.

“I reported the case to the village council and traditional injunction was placed on the land. On May,18,2021 the entire Esin family and the village council went to inspect the land and concluded that the widow was cheated by the sharing formular.

“On Saturday, May 29, 2021 both parties, Esin family and Udung Usoatai village council committee met and the land was shared appropriately by Chief Ante and everybody was satisfied and subscribed to resolution of the council and peace returned to the family” The NGO said.

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