Researchers from the Faculty of Arts, University of Ilorin, have vowed to explore alternative dispute resolution mechanisms to bring lasting peace to two warring communities in Kwara.
According to the University of Ilorin Bulletin issued on Monday, the research team leader, who is also the Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Oyeronke Olademo, made this known, during a familiarisation tour of two communities in the state, Share and Tsaragi, prior to the commencement of the research work.
Olademo, who made this known, while briefing the traditional rulers of both communities on the mission of the team, said that the researchers in the faculty were poised to wade into the communal clashes of the two communities.
He said that this would help in resolving the conflict through the use of alternative conflict resolution mechanisms, which the faculty believed would be more potent in curtailing the menace than frequently resorting to litigation.
Olademo said that the researchers found it necessary to interact with the elderly people in the warring communities to explore the stories, myths and songs of the communities in arriving at logical conclusion in the research and use it to solve the lingering crisis between the concerned communities.
He said that the team leader, who expressed dissatisfaction with the use of western ideologies in resolving the communal clash between the towns, said that the panacea to the problems of the two communities would be resolved.
Olademo disclosed that the research tools to be adopted include administration of questionnaire meant for large population, interview of some selected people and town hall meetings.
“Useful recommendations from the outcome of the research would help in no small way in enhancing peaceful cohabitation between the two communities,” he said.
The Professor of Comparative Religions, who acknowledged different measures taken by the government to put an end to the perennial clashes, maintained that the research proved that there still existed feud and discord in the communities.
She, therefore, solicited for the cooperation of the two communities, particularly the elderly ones who would serve as resource persons in gathering information.
Olademo assured the two communities that the results of the research would be made available to them for authentication.
In his response, the Olupako of Share, Oba Abubakar Garba, expressed his happiness over the interest of the researchers on the issue and invoked God to endow the research team with a resounding success.
The Chairman of Share Descendants Union, Mr Gabriel Jimoh, thanked the team members for their decision to wade into the perennial conflicts between Share and Tsaragi and assured the team of the cooperation of Share indigenes in the process of gathering information.
While welcoming the research team at Tsaragi, the Etsu of Tsaragi, Alhaji Aliyu Kpotwa appreciated the giant stride of the research team in contributing to the community development and beseeched God to grant them success.
Revealing the background to the communal clashes between Share and Tsaragi, the Etsu of Tsaragi, represented by the Makama of the land, Alhaji Muhammad Buhari, said that the
clash between the two communities “is a recent development which started in 1978″.
“The Etsu, who disclosed that their forefathers stayed together for a very long period without any feud, aligned himself with the use of internal mechanisms in halting the incessant clashes between the two communities.
He promised that his community would give unalloyed support to the team.
The inter-communal crisis between Share and Tsaragi remained protracted in spite efforts to find lasting solutions to it and it has accounted for the loss of lives and valuable property for many years.
“We believe in the efficacy of the use of culture, language and norms as conflict resolution tools, and that the ancestors used to settle dispute amicably without resorting to the law courts, introduced by the colonialists,” he said.