MCN is delivering a capacity building programme for traditional rulers ©

Chris Morgan/J4A

December 2020

Two hundred and forty-five (245) traditional rulers from Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states have benefitted from capacity strengthening in the traditional justice system implemented by the Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) Programme. The beneficiaries, made up of 165 district heads from the three states and 80 ward and village heads from Borno State, participated in workshops held in Damaturu, Maiduguri and Yola in November 2020, facilitated by Green Horizon.

The workshops enhanced the knowledge of traditional rulers on the Nigerian legal system, the different forms of alternative dispute resolution, human rights protection in traditional justice systems, and coordination with formal security and justice institutions. 

A highlight was the interactive sessions where the traditional rulers engaged with a wide range of stakeholders – from security agencies, justice administrators, civil society and the media – to address challenges in justice administration by both formal and informal institutions. Notable among issues raised across the states was the underfunding of traditional councils; lack of coordination between formal justice and security institutions with traditional rulers; delays in handling of cases due to complex procedures in the formal courts; lack of investigation capacity in law enforcement agencies; and the erosion of public trust in law enforcement agencies. MCN is working with stakeholders to address these and other identified issues.

Eighty scribes of traditional rulers were also trained in Borno. The scribes learned how to record disputes resolved both manually and via the ‘sulhu scribe’ software specially designed for the traditional ruler councils. MCN has now trained 2,442 traditional rulers and 2,277 scribes in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states.

“Before the training, the district heads were not well acquainted with the laws and conflict resolution strategies. We wish the training had come earlier but we will make good use of the knowledge and skills acquired.”

Musa Ismaila Manza, District Head, Uba, Uba Emirate Council, Borno State

“We have learnt a lot about constitutional provisions, family law and alternative dispute resolution and are better equipped to handle conflicts between farmers and herders.”

Abba Kyari Terab, District Head, Dususman, Jere LGA, Borno State

“We now know more about human rights and the rights of women. We are ready to do our best to protect their rights as we lead and resolve disputes.”

Zanna Daniel Aji Maina, District Head, Chibok Whuntaku, Borno Emirate Council

“The training provided us a platform to learn and network.”

Alhaji Umaru A. Muazu, District Head, Sorau, Mubi Emirate Council, Adamawa State