Traditional rulers share preventative messages about COVID-19 ©

British Council

May 2020

The Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) Programme is working with traditional rulers to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their communities. MCN donated personal protection equipment (PPE) and sanitary facilities to 22 emirates and traditional councils in Adamawa (8) and Yobe (14) states. Items donated include face marks, hand sanitisers, hand washing materials, and materials on COVID-19 prevention.

The critical supplies will enable the traditional rulers who engage in alternative dispute resolution to continue their work in a safe manner. Dispute resolution services offered by the traditional rulers are important to maintain law and order during lockdown, especially whilst the formal courts have reduced activities and other COVID-19 preventive measures. 

MCN also facilitated the preparation of a protocol for safe dispute resolution. The programme engaged the traditional rulers to communicate preventive measures for COVID-19 and share contact information of the referral centres for persons exhibiting symptoms of the virus. This is crucial given the widespread denial of the reality of the pandemic in Nigeria and suspicions about testing and confirmation of status. 

This initiative builds on MCN's work to enhance conflict management in communities. So far, the programme has trained 2,190 traditional rulers and supported them to resolve disputes in their communities.

'We are grateful to the European Union and the British Council for ensuring that our society is safe from COVID-19.' 

Alhaji Dr. Muhammadu Abali Ibn Muhammadu Idrissa, Emir of Fika and Chairman of the Yobe State Council of Traditional Rulers

'We are committed to tackling COVID-19. These flyers will be placed across the palace and mosques, and will shared with our district heads and religious leaders for self-education and sensitisation. No one will get access to my palace again without using this hand washing facility and applying a facemask.'

HRH Dr. Bashir Albishir Bukar, Mai Machinama, Machina Emirate, Yobe State

Watch traditional rulers share COVID-19 prevention messages on local media.