Terrorism erodes inter communal trust, destroys social capital – CJN

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LAGOS – The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar, on Tuesday urged all Nigerians to unite and support the fight against terrorism to end its economic, social and psychological effects.

Mukhtar made the call in Lagos at the inauguration of the Nigerian branch of the International Law Association (ILA).

The occasion also served as the branch’s maiden annual conference.

The conference had the theme – “International Investments in an Era of Transnational Threats: Taking Stock and Charting International Law Responses for the Future’’.

The CJN, who chaired the occasion, said that the judiciary had become the cornerstone to provide the needed support as Nigeria tackled increased violence.

“As clearly spelt out by our Constitution, the main purpose of government is to guarantee security and growth of the country by ensuring protection of lives and property.

“The development of any country in the world is dependent on factors which affect or retard its growth, and security is central.

“Security of lives and property plays a major role in the development of any country, as investors in any economy want to be assured of the safety of their investments.

“It goes without saying that the impact of insecurity in a society is limitless. Apart from economic cost, the social and psychological implications are immeasurable,’’ she said.

Mukhtar said that proliferation of small arms and the militarisation of the society had resulted in a vicious cycle of violence which had hampered national stability.

“Terrorism erodes inter communal trust and destroys the reservoir of social capital that is so vital in building a harmonious society and pooling together community efforts for national development.

“It is evident that Nigeria has not attained her best in her quest for industrial breakthrough since independence; this has forced the nation to rely heavily on importation for a great percentage of its sustenance.

“As government strives to correct this trend, insecurity will definitely stand as a clog in the wheels of our progress,” the CJN said.

Mukhtar, therefore, urged all hands to be on deck in promoting peace and stamping out terrorism, which she described as inimical to sustainable national development.

Also speaking at the event, the Lagos State Attorney- General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Ade Ipaye, called for a more workable approach in tackling violence.

He called for exploration of other avenues such as mediation, conciliation and arbitration in resolving the challenge of insurgency in the country.

Other dignitaries at the event include a former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Bayo Ojo (SAN); a Queen’s Counsel, Prof. Maurice Mendelson; and the President of the Nigerian branch of the ILA, Mr Fidelis Oditah.

The Conference also had in attendance, a representative of the Nigerian Society of International Law, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, as well as Senior Advocates of Nigeria. (NAN)

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