Thursday, March 7, 2013

SHEHU SANI ANNUAL PRIZE (2013) FOR COMMUNITY PEACE ADVOCATE


Nigeria was created out of the major polar component at the turn of the 18th century. The northern Nigeria is one of the components of the emerged nation. The north is a large geographical entity with people of diverse background (in religion, ethnicity and temperament).

Much from the beginning, the people have been living in peace and harmony, until recently when the issues of ethno religious crisis started rearing its head. Since then, it has continues unabated. Ethno religious conflict has become one of the ugly features of northern Nigeria and social issues that have been of utmost concern to every stakeholder.

Several factors have been responsible for the increase in ethno religious conflict; poverty, illiteracy, ignorance, bad governance and uneven distribution of resources and so many other factors.

Whatever the cause may be, ethno religious conflicts
have negatively impacted the nation, especially the northern society beyond measure. It has destroyed the once cordial relationships between communities and the people, breeding mutual distrust and suspicion; led to under development, investment flight, death of hundreds of thousands of people’s lives, leading to increase in orphans, widows and its attendant’s social problems. Today, the serenity and innocence of many communities have been shattered.

Before the advent of the sad incident of the ethno religious conflicts in some of the northern Nigerian communities, most of these communities live in harmony and as their brother’s keepers. Muslims and Christians celebrate sallah together in mutual engagement, they live side by side, play side and do things in common, but today, sadly such a good rapport have been undermined.

Muslim and Christian’s mobs finds it easier to snuff live out of each other at the slights of any ethno religious conflict, with very little or no regards for the sanctity of life or any hope for a future engagements.

This sad scenario apart from undermining the very essence of our humanity equally gives us a very bad and unwholesome image in Nigeria and even beyond the shore of this country.

Despite all these challenges and during some of the past ethno religious crisis in some of the community in northern Nigeria, we discovered and observed that some individual, groups, institution and community stood against every forms of violent bloodletting, we have observed that some other demonstrate an unusual and uncommon efforts in peace promotion, or in preventing the escalation of violent or nipping violence in the bud and put a post violence confidence-building initiative in place to ensure a sustainable peace in the community, so that they serve as a role model or peace nations and heroes.

Peace is no doubt very important to the development of the community or a nation. It is necessary for the growth, development, sustainability and transformation of the community. It brings about socio-economic and political development of the community and the nation. It has helped many of the nations who observed and preaches peace to be progressive and prosperous. The importance and essence of peace can therefore not be over emphasized.

THE AWARD
The idea behind the Shehu Sani Annual Peace Prize for Community Peace Advocates is informed by his antecedent as an international peace advocate and human rights activist, drawing from his previous practice of honoring groups and individual who had helped to promote and sustain peace in the past cases of ethno religious conflict in northern Nigeria, especially in Kaduna and Jos, Plateau State.

THE AIMS/OBJECTIVES OF THE AWARD
Ø  To promote peaceful atmosphere in the society.
Ø  To foster brotherliness and positive communal relationship.
Ø  To reduce conflict within individuals and community
Ø  To provide a rallying point on issues related to peace.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR THE AWARD
Individual with a record of peace promotion or conflict resolution.
Groups with a record of peace building.
Communities with a record of peace buildings. They are the candidates whose nomination is submitted by qualified nominators. No one can nominate himself or herself.

NOMINATION AND SELECTION FOR THE AWARD
Nomination for the Shehu Sani prize may be submitted by individual and group especially (a NGO, professional and group like lawyer, doctor, journalist, social workers) within a minimum of three years with long experiences on issues of peace building or conflict resolution.

EVERY MARCH – DEADLINE FOR THE SUBMISSION OF NOMINATION
The nomination must be post marked not later than April of each awarding year. Nomination received after this date will not be considered.

JULY-AUGUST ADVISER REVIEW
The shortlisted nominations are reviews by the reputable international peace scholars, especially recruited/appointed for their knowledge on the relevance of the impact of each of the peace initiative or project so nominated.

SEPTEMBER – THE BENEFICIARIES ARE CHOSEN
At the beginning of September of each year, the committee chooses the beneficiary through a majority role.

PRIZES AWARDED
NOVEMBER – THE BENEFICIARY REACHED THE PRIZES
The Shehu Sani prize/award ceremony takes place on November 28, every year at Abuja, where each of the beneficiary receive their prizes, which consist of a $2000 cash, a star medal and diploma and a document confirming the beneficiary.

Every year, the Shehu Sani prize will allocate the sum of $2000 to any community, institute or group and individual that have demonstrated the promotion of peace harmony, have saved lives, prevented violence, the defied attempt to cause frictions and violence between Christians and Muslims.

ABOUT SHEHU SANI
Shehu Sani is a renowned and human rights activist and writer; he is the President of the Civil Rights Congress (CRC).

He was a leading figure in the Nigerian Struggle against military and the establishment of democracy rule in Nigeria. He had several times been arrested, detained and charges for sedition, unlawful assembly and disturbance of public peace.

In 1995, while serving as the Deputy Chairman of Campaign for Democracy (CD) – a Civil rights group, he was arraigned before a secret military tribunal and sentenced to life imprisonment for what the military authority referred to as “managing an unlawful organization” he was released in 1998 on the return democracy to Nigeria, having been behind bars for four years.

He has authored several books, relating to peace and on contemporary issues such books include the Killing Field, Political Assassination in Nigeria, Thugs at the Helm, Phantom Crescent, Scorpion under Pillow, Telling the True to Intolerance, the Children of Kaduna, the Children of Jos. He also published THE PEACE NEWSPAPER A TABLOID ON PEACE ADVOCACY IN THE NATION

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