Open Conflict between a Cult Group and the Community Boys

Open Conflict between a Cult Group and the Community Boys

By / Impact Stories / Thursday, 10 October 2019 10:38

The Story

After the conflict training that was held on 25th of January 2019 and facilitated by Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development (CIEPD), funded by Foundation for Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND), the CCM identified several conflict situations in the community. The community witnessed a conflict incidence between members of the Ice landers, a cult group operating in the community and some community youths. The Ice Landers have accused the community youths of denying them opportunities to be part of paid labour offered by KEFFES, the development agency set up to initiate and execute development projects in the community and supervised by the CDC. The youths felt that, the activities of the cult group was against the ethics of the youths and the community and also injurious to their aspirations and so prevented them from taking part in their daily activities. The community leadership especially the CDC supported the youth body in the decision they took to deny them opportunities in the community.

 However, the confrontation resulted into fighting and in the process, some boys were injured, but two community boys were seriously injured on the head with deep wounds. Both the members of the cult group and the wounded boys are in the community and the incidence is causing the community a lot of discomfort. The parents of the wounded children are treating their children at very high medical cost and are very angry.

Discussion on Intervention

Since their inauguration, the Community Coping Mechanism (CCM) has tried to resolve the matter. The group initially informed the CDC Chairman of the incident and its effects within the community. Since then, there have been continuing discussion on the issues and plans are being made. The CCM has planned and met with the families of the community boys who were injured, they met with the leader of the Ice land cult group and also met with the leadership of the Community Development Committee (CDC). The chairman is very happy that the CCM has taken the matter so seriously and are seeking solution to the matter. According to him, “what you are doing is very good because when there is disunity in any community, that community does not grow”  So far, the chairman of the community has promised to assist the CCM in resolving the issue.

Analysis of Conflict Issues

During the training held at the Kokuama 1 community town hall on 25th January 2019, and also in their three previous meetings held in 25th March, 7th April and 12th April 2019, the CCM is constantly analysing the conflict matter and the efforts so far taken to resolve the matter. So far, the following elements have been identified as contributing to the conflict:

1. Counter accusation

2. Open confrontation

3. Fighting resulted to injuries

Need for Intervention

The CCM member now understands the importance of peace in the community and there is to continue to work on the issue for the following reasons.

To stop the conflict from escalating among the young boys in the community

To build peaceful relationship within and out the community between the parties involved

To promote co-existence and peaceful participatory approach to community activities

Intervention

In order to take further action, the CCM engaged some of the community stakeholders that have the capacity to assist it to resolve the issue, consulting with community members who have influence over both the parents of the injured boys and members of the cult group and meeting with the leadership of the cult group for them to stop their activities that are annoying the youths and the leadership of the community. Discussions are still on-going and the CCM has developed an action plan during their last meeting to engage the following;

1. The CDC chairman

2. The Parents of the community boys that were injured.

The CCM will first inform the two groups of their intention to meet with them.

Hold separate meetings with the cult leader

Hold separate meeting with the parents of the injured community boys

Hold a reconciliation meeting on a set date with both parties in the interest of peace between them and for the benefit of the community

The series of meeting is aimed at informing all the parties about the need to make Peace regarding the prevailing issue between their children and the cult group in Koluama 1 community.

Engagement with parents of the community boys

After the meeting of the CCM on Sunday, the 7th of April 2019, the CCM met with the families of the community boys who were injured. However, the families of the injured boys did not give the CCM satisfying answers but have promised to think about the issue and give the CCM feedback.

Engagement with the leader of the cult group

Also the CCM spoke with the leader of the cult group via phone call. He said that “I am not in the community at the moment but will meet with the group when he gets back to the community” according to James Okpulu, the secretary of the CCM.

Engagement with the leadership of the CDC

The CCM also engaged the leadership of the Community development Committee (CDC) and some chiefs to end the conflict. The CDC chairman, Chief Alapu Okpulu, thanked the CMM for reporting the issue and promised to intervene alongside with the council of chiefs to ensure an end and peaceful acceptance by the two parties.

CDC and Council of Chiefs meeting

In a meeting that was held in the month of March, the CDC and the council of chief and in the presence of the chairman of the CCM (Chief Daye) summoned the two parties for a meeting to hear from them and seek a way forward.

Resolution

After listening to the two parties who made their presentations and defences on the matter, in the presence of the CDC and council of chiefs, the community leaders resolved and took the following decisions:

The cult boys should denounce their membership of the cult group if not they will be asked to leave the community.

They should go with their parent to apologize to the family of the injured community boys

Should bear part of the medical bill for the treatment of the two boys that were injured

Follow up on Resolution

The members of the Community Coping Mechanism have promised to follow up on the decisions and ensure compliance especially by the cult boys because they want a win-win situation and all those involved to been satisfied with the decision reached by the community leadership, promote peaceful co-existence.

Author

CIEPD Admin

CIEPD Admin

Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development (CIEPD)

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