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Army Plans Retreat On Trauma, Resilience To Heal Conflicts Memories




The Nigerian Army says it will soon organise a retreat to create awareness on trauma and resilience as part of efforts to heal memories of conflicts witnessed by Nigerians.

Maj.-Gen. Jonny Hamakin, the Director-General of the Army Resource Centre, stated this in an interview with newsmen on Monday on the sidelines of a five-day “Trauma Awareness and Resilience’’ workshop held at the centre.

The workshop is organised by the centre in conjunction with a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Peace Building Development Foundation.

“We are talking about trauma awareness and resilience and you will all agree with me that we have a lot of conflicts going on, emanating from different reasons and people get hurt.

“When I mean hurt, I am not talking about physical injury; I am talking about the wound in the heart.

“So, we feel it is very important that we make the people aware that there is another way of healing memories.

“Many people carry this wound over and over, and it can lead to other conflicts because issues have not been addressed.

“But when people are educated as we are doing, they tend to create a platform where they can discuss their grievances and you know when you talk, you resolve conflicts,’’ Hamakin said

According to him, a lot is being done in the North East in this regard through the various NGOs that are involved in taking care of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

He said that there was the need to make the people of the region rediscover themselves, adding that the “only way you can rediscover oneself is to find out that there is a problem and address them.’’

The director-general also said troops in the area were involved in doing that apart from making sure that there was peace in the region.

He said that Nigerians had been carrying wounds both physically and emotionally since the 1966 coup, Nigeria/Biafra war and the various ethno-religious violent conflicts among other incidents.

Also speaking, Mr Kayode Bolaji, the Executive of the NGO, noted that Nigeria had experienced multiple layers of trauma since the civil war.

Bolaji, however, said that there had been no engagement either from the Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) or the government to address those traumas.

“This is why we came together in partnership with the army to look at the different dimension of trauma and how to build resilience against it.

“The most important thing is for people to understand the meaning of trauma before we move to psycho-social support,’’ he said.

He lamented that agencies of government that should educate the people on trauma were not doing enough.

“For us, once there is awareness, we can then get a multi-stakeholder committee to look into some of these issues, there is the need for Nigerians to key into what we are doing,’’ Bolaji said. (NAN)