Thursday, 03.06.2021 - EU Security for All - Abuja

Multi-Stakeholder Consultative Forum on Peace and Security Challenges in Nigeria

Till January 2021, the Southeast region of Nigeria was arguably the most peaceful part of the country. The once quiet zone has evolved into a hotbed of violence targeting state security institutions in the region. Between January and April 19, 2021, over 17 police stations, in addition to a correctional facility, have been visited by Unknown Gun Men, leaving in their trail dead officers, charred police stations, freed prison inmates, and empty stations armoury.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Nigeria, in collaboration with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), with co-funding from the European Union (EU), organized a multi-stakeholder consultative forum on peace and security challenges in Nigeria, under the theme "Examining the Current Security Crisis: Attacks on State Security Institutions & Installations in the Southeast Region."

The forum brought together over 50 experts and relevant stakeholders in Nigeria’s peace and security sector, providing an opportunity for these key stakeholders to critically interrogate rising insecurity, attacks on security institutions, and government responses to the agitations in the South-East region. The forum was also designed to provide a platform for the building of a community-driven strategy to promote evidence-informed policies for the government, while charting pathways and proffering practical ideas to enable Nigeria leadership, development partners, and other relevant stakeholders to navigate the seemingly intractable challenges and work together to ensure sustainable peace and development.

Among the bigwigs were Rt Hon. Abdulrazak Sa’Ad Namdas – Chairman, House Committee on Army, and Chairman, Technical Working Group on the Protection of Civilian and Civilian Harm Mitigation in Armed Conflict; Auwal Ibrahim Musa – Rafsanjani, Executive Director, CISLAC-Nigeria; Dr. Daniel Mann, Resident Representative of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Nigeria; General SK Usman (Rtd), Representative of the DG Nigeria Army Resource Center (NARC); Ms Abiodun Baiyewu, Country Director of Global Rights; Representative of the Inspector General of Police; Representative of the Chief of Army Staff; Representative of NSCDC Commandant General; Dr. Ndubuisi Nwokolo, Senior Parnter, Nextier SPD; Dr Chris Kwaja, Senior Lecturer and Security Sector Researcher; Oseloka Obaze, Former Secretary to the Anambra State Government; Dr. Ben Nwosu; among others.

In the end, some of the recommendations from the participants were

  • Representation and Voice: more people in the rural areas, especially women and the youth, should be involved in discussions, deliberations, and town hall meetings. Organizers of multistakeholder consultations like this should consider going to the region affected and engage with those involved.
  • Perceptions of Security Agents: There is a shortage of confidence in the police and security agencies. The general sentiment is that the security agencies work for the “elite” and not the generality of the people of Nigeria, i.e., they are viewed as instruments of oppression. Therefore, the Police must really become the friend of the common person.
  • Intergenerational Co-ownership: The National Action plan for youth, peace, and security being developed by Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) should be seriously considered. Youth should be involved in the peacebuilding process.

A more comprehensive and constructive outcome document (a Policy Brief) would be and communicated to the relevant stakeholders and the general public when available.

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