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Forum Identifies Unemployment, Injustice As Key Causes Of Insecurity In Nigeria

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Stakeholders at a one day policy dialogue on protection of Civilians and Civilian harm mitigation in armed conflict   put together by Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), in Enugu, have raised concern over the current alarming insecurity ravaging South East, calling on all stakeholders to rise up and join hands in proffering solutions to the menace.

The programme supported by open Society Legislative Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) was organized for Non governmental organizations, (NGOs), Civil Society groups, Heads of Security agencies, and the media in Enugu srate, and was  graced by the Commissioner for Justice, and Athorney General of the state, Militus Eze, represented by a Senior legal officer in his Ministry, Barr. Uchenna Nwonye .

Speakers  at the event, noted that the development which  has continued unabated and heightened tension in parts of South East geo political zone of the country, needs urgent intervention by all stakeholders before it’s degenerates’ or drift the nation into full blown anarchy. 

They  equally  expressed worry over the recent Global Terror index which ranked Nigeria 3rd in Africa, stressing that if nothing is urgently done by relevant authorities to address the ugly trend, it may spell doom on the nation.

The participants, who identified accumulated political and economic  grievances, as well as lack of fairness and justice in the land as the key factor that has provoked the  jobless youths in the region, challenged Civil Society organizations to collaborate with security agencies in changing the narrative.

According to them, the issue of trust deficit between the state and non state Actors had always been a major challenge in Nigeria, adding that  the use of pre colonial police Act in the 21st century has not also helped matters in the nation’s policing system.

In his speech, Executive Director of (CISLAC), Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, said “there is no better time to bring stakeholders together to deliberate on the existential security gaps currently pervading the region and finding immediate solution to them for the overall interest of ensuring that civilian harm is mitigated.

“The South-eastern part of Nigeria has attracted significant attention of the public, the journalists, politicians, civil society groups, social scientists, foundations and international agencies in the recent past.

According to him, “the attraction was not due to a palatable reason, but one of great concern on the safety and security of people resident in this part of the country, occasioned by the activities of some elements capable of drifting the region into anarchy.

The  CISLAC boss, who spoke through a Board member of the organization, Barr. Adeshina Oke, said  Many reasons have been advanced to explain the continued deterioration of security in Nigeria.

“The main causes being of two fold – remote and proximate. These may include:

“The absence of institutional capacity resulting in government failure to protect its citizens from harm – which has informed the essence for this meeting.

“The gaping chasm of inequality and absence of fairness and justice; the disconnect between the people and the government.

 “These and many other proximate factors such as porous borders, rural-urban drift, poverty, and unemployment has combined to further aggravate the problem of insecurity in Nigeria.

“Let me say that CISLAC remains deeply concerned by the high number of acts of violence against civilians in various theatre of operations across the country.

He added  Nigerian state has never really enjoyed an appreciable period of stability that could guarantee Protection of Civilians and Civilian Harm Mitigation in Armed Conflict.

“Civilians have remained the biggest casualty! Each phase of Nigeria’s political history is punctuated by different security challenges – military coups, electoral violence, religious disturbances, militancy and banditry.

“In the South East, class interest and manipulations in the context of the struggle for control of state power and resources have resulted in violent conflicts of different degrees and proportions.

“The continued suffering of civilians, particularly the effects of sexual violence, loss of livelihood and constant attacks by Non-State Armed Groups is a cause for deep concern.

“Children and armed conflict and the psyche of children in conflict  environment is a potential harm to the society.  Sexual Violence in Conflict is a niche issue, protecting civilians from sexual violence and other conflict-related mayhem is a step in the right direction.

 The stories from various IDP camps and locals in operation theatres are indeed sore tales.

All is not well in the South East. Authorities say they are still searching for about 1,800 inmates who escaped from a prison aided by heavily armed gunmen.

He stated that “Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), in collaboration with Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) have worked collectively to institutionalize a participatory security system that is vibrant, robust and effective.

The nature of security is changing rapidly, arguably more rapidly than any other sector. This shifting landscape has implications for the roles of stakeholders in the Protection of Civilian and Civilian Harm Mitigation in Armed Conflict.

“That is why we have continued to advocate for a legislation on Protection of Civilian and Civilian Harm Mitigation, Protection being viewed from a right based perspective.”


Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=62398

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