The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organized the 3rd National CSOs Consultative Meeting on Peace and Security with the support from Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP).The consultative discussed largely on emerging peace sterling lead speakers as well as huge recommendations towards the International Day for Peace. The forum featured participants who were drawn from stakeholders across the various thematic areas which include Women Focused NGOs, FBOs, Youth and Labor Organizations, Media and CBOs including office of the National Security Adviser of the country. There were 31 participants in attendance. After exhaustive deliberations on the issues of “EMERGING ISSUES IN PEACE, SECURITY & UNITY IN NIGERIA: AN APPRAISAL OF NIGERIA GLOBAL AND DOMESTIC SECURITY ENVIROMENT”
The meeting designed activities to mark the International Day for Peace with the theme “the Right of People to Peace” the activities were pre and post September 21st.
· The structure of vision 20:2020 is built on the solid foundation of peace and security. However, current situation has threatened the realization of the schedule for a sustainable National development plan.
· The concepts of economic prosperity, peace and social justice are germane to contextual understanding of national security in Nigeria for without economic stability and social justice at individual and societal levels, there will not be sustainable peace and without sustainable peace national security will be undermined.
· The attraction and dynamics underpinning peace and security in Nigeria cannot be divorced from the new eugenics agenda with attempt to have an influence over countries with veritable human and natural resources.
· There is no mechanism for integrating CSOs in the security architecture until recently with the intervention of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programs.
· Weak Information Management system, inadequate capacity for professional conflict resolution as well as gaps in grassroot programs are panacea for an inclusive National Security and Defence Management Architecture based on the constitutional responsibility on the Federal/State and Local government.
· The absence of legislative instruments to protect citizens has created huge fear and eroded confidence of most Nigerians in the Security Institutions.
· Activism and constructive criticism are strange bed mates to partnership and development.
· Government should be more sophisticated in managing security challenges, and avoid handling the issues in reactionary ways or adopting impulsive measures and strategies that fail to address the fundamental problems on a sustainable basis if it must achieve its vision 20:2020.
· There is need for Government to shift paradigm and engage civil society organizations through various empowerment programs at grassroot level to disable the mantra that states that ‘if you cannot provide for the many, you cannot protect the few’
· Civil Society Organizations should strongly advocate for home grown approach to development like the Asians, this is the only way to guarantee a secured country with little policy influence from developed countries.
· The ongoing inclusiveness of the civil society on the platform of the National Peace and Security Forum should be applauded and amplified at all level with sound encouragement for all states to adopt same systematic approach.
· CSOs and Government should develop an effective synergy to strengthen information management system as well as capacity at all level to demand for accountability from government as contained in the constitution and the National Security and Defence Management Architecture.
· The Legislature should develop an instrument for witness protection as a step towards confidence building from the citizens.
· There is need to enhance the relationship between government and CSOs to see each other as constructive partners rather than what is currently obtainable.
Participants thanked CISLAC with the support from NSRP for providing the platform for engagement. The process was acclaimed to be catalytic to strengthening the progress towards the Nigeria peace transformation agenda with various stakeholders, especially the current era of insurgency in the country. CSOs urge the Security Institutions, National Human Rights Commission and government to further investigate the Amnesty International’s allegation of the violations going on in the North East as well as the Extra Judicial Killings of the El-Zakzaky brother and 32 others in Zaria to stop impunity and protect the lives of the citizens as enshrined in the constitution.
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Dr. Ayokunle Fagbemi
Ms Agatha Ashiungwa
Women’s Rights to Education Program