The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organized the 7th National CSOs Consultative Meeting on Peace and Security with the support from Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP). The consultative meeting focused on the strategic role of the Youths, Ethics, Values and Patriotism can play in amplifying tolerance, social justice, peace and security particularly in the North East as the country prepares towards 2015 general elections. The forum featured The Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values, Dr. (Mrs.) Sarah Jubril, Chairman, Presidential Initiative for the North East, Professor Soji Adelaja, Director of Voter Education and Civil Society, INEC Barr. Osaze Uzzi, Representatives from of the Honorable Minister of Youth development as well as representative from the National Human Rights Commission. Participants who were drawn from stakeholders across the various thematic areas which include Peace Corps of Nigeria (PCN), Motor Cycle Association, NGOs, FBOs, Youth and Labor Organizations, Media and CBOs.
• There is a disappearance of social mobility in Nigeria which has translated into the absence of Ethics and Values as well as preventive infrastructure that could curb violence amongst citizenry.
• Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE) has remained a priority and a key driver in the design to provide emergency assistance, mobilize targeted resources to jump start the North East economy and strategically position the region long term prosperity.
• Leadership and role models are gradually eroding, influential leadership are not limited to governance, but leadership is all-encompassing, leadership in government, spiritual leadership, traditional leadership, even in the family there are leaders, the corporate leadership, all these sets of leadership have not lived up to expectations in Nigeria.
• While Government has not done much in fiscal, monetary, and exchange rate policies in other to maintain stability, contribute to investor and balance of payments stabilization thereby increasing Poverty, unemployment, idleness, drug addiction, political thugerry, illiteracy, religious bigotry and a number of vices has been blamed for the violence in North Eastern Nigeria even before the advent of insurgencies.
• Weak capacity of Civil Society Groups in the North East Nigeria still remains a gap in engaging state actors on one side and educating the citizens on the other on the roles and responsibilities of every institution towards reclaiming the country from the brinks of collapse.
• Despite the challenges that are currently affecting personnel deployment from INEC to the North East, some very dynamic response mechanism is developed to mitigate those challenges through the current portal developed to recruit ad hoc staff.
• The ruling class should restore social values in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) as well as provide adequate preventive infrastructure as conceived by the founding fathers of the country by strengthening state institutions, particularly in the North East.
• Without any recourse to the dwindling revenue in the country, the government should as a matter of urgency provide adequate budgetary support to the Presidential Initiative for the North East and charge the legislature to gazette it considering the critical role of the initiative in the overall national transformation.
• Rarely in the history of Nigeria, do we see the youth movement practically still to purse, reflect, recollect and strive to emulate the life of one any leader. Therefore, leaders in governance, traditional and spiritual institutions were charged to practice what they preach as a panacea for peaceful elections and beyond as well as development.
• Government should remain focused in its economic planning programs and diversify the economy to create more wealth, generate employment and further stimulate the economy by further mobilizing non oil revenue as well as reorder resources to critical sectors of the economy.
• Civil Society Organizations and media should engage more actively in capacity building to provide space to educate youth groups especially, in poor urban and rural areas, and strengthen participatory early warning and early response systems, and raise timely alerts of possible violence before, during and after the elections.
• INEC was charged to sustain its ongoing national drive in terms of developing a credible register and maintain its independence and integrity for a more robust and participatory democratic process in Nigeria.
Participants thanked CISLAC with the support from NSRP for providing the platform for engagement. The meeting resolved to participate more in the weekly radio programs positioned by the organizers to engage the relevant stakeholders towards ensuring a more patriotic citizenry, peace and security before, during and after the elections. CSOs thanked Madam Sarah Jibril and urged the PINE to position more strategically with the legislature for a more national visibility. INEC was applauded for all its efforts and urged to maintain its independence. The meeting hailed the proposal of the Senate to capture the IDPs in the forth coming general elections.
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Dr. Mrs Sarah Jubril
Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values
Professor Soji Adelaja
Presidential Initiative for the North East