Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with support from Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program organized a one day CSO consultative meeting on Building Effective Synergy with Security Institutions in Nigeria on Conflict and Security. The consultative meeting was to develop a CSOs position on partnership and linkage building with relevant track 1 institutions. The strategy meeting featured participants who were drawn from stakeholders across various thematic groups which include CSOs, Youth, labor and women Organizations, FBOs, Office of the National Security Adviser, Delegates from the ongoing National Conference, Media and CBOs. There were 47 participants in attendance including representatives from the NSRP. After exhaustive deliberations on the issues, the following observations and recommendations were made:
• There is no collective response to conflict at all levels which has heightened the current state of insecurity in Nigeria thereby creating Early Warning System gaps and overlaps in activities with the observation of the absence of a functional security incidence reporting numbers that will be smart/short for ease of use.
• The Meeting noted that mutual suspicion still persists among civil society and Defense & Security Institutions with negative impact on security cooperation in the country as Stakeholders are concerned with this negative trend and determined to strengthen efforts to better manage and resolve national conflicts and security
• Nigeria is currently passing through some of the most difficult security challenges in modern history considering the several spikes in conflicts between ethnic/communal/religious/political groups and settled agricultural communities.
• Weak commitment from the State Institutions towards providing human, environmental, economic and political security in fulfillment to regional, continental and global conventions and protocols has informed the decision for improved synergy between the civil movement and State Security Institutions.
• The meeting reviewed peace and security situation in the country, map out current challenges, risks, threats featuring the issue of corruption, unemployment and insurgency as most disturbing challenges to peace and security in the country which has largely created a huge gap, lack of inclusiveness, weak public institutions, information, accountability mechanism and impedes fundamentally on the implementation of previous white paper recommendations of government committees on conflict resolution.
• There is no specific target behind progressive planning and social mobilization, creating borderline technology, management of population flight and brain drain as well as end to poverty.
• State actors on security in Nigeria should begin to engage strategically and build synergy, critical mass mobilization, provide access numbers to the public and courageous advocacy to build security gaps and harmonize activities that will encourage partnership between the CSOs and the Security Institutions.
• Civil Society Organizations must raise voices for continued sensitization/education of the populace and target groups on security mechanism, build capacity and active citizenship as a strategy to reduce poverty, diseases and the pandemic of climate change as a sustainable and reliable standard to achieving the National Security.
• There should be a coordination of CSOs and Media intelligence gathering, processing and communication to appropriate action parties for prevention and early response with significant use of technology through its monthly meetings.
• Security Apparatus should carry out periodic threat assessment and formulation of minimum baseline for assessing state of national security including electoral security; drawing, among other sources, from regional early warning and risks assessment studies of ECOWAS.
• Government at all level should deploy transparency, inclusiveness, accountability, policy coherence and implantation of previous peace and reconciliatory recommendations to tackle emerging conflicts regimes as an instrument to create a robust socio-economic-political transformation for citizens.
• Government should develop a paradigm shift on the strategic planning to tackle the growing disparities between the rich and the poor, promote effective policing at boarders as well as respond to population flight through infrastructure.
Participants expressed their appreciation to Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) for embarking on the consultative meeting and urged the NSF meeting to build a structural transformation towards 2015 general election. They also thanked Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP) for providing the support. CSOs and media fully demonstrated readiness to collaborating with all stakeholders on issues of conflict and security as a tool to sustain the engagement with the aim of promoting Peace in Nigeria. Eight representatives were carefully selected, with adequate attention to the gender component to interface at the National Peace and Security Forum.
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Protest 2 Power Initiative
Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria