Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) in collaboration with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) convened the maiden meeting of the National Peace and Security Forum. The objectives was to provide sufficient cooperation by all citizens, civil society organizations (CSOs) and think tanks to develop insights and be able to attract information from various levels that will be particularly useful for early warning and early response. The meeting discussed strategies, options and alternatives for our security institutions in combating insecurity in Nigeria. There were 42 participants in attendance including representatives from the Security Institutions, MDAs, CSOs, IPCR, NSRP, INEC, NEMA and the National Orientation Agency. After exhaustive deliberations on the issues, the following observations and recommendations were made:
- Crimes and threats to Peace and Security have dramatically increased since 1999 when Nigeria resumed its democratic experiment. This democracy gave room for the emergence of the current insurgency threats since 2002.
- The failure to counter security threats and crimes at incubation can only be blamed on our current methods of operations which promote turf protection, politicization of security claims as well as indifference to security matters.
- There is lack of inter-agency collaboration amongst security institutions; superior knowledge claim and partisanship of CSOs and Media are cumulative tools that have deepened conflict in Nigeria.
- There is no articulated document on the National Security Strategy, except an ad hoc statement from government; this has narrowed strategies, approaches and options available to security and non-security apparatus in Nigeria.
- Political actors have refused or failed to use intelligence and report in critical decision making process thereby creating weak systems, Structures and institutions.
- There is no harmonized emergency response platform, weak identification of nationals as a means of security check, poor ICT and data availability and weak witness protection program.
- There is need for the forum to engage actively in advocacy to relevant authorities for the adoption of the National Peace Policy as an instrument to promoting peace at all level in the country.
- All security agencies should embrace new dynamics of security paradigms in the ongoing campaign on counter insurgencies, Early warning system and response as well as depoliticizing issues around security.
- There is need to strengthen inter agency collaboration at state and National level between democratic, intelligence and action agencies, as well as build linkages to the Joint Intelligence Board, Intelligence Community Council Meeting and the National Emergency Board.
- The forum should advocate for the Office of the National Security Adviser to finalize and release the recently validated draft of the National Security Strategy for the use of all security institution and the public alike.
- Political actors are charged to demonstrate political will in responding to intelligence reports, implementation of past recommendations from various peace panels as well as build synergy with the citizenry to collect sensitive information whilst the forum is expected to carry out mapping of organizations working Early Warning System.
- Simulate all emergency platform and popularize them to collect, collate and analyze information, forum to build capacity of emergency call center operators, advocacy to National Identity Management Commission to harmonize records and introduce unique identification codes.
The meeting elected a co-chair of the National Peace and Security Forum from the Directorate of State Security Service. Participants expressed their appreciation to Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC). They also thanked Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP) for providing the support. Stakeholders 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.
Dr. Joseph H.P. Golwa
Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR)
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)
Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS)