Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) in collaboration with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) convened the official launch of the National Peace and Security Forum. The objectives of the National Peace and Security Forum (NPSF) is to provide an all-encompassing approaches and opinions on how to tackle conflict and security challenges, hence convene periodic meetings that will bring together experts to address these issues in a balanced and non-partisan manner. There were 42 participants in attendance including representatives from the Security Institutions, CSOs, IPCR, NSRP and the media. After exhaustive deliberations on the issues, the following observations and recommendations were made:
- Conflict is the existence of non-compatibility or disagreement between two actors, they can be individuals, groups, organizations or nations in their interaction over issues of interests, values, beliefs, emotions, goals, space, positions, scarce resources. It is a state in which opposite feelings exist and tug at each other, with regards to a particular goal; or opposition between two or more contradictory needs, motives, wishes, impulses or desires.
- The current security challenges facing Nigeria are evidence of the fact that there is a severe readiness crisis within the Nigeria Security establishment, particularly; weak capacity of the Nigeria Police Force manifesting in an on-going failure to anticipate and dismantle threats before they materialize with lack of consensus on how to deal with the problems. Hence, the problems are degenerating.
- A very potent cause of ethno-religious and political violence in Nigeria is the problem of poverty and unequal access to resources. Despite the oil resources accruing to this country, at least two thirds of Nigerians live on less than $1 per day which brings budget tracking and monitoring essential in the security sub sector by non-state actors.
- Levels of corruption in the system remain unsolved. Revelations from different probe panels had shown monumental corruption involving government officials. A nation cannot make progress or achieve peace and security in the face of deceit from those saddled with the running of the system. Democratic dividend in terms of basic welfare needs of people, employment and housing cannot be granted in the face of corruption.
- For much of the 20th century, the government response to security challenge was to create bureaucracy; it has however become very clear that modern security architecture must be inclusive of non-state actors through a concept of understanding of a more constitutionally driven process of legitimacy and consensus.
- There is need for better coordination of Nigeria’s security architecture to promote and integrate inter-agency and civil society collaboration in eliminating non compatibility as well as promote dialogue as a tool in addressing the issues affecting peace and security in our country.
- Need for intervention strategies that are based on best global practices in terms of building capacity for the Police to reduce much reliance on the use of force, over militarization, mission creeps and security racket which has over the years fractured ethnic and religious relationships.
- Government should evolve and sustain economic policies and programmes capable of preventing crises and conflicts in the society. Present poverty alleviation programmes should be reviewed and made more effective, less wasteful, less divisionary and to reach more Nigerians.
- Civil Society Organizations and the Security and Peace Forum should engage in courageous advocacy, civic peace and election education, strengthen the psychological endurance of the people, build security and defence awareness as well as strengthen accountability mechanism.
- The National Peace and Security Forum should engage in strategic programs at state and National level to reshape the security architecture of inclusiveness to achieve these essential objectives through workable integration of bottom‐up and top‐down approaches towards national security.
Participants expressed their appreciation to Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution and Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) for embarking on the launch of the platform and urged the NSF to earnestly develop its activities for the benefit of all. 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)