By Rose Audu
In a bid to address the security challenges asphyxiating Nigeria, especially the South-South region, CLEEN Foundation with the support from Ford Foundation on the 9th of September 2021 held a stakeholders dialogue in the nation’s capital city, Abuja, on emerging Security Challenges in the South-South region.
In her opening remarks, the acting Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, Ruth Olofin, said the dialogue, in collaboration with critical stakeholders was aimed at interrogating emerging security concerns in the region and to develop capacities to transform the conflicts into peace.
Ruth added that the dialogue also seeks to Identify structural causes and manifestations of violence in the region, examine the suitability and sustainability of existing initiatives by the government to respond to the manifestations of conflict and design concrete strategies based on the gaps observed to transform the conflicts and provide local solutions for a peaceful society through collaboration with stakeholders in the region.
Analyzing causes of insecurity in Edo State, Efehi Raymond Okoro from University of Benin recommended that Edo State government should purchase more modern GPS trackers to tackle kidnapping, recruit sane individuals into the State Vigilante outfit as well as proper professional training and retraining of men and women of the agency.
In the same vein, Saviour Akpan, Executive Director, COMPPART Foundation for Justice and Peace Building who acknowledged Government failure or collapse of governmental institutions, inequalities, marginalisation, unfairness and injustice and ethnic prejudices as some key drivers of insecurity in Nigeria and Akwa-Ibom in particular, recommended Appropriate Leadership, Good Governance, Socio-Economic Development and ethical revolution involving fundamental shifts in the nation’s value system as a major panacea to curbing insecurity in the State.
Also speaking on security challenges in Rivers State, Erondu, Chinyere Iheoma named violent protests/agitations, unexplained disappearances of people violent operations of task force groups, high handedness of some security personnel and violent operations of touts in public spaces, sea piracy, environmental degradation and peddling of rumours as some drivers of insecurity in the state.
CLEEN Foundation believes that as stakeholders have examined and Identified structural causes and manifestations of conflicts in the region and also examine the suitability and sustainability of existing initiatives by the Government to respond to the manifestations of conflict and design concrete strategies based on the gaps observed, there will be visible changes that will promote peace in the region.