From Abdullahi Alhassan, Kaduna
The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), and Open Society Foundation,(OSF) has partnered with Media practitioners, Civil society organizations on Early Warning and Early Response Mechanism to mitigate Conflict through Dialogue Peace resolution in Kaduna state and Nigeria as a whole.
Speaking at a two-day training session in Kaduna the Executive Director of the Centre Mallam Auwal Ibrahim Musa Rafsanjani explained “Strengthening Citizens Participation towards Peace and Security, Reconciliation and Stability in Nigeria, through Engaging state and non-state actors towards the passage, ascent an implementation of the national IDPAct in Nigeria.
The Executive Director maintained that “Consequently, efforts to bridge this lingering gap brought to the limelight, the ongoing project with specific focus on Strengthening Capacity, Advocacy, Accountability and Local Engagement towards Developing Early Warning and Early Response Mechanisms to Enhance Protection of Civilians in Nigeria, being implemented by CISLAC across the six geopolitical zones, with support from the Open Society Foundation(OSF).
He said “Under this project, CISLAC is complementing the role of internal security institutions by building well-informed and vibrant Early Warning and Early Response Champions in Kaduna State, which is one of the target locations of the project in the Northwest, to enhance collaboration, build trust and create ownership while deploying the EWER mechanism as a vehicle to preventing threats of conflict from escalating.
“As you are not unaware of, every part of Nigeria currently battles with evolving epidemic of multi-dimensional security threats ranging from communal clashes, land grabbing, climate change, farmer-herder clashes, kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, and other forms of violent extremism ignited by diverse religious opinions and incitements from the political class.
He maintained that “Giving the above, there is a call for a more effective collaboration, communication, coordination and collective support among critical stakeholders, for early warning, conflict prediction and early response mechanisms, which are central in conflict prevention.
“We observed that an Early Warning and Early Response system cannot be effective enough without a strong connection between Civil Society,
the Media and relevant security stakeholders such as the State Government, Legislators, Internal Security Institutions, and the Military, to carefully monitor indicators of conflict and elicit positive responses. while de-escalating potential crises.
“Increase transparency and accountability in the Defence and Security sector Building Community Resilience and Social Protection in the North-East. Protection of Civilians and Civilian Harm Mitigation (POC-CHM) in Armed Conflict.
“Throughout these interventions, CISLAC conducted a series of high-level engagements with Defence and Security agencies, Chairmen, Members and Clerks of Relevant Committees at the National Assembly, Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Government, Civil Society, Media Groups as well as other State and Non-State Actors at National and State levels.
Added that”While these interventions, without doubt, provoked discussions around Defence and Security reforms with appreciable policy responses, the criticality of initiating Early Warning Early Response mechanisms, especially at community levels, as proactive measures to conflict prevention, were highly recommended by these stakeholders.
“It is on this backdrop that we acknowledge and commend the essential role you play as major stakeholders in internal security policy formation and implementation, conflict detection and prevention through timely response by security networks in Kaduna state and Nigeria.
“We Collaborate with CISLAC even as we work collaboratively with the Kaduna State Peace Commission, to improve coordination, collaboration and communication among civilians, the media, security institutions and other relevant stakeholders, to better improve the protection of civilians in Kaduna state and in Nigeria.
According to him, to support the activities of Early Warning Observers as we engage in monitoring and reporting threat signals under the project by actively participating in Early Response, to de-escalate conflict within the state.
“I, urge you to own the Early Warning and Early Response mechanism by leveraging verifiable information and data that will be generated in Early Detection efforts even as we work collaboratively with the Kaduna State Peace Commission, to prevent the continuous spread of conflict and insecurity within communities in Kaduna state.
“I wish us all a very fruitful deliberation and encourage participants to make valuable contributions that will help impact more effectively in the actualisation of the overall objective of this project which is the protection of civilians from conflict and to restore lasting peace within our space.
Highlights of the training session, include paper presentations by Dr, Sunday Adejoh From Nigerian Defense Academy Kaduna, on Guidance and Good Practices towards Effective Response to Early Warning Signals. and Building Resilience in Communities through Effective Early warning systems by Anya Okeke Chief consultant from ICODASO