CISLAC urges Collective Response to the Plights of IDPs

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has carried out assessment of IDP situations in various parts of the country in the past one year and is working towards organizing a national summit on Internally Displaced Persons.

CISLAC assessment notes the following:

  1.  In recent times, the recurring nature of numerous internal conflicts and natural disasters have rendered thousands homeless without means of livelihood to suffer a lot of depravity and other forms of hardship including loss of income from inability to work in places where they are relocated as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) across the country.
  2. The vulnerable groups such as children, pregnant women and the aged are persistently kept under trees and in uncompleted houses and left uncared for; as against the African Union Internally Displaced Persons Convention, which sets out the obligation of member states (including Nigeria) to protect and assist IDPs in meeting their basic needs.
  3. Presently, Nigeria lacks accurate, exact or reliable records of internally displaced persons across the country, and thus backpedalling effective inclusion of IDPs related issues in the national developmental planning.
  4. The Nigeria Government set up a Technical Working Group (TWG) on a National Policy on Internally Displaced Persons. The work of the TWG has since been concluded in 2013 and validation done yet the same government is yet to have a National Policy on IDPs to tackle the ever increasing rate and problems of incidence of IDPs
  5. Despite the growing nature of various ministries and agencies saddled with the responsibilities to cater for IDPs have failed in their mandates as a result of inability to build up an accurate data and policy guidelines of internally displaced persons.
  6. Some state governments are reluctant to resettle the displaced persons in the affected communities or provide the requisite security that would enable them to safely return to their homes hence issues of durable solutions are not factored in IDPs management.
  7. Civil society and many charitable organisations have in several occasions raised alarm about the slow response and neglect by government as well as the abject poverty and human suffering in the numerous IDPs Camps across the Federation.
  8. Inadequate consultation prior to intervention by relevant agencies working on IDPs with the existing traditional institutions in the affected areas on the required manner intervention and selection of significant philanthropists to assist in humanitarian support.

 CISLAC recommends as follows:

  1. Workable efforts by the government to put in place effective National Policy on IDPs without further delay; and timely development of database system on IDPs and generate up-to-date data for use in national planning for IDPs.
  2. Appreciative efforts by relevant stakeholders including government, civil society and the media through establishment of effective early warning systems and proactive measures to reduce disaster risks and prevent and resolve conflicts in any form to mitigate the causes of displacement across the Federation.
  3. Streamlining IDPs related issues in thematic focus of various civil society organisations to achieve well-informed policy makers, community and individuals on IDPs and tireless interrogation of the mandates of related established Ministries and Agencies for positive change.
  4. Effective implementation of the existing four-year Strategic Implementation Plan of Action developed by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCRMI) to reposition and professionalize the commission to effectively address IDPs problems in the country.
  5. Prompt review of the existing mandates of NCRMI by the National Assembly to reflect new challenges and trends in forced displacement management such as the creation of a Humanitarian Trust Fund Raising Unit to address funding problems.
  6. Rapid provision of sufficient means of livelihood in terms of food supplies and medicine (giving consideration to the ongoing Ebola virus outbreak) to mitigate the plights of displaced persons, especially women, children and the elderly.
  7. Institute adequate plans for employment generation, skills acquisition in different trades, agricultural schemes, small scale enterprises as well as education and reintegration programmes for displaced persons; and provision of micro-finance soft loans to set up new businesses or petty trades to achieve successful reintegration and finding durable solutions.
  8. Concerted efforts by government, civil society and the media to conduct and encourage participations in programmes and projects aimed at ensuring peaceful coexistence among individuals and local communities across the country to avert persistent humanitarian disasters.

 Signed:

 Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)

Executive Director of CISLAC

CALL FOR INTERNSHIP

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), a non-governmental civil society organisation with focuses on policy and legislative engagement based in Abuja, Nigeria, is seeking recent graduates in African Studies, Development Studies or Public Policy who are interested in hands-on learning about governance and policymaking in Africa.

CISLAC (www.cislacnigeria.net) was founded to forge links between civil society groups, legislators and policymakers in Nigeria’s transitional democracy, and to strengthen the legislative oversight process in Nigeria’s Legislature both at National and State levels. CISLAC has taken a lead in such activities as monitoring the budget process, scrutinising the implementation of the Nigeria Executive Industries Transparency Initiative ACT, Fiscal Responsibility Act, Freedom of Information Act and examining National rules on Public Procurement Act 2007, advocating for the mainstreaming of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Nigeria as well as many other areas of policy and legislation at a National and State levels.

The intern’s role will involve assisting in administering programmes with partner institutions at National and State levels, developing project proposals, preparing reports and information materials and helping to represent CISLAC in policy-related civil society networks. The internship will allow extensive and unique exposure to legislative and governance institutions, as well as interaction with wider civil society in Nigeria.

As part of CISLAC’s ongoing programme of providing opportunities for early-career professionals to have exposure to governance and development issues, the internshipprogramme is open to both international and domestic candidates. Internships, which can be between three and six months or longer are expected to be self-funded, although a small daily allowance will be made for transport/food expenses. To apply, please email your credentials and CV to cislac@cislacnigeria.net stating INTERNSHIP as the subject line on or before 31 August 2014. Note: Possession of MASTERS is an added advantage.

COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF 3rd NATIONAL CSOs CONSULTATIVE MEETING ON PEACE AND SECURITY WITH THE THEME “EMERGING ISSUES IN PEACE, SECURITY & UNITY IN NIGERIA: AN APPRAISAL OF NIGERIA GLOBAL AND DOMESTIC SECURITY ENVIROMENT” ORGANIZED BY CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC) WITH SUPPORT FROM NIGERIA STABILITY AND RECONCILIATION PROGRAM (NSRP) AT TOP RANK GALAXY, UTAKO DISTRICT, ABUJA ON THE 21ST DAY OF AUGUST 2014

Preamble

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organized the 3rd National CSOs Consultative Meeting on Peace and Security with the support from Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP).The consultative discussed largely on emerging peace sterling lead speakers as well as huge recommendations towards the International Day for Peace. The forum featured participants who were drawn from stakeholders across the various thematic areas which include Women Focused NGOs, FBOs, Youth and Labor Organizations, Media and CBOs including office of the National Security Adviser of the country. There were 31 participants in attendance. After exhaustive deliberations on the issues of “EMERGING ISSUES IN PEACE, SECURITY & UNITY IN NIGERIA: AN APPRAISAL OF NIGERIA GLOBAL AND DOMESTIC SECURITY ENVIROMENT”

The meeting designed activities to mark the International Day for Peace with the theme “the Right of People to Peace” the activities were pre and post September 21st.

Observations

· The structure of vision 20:2020 is built on the solid foundation of peace and security. However, current situation has threatened the realization of the schedule for a sustainable National development plan.

· The concepts of economic prosperity, peace and social justice are germane to contextual understanding of national security in Nigeria for without economic stability and social justice at individual and societal levels, there will not be sustainable peace and without sustainable peace national security will be undermined.

· The attraction and dynamics underpinning peace and security in Nigeria cannot be divorced from the new eugenics agenda with attempt to have an influence over countries with veritable human and natural resources.

· There is no mechanism for integrating CSOs in the security architecture until recently with the intervention of the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programs.

· Weak Information Management system, inadequate capacity for professional conflict resolution as well as gaps in grassroot programs are panacea for an inclusive National Security and Defence Management Architecture based on the constitutional responsibility on the Federal/State and Local government.

· The absence of legislative instruments to protect citizens has created huge fear and eroded confidence of most Nigerians in the Security Institutions.

· Activism and constructive criticism are strange bed mates to partnership and development.

Recommendations

· Government should be more sophisticated in managing security challenges, and avoid handling the issues in reactionary ways or adopting impulsive measures and strategies that fail to address the fundamental problems on a sustainable basis if it must achieve its vision 20:2020.

· There is need for Government to shift paradigm and engage civil society organizations through various empowerment programs at grassroot level to disable the mantra that states that ‘if you cannot provide for the many, you cannot protect the few’

· Civil Society Organizations should strongly advocate for home grown approach to development like the Asians, this is the only way to guarantee a secured country with little policy influence from developed countries.

· The ongoing inclusiveness of the civil society on the platform of the National Peace and Security Forum should be applauded and amplified at all level with sound encouragement for all states to adopt same systematic approach.

· CSOs and Government should develop an effective synergy to strengthen information management system as well as capacity at all level to demand for accountability from government as contained in the constitution and the National Security and Defence Management Architecture.

· The Legislature should develop an instrument for witness protection as a step towards confidence building from the citizens.

· There is need to enhance the relationship between government and CSOs to see each other as constructive partners rather than what is currently obtainable.

Conclusion

Participants thanked CISLAC with the support from NSRP for providing the platform for engagement. The process was acclaimed to be catalytic to strengthening the progress towards the Nigeria peace transformation agenda with various stakeholders, especially the current era of insurgency in the country. CSOs urge the Security Institutions, National Human Rights Commission and government to further investigate the Amnesty International’s allegation of the violations going on in the North East as well as the Extra Judicial Killings of the El-Zakzaky brother and 32 others in Zaria to stop impunity and protect the lives of the citizens as enshrined in the constitution.

Signed:

Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)

Executive Director

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)

Abuja

Dr. Ayokunle Fagbemi

Executive Director

CEPSERD

Abuja

Vivian Bello

Program Officer

Social Action

Abuja

Ms Agatha Ashiungwa

Programs Officer

Women’s Rights to Education Program

Abuja

AU and efforts to tackle Youth Unemployment in Africa

The Joint Youth Employment Initiative originated from the Bank Senior Management’s commitment to address the challenge of youth unemployment in Africa and the African Union’s (AU) decision to tackle youth unemployment in the continent. During the AU’s 17th Ordinary Session held in Malabo in July 2011, the Heads of States requested the Bank to work with the African Union Commission, regional economic communities, and other international development partners to develop a comprehensive pact to reduce youth unemployment, with strong ownership by governments, the private sector, and youth organizations.

Despite the numerous ongoing interventions on youth employment in Africa, high youth unemployment in Africa, high youth unemployment and underemployment exists. There are also issues of youth employment that have not been well addressed. Weaknesses and challenges that have been identified include weak implementation of commitments, plans, and declarations; fragmented and uncoordinated efforts; scarcity of knowledge, information and lessons learned; absence of regular, reliable, and harmonized labour market data on youth employment; poor participation of youth in employment policies and programs; lack of involvement of the private sector; insubstantial focus on the informal sector; and adequate demand–side responses.

Based on these gaps partners have adopted a two-step approach to implement the initiative. First is mapping and analysing all policies, stakeholders, and instruments directed toward youth employment at the country level and capitalizing on what exists. Second is developing and implementing the action plans.

The added value of this initiative is anchored in the comparative advantages of its partner institutions and the above approach. It is reflected at five levels: the diagnosis and mapping exercise at the country level; changes at the political level through intergovernmental frameworks and the commitment of the decision-makers in countries: knowledge production and sharing according to the experience of the partners; implementation of innovative projects; and impact evaluation.

The bank has undertaken studies and activities targeted at youth employment. Examples include the note prepared by the joint youth Employment Initiative team to provide back-ground for the 2012 African Economic Out-look, which  focused on youth employment; the pilot exercise of labour-based job creation under the Burkina Faso-Togo regional road project approved by the Board on June 27, 2012; the preparation of flagship reports on youth employment for several African Countries, including Ethiopia, Morocco, Rwanda, South Africa and Tunisia; the analysis on efficiency and employment-related challenges; the Souk At-Tanmia project to boost youth employment in Tunisia and soon in Togo; and the translation and printing of the AU white book on youth employment distributed during the last AU Heads of States Summit in Addis Ababa in January 2013.

Moreover the Bank and the international labour Organization, as the operational institutions for the initiative, have started several joint activities. Such activities include the mapping and diagnostic exercise of the labour markets of Burkina Faso and Senegal; the Bank’s staff capacity-building on main-streaming youth employment in operations and policies; and the evaluation of the impact of the Bank’s operations on employment.

On the 12th April 2013, the JYEIA has been officially launched by African Ministers of Labour and Employment, during the 9th Ordinary Session of the AU Labour and Social Affairs Commission in Addis-Ababa. The letter of intent has been signed in Addis-Ababa by representatives of the 4 partner organizations on September 12th, 2013. The document reflects their commitment of technical and financial resources to launch the proposed activities in the framework of the initiative.

Source: AfDB

AU, AfDB Ink Agreement for Improved Access to Rural Water Supply and Sanitation for 5 Million People

The Government of Rwanda, spearheading an African Union-led initiative, and the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) have signed an agreement aimed at providing at least EUR 50 million (approx. USD 70 million) within an Africa-wide resource mobilization initiative. The initiative will finance improved access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in Africa. The agreement was signed on the fringes of the 23rd AU Summit held from 26-27 June 2014 In Malabo (Equatorial Guinea).

The so-called “Kigali Action Plan” (KAP) aims to improve the livelihoods of five million people in 10 African Union Member States (including eight Fragile States). The KAP is intending to mobilise a part of the required funds by championing water and sanitation projects in Africa through a crowdfunding platform.

“The RWSSI Trust Fund is a strategic vehicle”, said AfDB’s Vice President in charge of Agriculture, Water, Human Development, Governance and Natural Resources, who commended the AU and Rwanda for choosing the AfDB to host those funds. “With some EUR 140 million contributed to date by the Trust Fund Donors [Note to editors: Burkina Faso, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Switzerland], we have been able to leverage a total of some EUR 5 billion for rural water supply and sanitation. The AfDB, through the RWSSI Trust Fund, has provided clean water for 82 million people and improved sanitation for 57 million”, Mr. Abou-Sabaa said.

Paul Kagame is championing the KAP, an initiative in response to the inaugural African Water and Sanitation Report submitted by the African Water and sanitation Ministers to the AU Assembly in January 2014, which indicated that Africa will miss the MDG targets for water supply and sanitation by gaps of 16 per cent and 22 per cent respectively. It also showed that expenditure was below requirements and highlighted the need to address tissues hindering the implementation of Africa’s commitments towards water and sanitation.

The Kigali Action Plan provides the combination of the much needed political leadership, commitment and innovation required to deliver the Water and Sanitation MDGs. It also focuses on the implementation of direct action at community level aimed at redressing rural household water supply and sanitation deficiencies in Africa.

The following ten countries, all of them considered to be off-track in achieving the MDGs, were selected: Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Lesotho and Mauritania. With the exception of Lesotho and Mauritania these countries are regarded as fragile states.

The signing ceremony between the Government of Rwanda and the African Development Bank formalises the hosting of mobilised resources by the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSSI) Trust Fund. The RWSSI Trust Fund, together with contributions from the AfDB, bilateral and multilateral agencies, African governments and communities aims to accelerate access to drinking water supply and sanitation in rural Africa in order to attain the MDG targets in 2015 and the African Water Vision targets of 2025.

Eligible activities for RWSSI-TF resources are water supply infrastructure specifically for off-track and fragile states, sanitation infrastructure, development of rural water and sanitation policies, programme and project preparation as well as capacity building and training.

Source: AfDB

DECISION ON POST-2015 DEVELOPMENT AGENDA AT ASSEMBLY OF THE AFRICAN UNION TWENTY-THIRD ORDINARY SESSION 26-27TH JUNE 2014 HELD IN MALABO, EQUITOR GUINEA

The Assembly,

  1. TAKES NOTE of the Report of Seventh Joint Annual Meeting of the African Union Conference of Ministers of Economy and Finance and Economic Commission for Africa Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning  and Economic Development;
  2. REQUEST:
  1. Member States to ensure that the overarching goal of the Common African Position, which is to eradicate poverty in all its forms, is the key message in the intergovernmental negotiation process on the post-2015 development agenda, and to be vigilant about what Africa is negotiating;
  2. The Commission, in collaboration with partners, to carry out projections of financing needs for implementing the Post-2015 Development Agenda in Africa using sustainable financing including domestic resources.
    1. CALLS UPON the secretariat of the High-level Committee, with the support of partners, to come up with an advocacy and negotiation strategy to build alliances in order to ensure that African priorities identified in the Common African Position are reflected in the global Post-2015 Development Agenda;
    2. REQUESTS member State to enhance their statistical capacity to enable them to effectively monitor progress in the implementation of Post-2015 Development Agenda, and CALLS UPON countries that have not signed and ratified the Africa Charter on Statistics to do so as expeditiously as possible;
  • CALLS UPON the Commission, in collaboration with the Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank and the African Capacity-Building Foundation, to fast-track the establishment of the African Union Institute for Statistics Training Centre, in accordance with the decision made by Heads of State and Government;

 

  1. REQUESTS:
  • the Commission, the Commission, the Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programmes to facilitate regular expert dialogue between development planners and statisticians, with the purpose of embedding statistics in planning and management for results, so that Africa’s transformative Agenda is achieved;

 

the Commission, the Economic Commission for Africa, the African Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme and regional economic communities, with the support of partners, to organize a high-level conference in 2014 to discuss the data revolution in Africa and its implications for the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the Post-2015 Development Agenda

DECISION ON THE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION IN AFRICA AT TWENTY-FIFTH ORDINARY SESSION 20-24 JUNE 2014 OF THE AFRICAN UNION IN HELD MALABO, EQUITORIAL GUINEA

The Executive Council,

    1. TAKES NOTE of the Report of the PRC Sub-Committee of Refugees and the attached annex of the Report of the Commission on the Humanitarian Situation in Africa;
    2. EXPRESSES CONCERN over the large number of refugees and internally displaced persons in Africa caused mainly by recurrent conflicts and natural disasters on the Continent;
    3. EXPRESSES GRATITUDE to countries of asylum that continue to meet their international obligations and commit themselves to extent hospitality to refugees;
    4. RECOGNIZES the commendable work done by AU Partners and other relevant humanitarian agencies in the area of forced displacement and URGES them to continue addressing the humanitarian situation on the Continent;
    5. APPEALS to the international community to exert all efforts to extent the financial and material assistance to the forcibly displaced population in the spirit of solidarity and burden sharing.
    6. COMMENDS the concrete steps taken so far by the Africa Union, IGAD, the UN System, and other development partners in taking early action to the looming humanitarian crisis and complex emergency in the Horn of Africa Region and in particular Somalia where millions are affected by conflicts, food insecurity, droughts, and famine;
    7. WELCOME the announcement by the UN Secretary General on the World Humanitarian Summit schedule to take place in 2016, in Istanbul, Turkey;
  • REQUESTS:

 

  1. the Commission in close collaboration with the PRC Sub-Committee on Refugees to engage Member State in a Political Process, while ensuring participation in the ‘Technical Process’ being organized by UNOCHA to establish an African Position that will be presented at the World Humanitarian Summit;
  2. the Commission to continuously make a progress report to the Executive Council at each Ordinary Summit leading up to the World Humanitarian Summit.
  • INVITES all Members States to actively participate in the Specialized Technical Committee Meeting on Migration, Refugees and Internal Displaced Persons, schedule to take place in Abuja, Nigeria later this year and REQUESTS the Commission to report on the outcome of this meeting to the Executive Council during the next Heads of State Summit in January 2015.

COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE END OF 2nd NATIONAL CSOs CONSULTATIVE MEETING ON PEACE AND SECURITY WITH THE THEME “ASSESMENT OF NIGERIA NATIONAL SECURITY THREATS AND THE ROLE OF CIVIL SOCIETY IN PEACE BUILDING” ORGANIZED BY CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC) WITH SUPPORT FROM NIGERIA STABILITY AND RECONCILIATION PROGRAM (NSRP) AT TOP RANK GALAXY, UTAKO DISTRICT, ABUJA ON THE 31ST DAY OF JULY 2014

Preamble

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organized the 2nd National CSOs Consultative Meeting on Peace and Security with the support from Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program (NSRP).The consultative forum was to air their views and make recommendations where necessary on how to combat the National Security threats and peace building at all levels. The forum featured participants who were drawn from stakeholders across the various thematic areas which include Women Focused NGOs, FBOs, Youth and Labor Organizations, Media and CBOs including office of the National Security Adviser of the country. There were 31 participants in attendance including representative of the NSRP. After exhaustive deliberations on the issues of “Concept of Peace Building, Assessment of Nigeria National Security Threats and the Role of Civil Society in Peace Building”

Also, the forum agreed on key recommendations to the National Peace and Security Forum chaired by the Director General of National Institute on Peace and Reconciliation based on the feedback delivered by the CSOs delegation on the forum. The meeting had the following observations and recommendations:

Observations

• That the underlining National Threats in Nigeria can be traced to Rising and increasing poverty, registration of indigene and non-indigene by some state government which contravenes citizenship, the spate of impeachments and threats spreading across the political landscape, unemployment, unethical pronouncements by some state government, election rigging, massive and unprecedented level of corruption, Ebola Virus et al
• Violence in Nigeria since the return to democracy in 1999 were offshoots of political infighting as presidential committee in 2011 virtually indicted all almost all state Governors for arming the youths.
• Only 10% of wealthy Nigerians controls 41% of National Wealth in the midst of mind bugling poverty, 5.2 trillion Naira are the cumulative reported corrupt cases in selected dailies between 2011 and 2014; this is more than the National Annual budget which brings it to a monthly theft of 220 billion Naira which again is more than the annual budget of 18 states put together. A figure which has largely brewed anger amongst the larger populace with feelings of exclusion.
• There are 52million out of school children globally, 5 countries account for these figure while Nigeria alone accounts for 10.5 million. 8.5 million of these figure are domiciled in the North – West and North East respectively which invariably increases the army of the Boko Haram Militia.
• The Nigeria Police and Nigeria Army authorities have not demonstrated commitment to the National Peace Security Forum considering that such forum should play complimentary role in the ongoing effort against the spread of insecurity in Nigeria.
• That there is lack of political will from both our policy makers and Political Parties to incorporate strategies to fight insurgency and control negative impact of conflict Nigeria.
• That over militarization of public events is becoming rampant that need to be controlled.

Recommendations

• Civil Society Organizations should increase advocacies at all levels to put government on the spot light towards ensuring a near zero and decreasing poverty, deregistration of indigene and non-indigene by some state government and entrench the culture of citizenship, be more objective rather than subjective on issues of impeachments and threats spreading across the political landscape, create employments, be more ethical in making pronouncements, election transparency, reduce corruption and stem the Ebola Virus to achieve the desired result in the fight against insurgency in Nigeria.
• That Government and Civil Society Organizations should embark on civic education as well as build capacity of the Electoral Management Bodies (EMB’s) in the conduct of all election towards 2015 and beyond as a major instrument in curbing election related conflicts and violence in Nigeria.
• CSOs should work with security institutions to ensure that the permanent hurricane of corruption that is currently spreading violence should be mitigated by providing adequate social welfare and equal resource distribution amongst the citizens as a panacea to reducing angst, conflict and structural violence.
• Government should invest massively in Education in Nigeria and the North in particular as a means of increasing knowledge and de-radicalize both converted and intending armies as well as ensure synergy of strong information sharing to aid counter terrorism in Nigeria.
• There is need to enhance and strengthen civil/military relations in order to curb conflict provocation while the Police and Army are encouraged to use the National Peace and Security Forum as a platform to achieve such feat.
• There is urgent need for the government to empower the affected conflict communities economically and socially to alleviate their suffering as a demonstration of solidarity to the plight of victims of insurgencies.
• That prevention is generally believed to be better and less expensive than cure. Apart from the high cost of remedying the destruction caused by conflict as exemplified in the damage to the society and human person in the form of collapse of critical infrastructures as a result of conflict, undermines accountability and transparency in the management of public affairs and stunted socio-economic development amongst others.

Conclusion

Participants thanked CISLAC with the support from NSRP for providing the platform for engagement. The process was acclaimed to be catalytic to strengthening the progress towards the Nigeria peace transformation agenda with various stakeholders, especially the current era of insurgency in the country. CSOs thanked responsive security institutions such as the DSS, NIS, NSCDC and FRSC to continue to increase visibility on the National Peace and Security Forum whilst the Police and Nigeria Army were charged to be more responsive.

Signed:

Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Executive Director
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Abuja

Jaiye Gaskiya
Convener
Protest 2 Power Initiative
Abuja

Jemina Ariori
Coordinator
Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria
Abuja

Sister Rosemary Ukata-
Cordinator
Center for Women Studies and Intervention (CWSI)
Abuja

WACSOF appoints Rafsanjani Acting Secretary General

By Chioma Blessing Kanu

The West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF) has at its recent Executive Committee meeting held in Ghana appointed Mr. Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani) as new Acting Secretary General to the Forum.

Rafsanjani, a human rights, anti-corruption, policy and legislative advocacy activist with interest in positive transformation of Nigeria and Africa at large is also the Executive Director of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Chairman Zero Corruption Coalition (ZCC), Nigeria Coordinator of West Africa Civil Society Forum (WACSOF); national contact person of Transparency International (TI), member of Coordinating Committee representing Sub-Africa region on Civil Society Coalition on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, and currently a civil society delegate in the ongoing National Conference.

CSOs launch a network to address the plights of IDPs

By Augustine Erameh

In the wake of the Arab Spring that rocked the entire northern African region and led to effective leadership change in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, majority of security pundits, political analysts across African regions have raised concerns about proliferation of small and light weapons and the dire spillover effects and impacts that this may eventually have on the entire continent. Consequently, almost every part of Africa currently experiences one form of conflict or another.

In recent times the Nigeria has witnessed worrying trends with an upsurge in the activities of pasturalist (Fulani Herdsmen) which has had very dire consequences across the North Central including Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa and some parts of Kogi.

For instance, Youth Against Disaster Initiative (YADI) has confirmed that during the dry season, low feedstuff and low water in rivers would trigger an early movement of herds in search of pasture and water as early as December/January, thereby increasing the risk of conflicts between herdsmen and farmers; overgrazing and overcrowding settlements could further intensify conflicts between herdsmen and farmers in the affected areas. “Communal clash has remained a persistent phenomenon between farmers and herdsmen across the country, especially during the dry season starting from November/December every year. Various Farmers-Herdsmen clashes in the country have resulted to serious socio-economic losses to the innocent individuals in the country,” the group said.

Also, devastating floods and boundary disputes affecting many communities have intensified forced displacement of citizens in almost every part of the country.

Apart from the above, the ongoing alarming attacks on innocent citizens and facilities by Boko Haram insurgents have increased the magnitude of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), overriding demand for a collective and coordinated response to address not just displacements but also the accompanying challenges and more importantly causes of these breakdown in security in the country. Recently, this among other challenges informed the decision of Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with support from Ford Foundation to organize one day civil society organisations for setting up a virtual network on Displaced Persons. The meeting aimed at establishing a network of CSOs working on IDPs related issues across the country; and developing a communication strategy for the network.

In order to achieve the underlined objectives, the event launched ‘Civil Society Organisation Network on IDPs’ with zonal coordinator across the six geo-political zones in the country including: Mr. Imran Abdulrahman, North Central; Dr. Usman Mohammed, North West; Mr. Ikekwoba Paul, South East; Mr. Usman Abubakar, North East; Mr. Imaobong Umoren, South South; and Mr. Okungunmi Cletus, South West.