April 16, 2024

Insecurity: Northwest, epicentre of crisis — Global Rights

Positive narratives necessary for tackling insecurity in North West region - CSO

… say women play key roles in peacebuilding

By Fortune Eromosele, Abuja

An international human right capacity-building non-governmental organization, Global Rights, has highlighted the Northwestern part of Nigeria as the epicentre of the crisis.

This was as they said women play key roles in peacebuilding and warned against disenfranchisement when it comes to the peacebuilding process.

Executive Director, Global Rights, Abiodun Baiyewu, spoke at a Northwest Regional Conference on Women Peace and Security with the theme: “Promoting Best Practices for Inclusive Security and Peacebuilding Processes in Northwest Nigeria.”

According to her, “In the past ten years, the conflict in the northeast has metastasized into other parts of the country, with the northwest currently the epicentre of this crisis. As in all peacebuilding processes, resolution 1325 reminds us of the importance of women in peacebuilding.

“As a matter of fact, if half of Nigeria’s population are women, then half of Nigeria’s population are disenfranchised from peacebuilding processes and that begins to inform why we thought that this intervention was necessary.

“Women and children are largely most impacted by the crisis of insecurity, and Nigeria is largely an insecure place.”

Fielding questions from newsmen, the Program Manager of Global Rights, Edosa Oviawe said Northwest wasn’t always the worst-hit region regarding insecurity.

He noted that Global Rights has been tracking incidents of mass atrocities across different regions in the country.

According to him, “Global Rights has been tracking incidents of mass atrocities across different regions in the country. We realized that in the last 10 years, incidents of mass atrocities in the northwest have actually spiked.

“Northwest which used to be at the bottom in ranking in terms of incidents of mass atrocities has suddenly been at the top in the last decade and this is not far from the mentalizing issues of insecurity that we are having across the country including banditry.

“So, we have thought how do we begin to get the community to ownership of their own security, how do we build their capacity, how do we get everybody in the region to work together, and that is what gave birth to the idea of the project we started last year, which is majorly looking at how do we rethink the security approach we are having in the region.”

On his part, Alhaji Sani Umar, District head of Gagi in Sokoto, who represented the Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Sa’adu Abubakar, expressed the Sultan’s excitement about choosing the northwest states including Sokoto for capacity building.

According to him, “The choice of the states in the northwest precisely is timely, and he commends the funders including the British High Commission, Global Rights, Kukah Centre, and all other partners implementing the initiative in empowering women in the decision-making.

“Women constitute 50 percent of the population of Nigeria. It is high time we decide on inclusion because it is very important. Women need to be empowered so that they can have the voice to represent the women themselves.”