FENRAD Holds Stakeholders’ Dialogue On Peace, Security In Southeast

 

The Foundation for Environmental Rights,Advocacy and Development (FENRAD) in collaboration with the Action Group on Free Civic Space(AGFCS) and the Abia State Government, have concluded a one day stakeholders’ dialogue on the issue of maintaining security and peace in the Southeast.

The event which was held at the Banquet Hall, Government House,Umuahia, had participants draw across security agencies,civil organizations, Non Governmental Organizations,Christian Associations,the Media, as well as Advocacy groups, attending the second edition of the Security summit.

In his opening remarks, the Executive Director, FENRAD, Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, intimated the participants the essence of the meeting, saying it was organized to bridge the gap of security challenges in the Southeast region, thereby sustaining a lasting peace.

According to the Convener, the event which is the second Stakeholders’ Dialogue on Peace and Security in the Southeast, focused on the theme, ‘Building Bridges for Resilient Communities, Strengthening Civil-Military Partnerships Through Homeland Security and the Civil Society’.

He said the whole essence of the dialogue was not to hurl blames at each other, but rather to see where there are gaps in the matter relating to security and how to narrow them,so as to reawaken the public confidence on the law enforcement and security agencies that are fast eroding.

Comrade Nwafor, disclosed that the summit would afford participants the opportunity to monitor and evaluate processes, leveraging on security network to foster peace in the intervening period before another edition,as he stated that the problems are basically not the police, military and other sister security agencies, but the abuse of rights of citizens by some law enforcement officers, police brutality, extortion and exploitation of citizens.

He further commended the Action Group on Free Civic Space (AGFCS),for a laudable and noble initiative it has created by bringing together various civil society groups, media practitioners and rights activists, including partners and stakeholders to work towards improving the security landscape and shrinking civic space in Nigeria. An initiative he said began in 2021 following the #EndSARS Protest,when the Group, under the coordination of Spaces for Change (S4C),felt there was a need to bridge the confidence gap, loss of public trust in the security agencies, and to improve the policing standard.

See also  Abia Freedom Alliance Sets Course For State's Transformation, Elects New Leadership

Nwafor noted that the group has so far achieved a lot, having launched campaigns to improve civil-military relations through partnerships, stimulating bold and robust dialogues. This, he maintained, is a sustainable pathway.

Meanwhile, the FENRAD executive director, expressed gratitude to the Senior Special Assistant to the Abia State Governor on Homeland Security, Fire and Emergency, Mr. Chukwunenye Nwaogu Alajemba for showing commitment and believing in the vision of FENRAD towards strengthening security and peace in the Southeast.

“My joy is profound,because what we began just two years ago has seen remarkable progress. This is the second edition of this project, and we wish to make it a yearly ritual. I am convinced that when we utilize forums like this, a network of peace is being developed.

“By the end of this edition, we would have reported stages that can help us spotlight and amplify certain problems. We also wish to help amplify issues of concern to our law enforcement authorities because their rights too must be protected”.

In his speech, the Senior Special Assistant to the Abia State Governor on Homeland Security, Fire and Emergency, Mr. Chukwunenye Nwaogu Alajemba, revealed that no society can fully develop and reach its potential, if its security cannot be assured,adding that throughout the world, the security of the people remains the number one priority of any great leader, stressing that little wonder the Governor of the state,Dr Alex Otti,hit the ground running, after he was sworn in, by immediately seeking to reshape the way that security is delivered in Abia State.

See also  Security: Mayor Ikeji Leads Efforts To Revamp Umuahia, Announces Plans To Demolish Shanties

He noted that the Governor massively invested in the security architecture of the state by launching ‘Operation Crush’ and other measures which has made Abia State the safest state in the east of Niger.

Mr Alajemba pointed that while the Governor has made these huge investments in security, he has invariably solved the various causes of insecurity in Abia State.

“This is why he has massively invested in rebuilding our roads to make it easier for businesses to thrive and create wealth within the State, he has consistently paid workers and pensioners their salaries and pensions. This policy alone has helped put liquidity into the system, given the economy a big push while reducing insecurity in its wake.

“The Governor has begun to reorganise and reform the Homeland Security which before his coming to office was instituted but abandoned by the previous administration. He has insisted in ensuring that the Homeland Security does not replace the Nigerian police, but that the agency complements the police as it helps to safeguard our people.This is why both individual and community effort will play major roles in his new approach while leveraging the use of Technology to finally deliver a security system that is second to none in Nigeria”.

The SSA to the Governor disclosed that the Abia State Governor realized that societies evolve better when trust between civil societies and the security agencies who serve them become the building blocks for progress and sustenance.

“If ENDSARS taught us anything in Abia State and Nigeria, it is that truth and trust both in communication, intention and deeds must be the organizing character of the relationship between security agencies and the civil society. Make no mistakes, our economy depend on this, our progress depend on the confidence that is injected into a system that sees fairness and embraces it, a system that encourages open expression of thoughts and aspirations as long as those are within the law. And the dialogue between security agencies and the civil society must be encouraged because when everybody participate in their own security, criminality reduces drastically because security then becomes a collective effort”.

See also  Gov Otti Salutes Muslims On Eid El-Fitr

He stated that the Homeland security in the coming months and years will drive this collaborative effort, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is economically smart to do so as well, stressing that Abia State is rising to the occasion, taking the pride of place and can get there quicker by collaboration and listening to each other.

“When we pull each other up and realize that our common security is our shared prosperity, and that our shared prosperity is our next generation’s guarantee, then Abia State will have reached its place in history for that is what Governor Alex Otti wants for Abia State”, he stated.