ActionAid Nigeria, an international Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called on Nigerian security agencies to be more proactive than reactive in addressing security challenges in the country.
Mr Anicetus Atakpu, Resilience Programme Coordinator, ActionAid Nigeria, made the call at a two-day capacity building workshop for 42 members of Kogi State Conflict Management Alliance (SCOMA) on Thursday in Lokoja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the workshop was organised by ActionAid, in collaboration with Participation Initiative for Behavioral Change In Development (PIBCID), with funding from Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), Geneva.
Atakpu said there was need for security agencies to be more proactive taking due cognisance of early warning indications, build resilience and take adequate actions towards managing conflicts before they snowballed into violence.
He said: “For the past 30 months, we have been implementing a project called the System And Structural Straightening Approach Against Radicalisation to Violent Extremism SERVE II project in Kogi and Nasarawa .
“The aim of the project is to build communities’ resilience against violent extremism because we have seen how violence has continued to crippled the nation’s economy and wasting lives every day in our country.”
Atakpu said to that effect, ActionAid established the State Conflict Management Alliance, comprising 42 individuals cutting across different segments of the society, including opinion leaders, religious leaders, security agencies and the media.
He said that members were expected to come together to discuss issues of peace and security with the objective of proffering supportive solutions or recommendations to the state Security Council headed by the Executive Governor.
One of the resource persons at the workshop, Mr Samie Ihejirika, a conflict management expert, attributed conflicts in the society to poverty, unemployment and abrasion of family values.
Ihejirika urged government to invest in production, support industries to function, support the private sector to create jobs for the teeming unemployed youths, and as well create enabling environment for people to realise their dreams.
Also speaking, Ms Halima Sadiq, Executive Director, PIBCID, said the training was intended to build the capacity of the SCOMA members towards strengthening the systems and structure of Kogi to prevent and respond adequately to violent extremism.
She said that the training also aimed to strengthen the security architecture of the state through collaboration of the Office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), as part of SERVE II project taking place in 12 communities across six Local Government Areas (LGAs)of Kogi.
Sadiq said everybody should be involved in the fight against insecurity and should not be left to security agents alone.
She called on all to rise to the challenge until relative is achieved in the state and in the country. (NAN)