Some Civil Society organisations are advocating that peace-building strategies be incorporated into trainings introduced to security operatives to create a robust relationship between the citizens and security agents.
Dr. Chijioke Wigwe, Provost, Centre for Strategic Research, National Defense College is of the opinion that a program should be developed to rebuild the confidence of Nigerian communities in security operatives.
The call was made at a citizens forum organized by African Centre for Leadership Strategy and Development (Centre LSD) on Tuesday in Abuja.
Considering the secondary impacts of Covid-19, challenges of the lock down enforcement, perception of Nigerians on security agencies and the implication for peace and stability, there is need to carry out a post -mortem into the inclusiveness, legitimacy and accountability of security and justice institutions, according to Wigwe.
“Security responses should be tailored towards dealing with root causes of conflict, enhance trust and collaboration between citizens and security operatives, and resolving community needs.
“Nigerias security architecture need to invest more in peace-building programs for the sector so that they can engage with communities to make decisions on setting temperature control checkpoints and respecting social distancing guidelines,” he said.
Ms Ruth Olofin, Program Manager, Centre for Law for Enforcement Education in Nigeria (CLEEN Foundation ) highlighted the cornerstone of democratic policing to include: equality, non-discrimination, transparency, accountability and promote a rights based approach to law enforcement.
Olofin remarked that there is need to reactivate accountability for Human rights related violations to document citizens complaints towards ensuring justice.
She said Covid-19 pandemic presented a unique opportunity for security agencies including the Police to develop a robust code of conduct, protocols for policing in complex emergencies.
“We need to train the personels, particularly those who will be at the fore front of enforcement and set up institutional structure for compliance,” she said.
Monday Isaiah, Executive Director, Centre for LSD, said strengthening citizens voices for security sector’s accountability in the Nigeria project was developed to help citizens demand accountability from the security sector.
Osasah said that this was because of the violations and harassment citizens experienced from security agents, while enforcing Covid-19 lock down rules.
The program is expected to be carried out in four African countries, to help strengthen citizens voices and educate them on the issues.