By Sumaila Ogbaje
L: R : Mr Oyebisi Oluseyi, Executive Director, Nigeria Network of NGOs addressing newsmen while leaders of other group watch
The consortium of states-based Networks of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has urged Federal and state governments to adopt a multifaceted approach in addressing current security challenges in the country.
The Executive Director, Nigeria Network of NGOs, Mr Oyebisi Oluseyi, made the call while addressing newsmen on Friday in Abuja.
Oluseyi said that the CSOs were concerned about the spate of insecurity in the various regions, ranging from insurgency, banditry, kidnapping and violent conflicts.
He said the organisations commended efforts of the government and security agencies to contain the situation of far, adding that it must be prevented from further escalation to salvage the country.
He added that the CSOs believed that an amendment to the nation’s constitution would address the current security challenges bedeviling the country.
“It is, therefore, our humble and clarion call to the Nigerian Authority to rise up to this occasion by declaring a state of emergency in the security sector to ensure that peace and security are restored and further loss of innocent lives of Nigerian citizens averted.
“We believe that the need to usher in an amended constitution will help to address the lingering structural imbalance, ensure peace, stability and growth in the socio-political and economic affairs of Nigeria.
“It will also address poverty, and unemployment- factors which have strongly contributed to human capital flight in Nigeria, diversify Nigeria’s economy resulting in the growth of national GDP,” he said.
According to him, the ongoing violence and conflicts in the country have adverse effects on productive women and men in terms of socio-political and economic activities like farming and other means of livelihood.
“Hence, there should be a deliberate attempt by the government at all levels at empowering citizens toward meeting their basic needs of life.
“It is a universal principle that peace and security is determined by good governance, development of a more balanced security strategy to counter violent crimes and local terrorism, elimination of Corruption and entrenchment of social justice,” he said.
Oluseyi disclosed that the CSOs had made their submissions to the ongoing public hearing on a constitutional amendment to the National Assembly with a number of far-reaching recommendations.
He also stated that efforts were being made at promoting dialogue toward ending conflicts in Nigeria.
He stressed that negotiation of political solutions must be actively pursued by all stakeholders including, local initiatives on peace-building efforts, de-radicalisation and reconciliation in respective communities.
He also called for strengthening unity in diversity for sustainable development, saying that the issue of nationhood must be addressed within the context of strengthening true federalism.
“Nigeria needs to promote unity in diversity because its people are of many religions, race, cultures and traditions,” he said.
Oluseyi further stated that the group also advocated gender equity and increased participation of women and vulnerable groups in governance.
He added that they proposed that 30 per cent of political positions/appointments be slated exclusively for women at Federal, state and local government levels, while five per cent be exclusively provided for persons with special needs.
The Chief Executive Officer, Ceder Seed Foundation, Mrs Lois Anta-Udonkanta, said that the lack of inclusion of young people, women and persons with disability in governance was part of the issues that needed to be addressed.
Anta-Udonkanta called for a level paying ground for persons with disabilities in politics as well as allowing women to run for political office in their husbands’ places of origin. (NAN)