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Nigerian Leaders Must Step Up Collective War Against Insecurity, Says UN

AS part of its contribution to address insecurity in Nigeria, the United Nations (UN) on Monday charged Nigerian leaders to intensify their collective approach towards taming insecurity in the country.

This is even as the UN advocated that one of the best approaches to address issues bordering insecurity in Nigeria was to adopt a preventive security deployment in all facets of the country. 

The UN’s Resident Coordinator and Representative of the UN Secretary General in the Kyrgz Republic, Dr. Ozonnia Ojielo, made this call during a one-day seminar on “Agenda for Peace-building in Nigeria,” organised by the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution, IPCR, in Abuja.

While bemoaning the increasing state of criminal activities in the nation, he noted that adopting a preventive security model would ensure that grounds were prepared for other actors with the mandate, capacity, skills, and experience to step-in.

He maintained that early approach to addressing issues of insecurity, if accepted, would give room for community peace-building, confidence building, among others. 

He said: “Every community or group has some challenges or grievances. So, you see multiple actions by different groups manifested in different ways. 

“Some are even taking up arms against the state. The key is that these issues do manifest as security challenges but most of them are not of a security nature. These manifestations have social, economic, environmental, and sometimes political underpinnings. 

“So, if you have a problem that is social, you cannot use the toolbox for security to address them. So it’s a combination of integrated approaches, strategies needed. Security is a core part. But there’s only one element of the response.

“When violence is threatened and you do preventive security deployment, the people don’t need to take up arms to defend themselves because they feel that the security officials are responding. 

“But the preventive deployment is really to value the space for other actors with the mandate, the capacity, the skills, and the experience to engage to step in.

“Then you do community peace-building, you do confidence building, you do community meetings, consultations with community groups, until the issues are understood. You may not actually solve the problem, because the problem may be deep and protracted. 

“But, what you’re doing is you’re establishing a process for solving them, the issues may be so difficult that you need a long time to solve them, but create a process and once you create a process that the people trust, people will have faith they walk through the process, it may take you several months or years to resolve them. 

“So what we need is to break the cycle of violence, that when one group attacks, the other group feels the need to respond. You break it by engaging in early warning mechanisms.

“And you have the whole community, the country has a constituency, you have NGOs, you have civic groups, in which you use technology.”

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