Stakeholders Hold Zonal Technical Workshop To Tackle Insecurity In South East


A two-day South East Zonal Technical Workshop of the Concord Initiative has ended in Awka with a call on critical stakeholders to contribute their quota towards attaining sustainable peace, inclusive recovery and durable security in the zone.

The event was organised in partnership with Office for Strategic Preparedness and Resilience (OSPRE), the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, and the Government of Anambra State to drive conversation toward lasting solutions to insecurity in the Southeast, through non-kinetic measures.

This conversation signaled the beginning of an open forum for the exchange of information on real issues militating against sustainable peace and security in the Southeast.

The workshop has about seven thematic areas or syndicate sessions where participants representing the five states of the Southeast were grouped. These thematic areas that informed the syndicate sessions include; Healing and reconciliation, Cultural recovery, values and education, Enterprise, industry and investment promotion, Youth empowerment, Transitional and restorative justice, Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, and finally, Empowering women for peacebuilding.

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Speaking at the occasion, the Executive Director, West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Dr Chukwuemeka Eze, urged the government to be proactive in tackling insecurity, engage with stakeholders in dialogue, while improving business investments, build the capacity and manpower of the security agents.

Contributing, the National President, Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU), Chief (Barr) Titus Akpudo averred that insecurity could be addressed through a collaborative efforts with all stakeholders, sustained dialogue and reorientation.

He said the family has a big role to play in nurturing the sound moral and social upbringing of their children to become responsible citizens of the country.

On his part, the Vice National President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo worldwide, Chief Afam Okeke-Ogene stressed the needs for the government at all levels to stop supporting electoral malpractices, promote good governance and treat all citizens equally at all times.

In a Goodwill message, the Chairman, Anambra State Truth, Justice and Peace Commission, Professor Chidi Odinkalu, who spoke virtually underscored the importance of peace in nation building and development, while governor Chukwuma Soludo represented by his Deputy, Dr. Onyekachukwu Ibezim argued that the State government was not relenting in nipping insecurity to the bud.

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Earlier, the Director General, Office for Strategic Preparedness & Resilience (National Early Warning Centre of Nigeria), Mr Chris Ngwodo explained that the retreat brought together key leadership actors from the region to deliberate on interventions designed to promote sustainable peace, inclusive recovery and durable security.

One of the facilitators, Dr Chibueze Okorie
Deputy Director General/Head of Campus,
Nigerian Law School, Augustine Nnamani Campus, Agbani, Enugu State who spoke about Transitional and Restorative Justice, described transitional justice as legal and institutions of government designed to address human rights violations and promote accountability in societies transforming from conflict to peace.

This, he said, can be done through amnesty & pardons, legal & institution reforms, accountability, reparation which focus on the victims, community engagement, psychosocial support.

According to him, Restorative Justice focuses on healing, accountability and reconciliation through acknowledgement of harm, creating a space for dialogue, providing restitution and engaging in evaluation and feedback mechanism.

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“The mechanisms and institutions necessary for enthronement of sustainable peace are conflict prevention & early warning signal, strong rule of law, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), ensuring inclusiveness, peace building and reconciliation program, regional & international cooperation, restructuring the country, strategic communication and peace/Civic education.”

Since 2021, insecurity in the Southeast has taken a new turn with sustained agitation for Biafra, the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, and attacks on security formation by armed gangs. The development, in turn, weakened public safety, draining the confidence of the security agents and further creating apprehension and chaos that has energized a high rise of criminality across the Southeast.

Resolutions reached by the various syndicate sessions during the workshop are expected to be further developed into a policy framework for further action by relevant government ministries, departments, and agencies, at various levels of government.

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