By SADIQ ABUBAKAR, Maiduguri –
Participants mobilizing Borno State stakeholders to develop transitional justice and reconciliation policy recommendations in the North East Nigeria have recommended that there should be advocacy and dialogue on the need to accept repentant insurgents back to their ancestral homes.
They also recommended that government should establish and strengthen community accountability on the number and size of victims of insurgency as well as to create support for the establishment of healthcare delivery services and economic empowerment facilities in the communities affected by the insurgency.
The participants made the call on Tuesday at a one day stakeholders meeting in Maiduguri to validate findings and recommendations from survey of Borno stakeholders’ perception on priorities for implementation of transitional justice in North East, which is supported by UKAIDS of the FIDO
At the meeting, the participants, further suggested for the establishment of a formal machinery for transitional Justice where they don’t exist and consolidation of traditional justice structures transparency in ensuring justice and protection of human rights for victims of the crisis , especially the women, boys and girls alongside assess to livelihoods support.
The stakeholders called on the government to ensure transparency and justice by punishing all those found to be guilty of any offence and reconcile aggrieved parties amicably towards peace building and peaceful co-existence among the people in the society.
They also said there was need to develop a transitional justice policy for Implementation for peace in the state and north east region while others were of the opinion that there should be open declaration by ex-combatants to accept to live in peace with the people and shun terrorism.
The participants also suggested further that the religious, traditional and security stakeholders should be responsible and transparent in the responsibilities, while the security agencies should also be held responsible for o the provision of lives and property of the citizenry irrespective of origin, tribe, religion, political affiliation and relationship.
It was also suggested that humanitarian support , equality, justice, fairness, forgiveness, apologies, dialogue and reconciliation between the residents of host communities as victims of the insurgency and the ex-combatants should take place through organized and proper structures established by government.
They further recommended the establishment of economic empowerment facilities , assessed and availability of farmlands along with provision of adequate security for the communities are maintained and assured
Campaigns and advocacy on stigmatization between the victims and co-combatants including human rights should be established and promoted while professional Associations and unions as Stakeholders’ were of the opinion that justice should ensured, humanitarian support, reconstruction , compensation and apologies should be put in place by the government.
Earlier, in the presentation of the findings of the research conducted by the Allamin Foundation for Peace and Development , Dr. Lawan Gana said about 90,000 victims and stakeholders were interviewed during the exercise, where 95% were interviewed including security officials and others from four LGAs of the state that were sampled for the research.
He added that 4 LGAs were selected for the research which include Bama, Gwoza, Dikwa and MMC being the major LGAs that was worst affected by the insurgency and the targeted categories of groups interviewed include CSOs, FBOs, MDAs, traditional leaders , religious leaders, women groups, professional Associations, media and security agencies among others.
The Executive Director of Allamin Foundation for Peace and Development, Hajiya Hamsatu Allamin in her welcome address, noted that the purpose in which the stakeholders ‘were invited was to get the views and opinions of the stakeholders invited to participate at the presentation and review exercise of the whole project which was last presented for recommendations and suggestions for final formulation of policy and implementation by the government.
She also appreciated the invited guests who were participants from various sectors of the society to make inputs on the findings of the research conducted by the foundation for further documentation and presentation as policy document for the government to implementation towards the establishment and promotion of human rights, peace and development in North east Nigeria.
While the Project Manager, Allamin Foundation for Peace and Development, Mr. Samuel Arahii said the workshop targeted at the revalidation of the findings of the field work carried out by the foundation and the stakeholders before final documentation of the report as a policy document for implementation.