From Rose Ejembi and Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi
An international Non Governmental Organization, NGO, Search for Common Ground, has trained stakeholders in Benue state on Civil Society Organization Coalition Building.
Participants were drawn the Civil Society Organizations, CSOs, the media and communities in the state.
Speaking to our correspondent, the state Project Manager, Search for Common Ground, under the project, “United in Security”, Chorbe Joshua, said the two days engagement was organized to strengthen the capacity of stakeholders to improve coordination, collaboration and the network ability to address and advance human right issues in Benue state.
He said it is expected that at the end of the workshop, CSOs, media actors would come under one umbrella for evidence based human right monitoring and reporting and also fashion out how to deal with the human right issues in Benue communities.
“The essence is to form coalition here in Benue state and pull in resources to help mitigate issues of human right violations and also foster collaboration with security agencies.”
Chorbe said “It is part of our hope to see that human right issues are being reduced in the state. It has to be a collective effort not just one organization.”
Participants at the workshop said the workshop was apt and timely as it has exposed them to some of the strategies they were not aware of.
Mr Abifade Martins from Community Links and Human Empowerment Initiative, said “I have learnt how to build an effective coalition and how to make effective use of the coalition to tackle the various human right violations for desired results.”
Also speaking, the President of International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, Benue state, Priscilla Ula, said “I have learnt that the police has in place principles to check the excesses of their men just as proper collaboration with various stakeholders will propel the police to do their jobs and effectively too.”
She urged the police to strive more to ensure that the rights of citizens are not violated by the same organizations set up to protect them.
A representative of Persons With Disabilities, PWDs, in Benue state, Miriam Vandeh, appreciated Search for the inclusion of PWDs in their programmes in Benue saying she will go back and share with her experiences to enlighten them.