From Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
The Northeast Civil Society Forum, a network of civil society organisations in Nigeria’s North-East, has said that the security situation in the region is deteriorating.
The forum made the declaration at a Peace and Security Summit in Maiduguri, Borno State, on Wednesday at a security summit attended by CSOs leadership from the six northeastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe.
Chairman, Adamawa State Civil Society Organisations, Mr Peter Egwudah, who presented the position of the forum, said attacks and abductions of civilians on major highways in the North-East have worsened the security situation in the area.
‘The security situation in recent time in the Northeast is deteriorating. Despite various efforts and interventions, the conflict is persisting with civilians affected by the violence,’ Egwudah said while reading the forum’s observations
He urged military authorities to regularly engage with civil authorities, local officials, community and religious leaders in the zone.
The head of United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) in Nigeria, Mr Trond Jensen, in his remark said said the international humanitarian community was concerned about the security of civilians population and vulnerable persons in the northeast.
He said about 9 million civilians are in need humanitarian support this year alone.
He stressed the need to understand the underlining issues driving the conflict in the region before addressing the security challenge. He identified injustice, poverty and climate change as some of the causes of the Boko Haram violence in the region
‘We must also understand that military solution cannot solve the problem. We will require a multi-domensional approach to address the problem,’ he stated. He said the UN humanitarian community identified with all efforts to end the violence in the region.
Borno State Govenor Babagana Zulum, represented by the Chief of Staff at the Government House, Prof Husseini Marte, called for cooperation among all stakeholders engaged in the humanitarian situation in the region. He emphasised that the Borno State government was determined to close all IDPs camps before May 2022. He said having IDPs was no longer sustainable and as such, the government has started the voluntary return of refugees to their localities and the enthronement of civil authority in the Local Government Areas.
The two-day summit was attended by government officials, security agencies, representative international and local NGOs and humanitarian community.