CISLAC Clamours For A Secured Nigeria

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A Non-Governmental Organisation, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), on Monday clamoured for better protection for civilians.

The NGO made the call in Lagos during a media interaction supported by the Open Society Initiative For West Africa.

The Executive Director, CISLAC, Mr. Auwal Musa-Rafsanjani, during his opening remarks, said the conference was to discuss the status of insecurity in Nigeria and to call for urgent action to protect civilians.

Musa-Rafsanjani said the level of insecurity is becoming unacceptable and called for synergy among security agencies to tackle the menace.

The Programme Manager, Defence and Security, CISLAC, Mr. Salaudeen Hashim, also said the high level of vulnerability of civilians across the country formed the basis for the meeting.

Hashim said the level and the framework of protection remained weak and that some of the framework provided by the state to provide protection was also weak.

He said the media interaction was to amplify the conversation around the protection of civilians and civilian arm integration.

“We believe that all of these things together would allow for a robust protection framework and a regime that will advance the course of man’s security and promote the level of citizens’ participation in governance,” he said.

Mr. Hashim said CISLAC had engaged both horizontal and vertical with policymakers and civilians and a lot of commitment has been demonstrated to the protection of civilians.

Mr. Hashim said the protection of civilians was germane and called for the passing of the bill on the protection of civilians currently before the National Assembly.

“There is a policy before the Federal Executive Council, there is also a bill before the National Assembly so these two frameworks at different levels have gone far.

“We are hoping that the president passes this before the end of the year to put in place the policy that protects civilians.

Mr. Hashim added that CISLAC has always advocated better protection for civilians and has always engaged security agencies on ways to bridge the gap between the people and security agents.

“We have a platform where we engage technical staff within the state actors to also be participants in the process and of course help them to influence the rules of engagement.

“We help them to support the kind of tactical approach they adopt in every theatre. For every theatre, various kinds of approaches must be put in place.

“So, we have helped in terms of technical support and assistance, we are also helping in providing regular training and this week we are having specialised training for desk officers for elections in the nine commands.

“These are the kind of support we provide to ensure that protection is institutionalised so it is important that there is a paradigm shift from what is existing and that in itself can have a new regime in terms of how u deal with the protection of civilians,” he said.