The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), a leading regional peacebuilding organisation, has established peace project in seven states in the country.
In a statement on Thursday, Bridget Osakwe, national coordinator, WANEP-Nigeria, lamented the prevalence of insecurity in the country.
She said the efforts of the government must be complemented as “the Boko Haram insurgency, farmers-herders clashes, militancy, secessionist movements, land disputes, power tussle, banditry and kidnappings is on the increase.”
Osakwe said the organisation had established weekly live radio programme in seven states across Nigeria on “Women’s Voices for Peace” in English, Fulani, Hausa, Kanuri, and Pidgin languages.
“Varied stakeholders from the civil society, academia, legislature judiciary etc both male and female who have good knowledge and experience of the issues are invited to educate the populace on the need to involve women in decision making and peace processes,”she said.
Quoting the Round 26 displacement tracking matrix (DTM) assessment by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), she said “about 1.9 million people have been internally displaced and over 50,000 people killed with numerous properties and farmlands destroyed between 20 October 2018 to 20 January, 2019.”
She said the most affected states according to the DTM assessment include Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe.
The coordinator also said that women have been undermined in the peace building processes.
“This situation has created a hierarchy where men are relied upon to develop frameworks and strategies for preventing conflict and violence torn societies at the exclusion of women as their voices remain suppressed on key issues that affect their wellbeing,” she said.
Osakwe said WANEP will bridge the gap through a project tagged “Enhancing Participation of Women in Peace and Human Security in Nigeria” with support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD).
She said the project will be implemented in six states, including Bauchi, Borno, Delta, Edo, Gombe and Rivers.
“At the local level, the project builds on the decentralized government systems. It is integrated in community development processes that are already in place in local government structures,” she said.
“This intervention is another contribution to the effective implementation of Nigeria National Action Plan (NAP) on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and other government policies on women, peace and security.”