HumAngle on Saturday, May 7, hosted a roundtable discussion with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from Borno and Yobe states in promoting transparency in security-related and humanitarian funding in Northeast Nigeria.
The roundtable, supported by the MacArthur Foundation, is in line with HumAngle’s core niche of reporting conflict, humanitarian and development issues in the region.
During the meeting, which was held in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, participants shared knowledge on the role of citizen participation in reducing corruption and enhancing accountability. They also shared experiences with insecurity related issues, and how lack of accountability and inaction from state actors, especially during emergencies continue to contribute to worsening insecurity.
HumAngle stressed the importance of collaboration between the media and the civil society in helping to investigate the protracted conflict in the region and the funding that goes into trying to curb its branches.
Professor Abubakar Muazu of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Maiduguri, who facilitated a session on the role of citizens participation in reducing corruption in security and humanitarian funding in the conflict areas.
His presentation extensively dwelt on how the funding around security is shrouded in secrecy, which he said fuels the war economy.
“Nothing guarantees corruption like secrecy,” he said.
He emphasised the need for a strong structure and template to be made to document the disbursement and budgeting of funding intended to strengthen the security architecture in the country.
He insisted that for society to attain meaningful development, citizens must be interested in how budget releases are utilised.
The at least 12 CSOs and local journalists in attendance at the meeting shared their experiences and the challenges they face in their respective communities. These contributions further highlighted the need to work with community stakeholders, which is crucial in both the understanding of local context and improving the lives of those most affected by the insurgency.
The discussions also dwelt extensively on the need for deeper investigations into the cases of sexual abuse faced in IDP Camps focusing, as well on the rising cases of missing or unaccompanied children.
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