HumAngle on Wednesday, Aug. 16, held a roundtable discussion with stakeholders of the security and humanitarian sectors in Adamawa State on the need to track security funding in North East Nigeria.
The advocacy meeting, supported by the MacArthur Foundation, is in line with HumAngle’s niche – documenting issues relating to conflict, humanitarian and development in the region.
According to Oluwatosin Alagbe, director of HumAngle Foundation, who facilitated the meeting, Nigeria allocates an average of $1.9 billion to defence, which exceeds the total budgets of all other West African countries yet no proper account is given concerning the disbursement.
“We seek to improve transparency in the security sector because people barely see the effect of such a huge budget,” Oluwatosin said.
Also, participants identified gaps in the security sector and highlighted issues including a low-security response by officials, poor incentive to security personnel, impunity, inadequate security gadgets, lack of evaluation, corruption, and lack of follow-ups among others as reasons for worsening insecurity in the country.
Speaking on the major security threats facing Adamawa state, the participants said the Shila boys, a cult group, has transcended from snatching phones to maiming people.
Another security threat identified is the recurring farmers/herders crisis, kidnapping and police brutality among others.
Offering solutions to the security challenges, the civil society organisations at the meeting agreed that engaging in separate advocacy and sensitisation with security stakeholders would reduce criminality.
Other strategies like transparency in the entire organisational dealings, community policing, establishing social cohesion platforms, active youth inclusion, and legal intervention for marginalised groups will also foster peace.
The media was also saddled with the responsibility of holding the government accountable.
They agreed that CSOs should have an active and objective media team to project their activities hence the media should be part of all their security engagements.
To strengthen accountability, the media is advised on the need to expose cases of extortion, impunity, and security brutality.
The participants agreed to become a force for good governance and collaborate with the media to track security funding.
While some CSOs decided to take up the role of budget tracking in the security sector, others agreed to work on their poor documentation and establish plans for media engagement.
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