The Multi-Stakeholders’ Consultative Forum on Governing and Securing Rural Spaces on 20 June 2019, jointly organized by the European Union (EU), the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Nigeria and the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), aimed at giving Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) a stronger voice in Nigeria’s security matters. During the full-day program, a variety of academics, representatives of civil society organisations, the military and the government discussed how rural spaces in Nigeria can be more effectively governed and secured.
After a welcome speech by Mr Ulrich Thum, Resident Representative of the FES Nigeria, and opening remarks by Mr Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, Executive Director of CISLAC, several presentations were delivered on key security challenges in Nigeria. These focused on receding and emerging trends in the Nigerian security sector, as well as the roles of different stakeholders when it comes to governing rural spaces in Nigeria. After the presentations, a number of discussants focussed on issues related to inter-agency cooperation and collaboration in the security sector, citizen engagement in the security field, as well as the role of civil-military relations. Building on those inputs, the participants engaged in an open debate on the matters. Amongst others, it was emphasized that CSOs should support the efforts of the state in mitigating security problems in the country’s rural spaces.
In the final part of the program, groups were formed that succeeded in developing preliminary guidelines for research papers on different sub-sections of the topic under discussion. Preparations for those guidelines have already begun during a technical session on the preceding day. The research papers, the Terms of Reference (ToRs) of which have been developed during this event, will be completed by September. They will cover topics ranging from police and policing reforms, inclusive participation in the security sector and the sector’s accountability to trends related to the emergence of an informal security sector.