CLEEN Foundation calls for human rights accountability in the state counterinsurgency strategy.
The organization on Wednesday organized Inter-Agency Collaboration Workshop for Countering Violence Extremism Stakeholders in Maiduguri, Borno state.
In the three day workshop, participants drawn from the Police Oversight Agencies, National Human Rights Commission, Office of the National Security Adviser, the Military, Para-military, Civilian JTF, Civil society, tradition/religious leaders, Civil Society and other key stakeholders called for human right adherence in the state counter-insurgency strategy.
Mrs. Chigozirim Okoro, the Assistant Programs Manager, Public Safety and Security CLEEN foundation, said the event is aimed at improving human rights compliance in countering human right extremism in Nigeria. She explains that this will be achieved through the review of counter-terrorism laws and strategy by the government. This is to ensure that there is respect for the rights of Nigerians by the security agencies in the war against insurgency currently going on in different parts of the country she added.
The event seeks to produce a working strategy for state and non-state actors involved in CVE in Nigeria with Borno state as a pilot state. Chigozirim assured that her organization CLEEN Foundation will work with the senior hierarchy of the security personnel to ensure that the working strategy is operational. She also urged the security personnel to respect human rights in their operation across the northeast.
Participants at the events narrated heartbroken stories of human rights abuse in the hands of the state security actors. They called for a public hearing that will provide a platform for victims of human rights abuse to share and narrate their experience in the hands of security agencies.
Often victims find it very difficult to tell their stories, they accuse the state of working with the media not to allow complete reportage of what the real situation is in the affected communities. Participants argued that the only way for them to tell their stories is through a public hearing.
They also accused the security personnel of harassing and intimidating them for not having the national identity cards and appealed to the federal government to facilitate the issuance of national identity cards to all Nigerian citizens that reside in Maiduguri and other northeast states.
Some of them explained how they were forced to pay N200 to N1000 by the security agencies for not having a national identity card.