The Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) Programme is working to facilitate dialogue and reconciliation initiatives in communities recovering from the insurgency.
The programme has supported the establishment of community peace and safety partnerships (CPSP) - community dialogue platforms - to highlight security concerns and jointly identify solutions that focus on community resilience and social cohesion. The platforms are made up of security agencies, community leaders, and civil society organisations.
Here are some recent examples of CPSP initiatives in the Gulani and Gujba LGAs (Yobe State):
The CPSP has addressed growing tensions between farmers and herders caused by the competition for land and water among farmers and herders. The leaders of the farmers and herders associations involved in the conflict were engaged to sign a peace agreement between both parties. No disputes have been reported in the area since the agreement was signed.
CPSP members reported that some food vendors from Bunigari were supplying large quantities of food to the nearby Azare and Gashua communities. It was suspected that the food was being taken to insurgents that were camping near the communities. It was agreed that security agencies should undertake further investigations on the matter. The security agencies confirmed the allegation and took measures to stop the food vendors from taking food to the locations. The security threat was addressed and the activities of the food vendors have now ceased.
The CPSP worked to stop kidnapping in Buni Yadi, as a result of a strong cooperation between members of the public and security agencies. The police representative on the CPSP reported that efforts of security agencies to combat kidnapping were hampered by the reluctance of family and friends of victims to provide information out of fear that kidnappers could take drastic action leading to the death of the victims.
The CPSP worked to improve road safety, following a report of reckless driving by commercial car drivers and tricycle operators. The platform engaged the local branches of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, and the Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association of Nigeria to raise awareness with their members about the importance of safe driving. Road safety signs were mounted in different locations on the Buni Yadi Biu Road to advocate for safe driving. Following these actions, feedback at the CPSP meeting indicated a marked improvement in road safety.
The CPSP has reduced the number of bushfires that pose a threat to lives and properties. Traditional rulers and religious leaders were engaged to use their platforms to raise awareness with the public about the dangers of bush burning. A public media campaign about bush burning and environmental protection was conducted by the local government council. Parents and teachers taught children about the dangers of bush burning. Smokers, especially those involved in cattle rearing, were called on to exercise more caution in the disposal of cigarettes.
‘We are grateful to the Gujba CPSP for drawing our attention to the issue of food supply to the insurgent group. With this type of cooperation from the community, we will cripple the activities of insurgent groups.’
Mohammed Yakubu, Department of State Services, Buni Yadi, Gujba LGA, Yobe State
‘With the rapid response of security agents to concerns raised by the community, threats like kidnapping are being addressed. We have a better working relationship with the security agencies.’
Mohammed Yusuf Ali, Gujba Emirate Council, Buni Yadi, Gujba LGA, Yobe State