CONFLICT MANAGEMENT, RECONCILIATION AND STABILITY
Annual perception survey demonstrates growing confidence in conflict management institutions
The MCN Programme’s annual perception survey (APS) has recorded improved confidence in conflict management institutions in target states between 2017 and 2018. The survey, conducted by an independent polling organisation, provides data used to track progress on the programme’s outcomes and impact. In the latest survey performed in December 2018, respondents were asked if they were aware of conflict / response mechanisms that were working in their communities. Eighty-two (82%) of respondents across the three programme states said that they were aware of organisations / agencies providing those services (up from 67% in 2017).
160 wives of traditional rulers trained in Borno and Yobe States
The MCN Programme supported the training of 160 wives of traditional rulers and female traditional title holders in Borno and Yobe States. The beneficiaries were drawn from the Dikwa and Gwoza emirates in Borno and Bade, and the Pataskum emirates in Yobe State.
The workshops focused on the following topics: Nigeria’s justice system, human rights, alternative dispute resolution, and family law. Participants expressed optimism that the skills acquired would enable them to continue to support stability in their communities.
‘Although dispute resolution has been our area of focus, these new skills will help promote peace in our localities.’
Hajiya Mairo Ishaku, Nana of Gwoza, Borno State
Improved coordination between traditional rulers and formal justice institutions in Ganye, Adamawa State
A key programme objective is to improve the coordination between traditional and formal justice institutions. Traditional rulers have been trained on all aspects of the justice system and provided the opportunity to interact with formal security and justice operators. The aim is to identify issues affecting their effective coordination and develop appropriate responses. Monitoring sessions were organised to better understand if the skills acquired have been applied since the training. Findings suggest there is some improvement in coordination.
The improved knowledge about the difference between civil and criminal matters and the appropriate authorities with jurisdiction has not only enabled traditional rulers to better abide by the law, but also to exercise control over community members who may take the laws into their own hands.
For example, the Emir (Alhaji Umaru Adamu Sanda, Gangwari Ganye) stopped youths from lynching six suspected kidnappers they had arrested. The youths wanted to kill the kidnappers due to their loss of confidence in the formal authorities to deal with the situation. They alleged some of the kidnappers had been released by police authorities after previous arrests. The Emir averted the extra-judicial killings by sensitising the youths on the need to allow formal authorities to discharge their functions and securing commitment from the State Commissioner of Police that the suspects would be prosecuted.
‘I approached the court on several occasions to persuade the judge to allow me to reconcile the parties and he allowed me; thereafter the parties were amicably reunited, and they respected me a lot.’ Aliyu Ahmed, Village head, Gojoli, Ganye, Adamawa State
‘The number of disputes taken to police stations has reduced. This is due to the enhancement of disputes resolved by the traditional rulers. We at the police station have seen the results of this training and we are happy about that.’ Aliyu Mamuda, Divisional Traffic Officer, Nigeria Police Force, Ganye, Adamawa State
ADDRESSING SEXUAL AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE
Presidential Committee on North East Initiatives donates ambulances to SARCs
MCN initiatives aimed at mobilising awareness and interest among diverse stakeholders to combat sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) have continued to yield positive results. In line with their strategic plans, the Steering Committees of the Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) have continued to promote the benefits of the SARCs, engage community stakeholders, and encourage their replication.
An early result is the donation of two ambulances to the SARC Centres in Damaturu and Yola by the Presidential Committee on North East Initiatives (PCNI). The ambulances will help the SARCs provide a more effective response to SGBV by transporting survivors to the centres.
ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME
150 beneficiaries of youth empowerment programme exhibit their new skills and products
The Initiative for the Development of the Needy, Orphans, Less Privileged and Widows (INOL) is implementing an empowerment programme that targets 150 female youths in Damaturu, Fika and Fune LGAs in Yobe State and helps them to learn new skills. As part of the initiative, an exhibition was organised to showcase their products, including dresses, pomades, soaps and spaghetti - mostly made with locally sourced materials. Feedback indicates that participants were pleased with the products, which positively highlighted the future prospects of the young girls to sell their goods in local markets.
Economic empowerment programme enables female CJTF members to earn incomes
The empowerment programme for the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) is helping members generate incomes to support their livelihoods. Here is a spotlight on some of the beneficiaries:
Bintu, a mother of four children (three girls and one boy), was enlisted in sector 9 of the CJTF at 24. She did so after insurgents entered her home at the Bulumkutu Ward of Maiduguri Metropolis and shot dead her husband and the eldest of her two male children. The incident happened five years ago.
Bintu joined the CJTF with a mission. It was not necessarily for vengeance by killing insurgents, but to ensure security at worship places, other public places and gatherings, as well as in the neighbourhoods in the community. She helps to screen females seeking access to places for IEDs, especially at the El-Kanemi College of Islamic Theology. She used to cater for the children with gifts of cash and food items often shared with them by their male counterparts.
Bintu has recently benefited from three months of training in tailoring and fashion design delivered by the Herwa Community Development Initiative (HCDI), with support from MCN. With her newfound skills, Bintu is better able to provide for her family.
‘I now earn between N1,200-1,500 daily working as a seamstress. With my savings, I have registered for my National Diploma in Civil Engineering at Ramat Polytechnic. I now hope to sponsor myself for a degree in Civil Engineering.’ Bintu Muhammed, Maiduguri
Zainab, a mother of six (four boys and two girls) enlisted in Sector 9 of the CJTF following the killing of her husband by insurgents. She helps in searching women and girls accessing worship and other public places and gatherings for IEDs and had helped to intercept and arrest a suicide bomber who had an IED strapped to her chest.
Zainab has recently benefited from three months of training in tailoring and fashion design delivered by HCDI, with support from MCN. Even before acquiring the required equipment to establish her own business, she now earns enough by using one of the two sewing machines owned by a neighbour to sew for mothers and other ladies in her neighbourhood. She earns a minimum of N500 daily, assisting the neighbour in cutting and preparing pieces of cloth for sewing.
‘From my earnings, I now feed my family well and pay for my children’s school fees. Nobody knows my problems now.’ Zainab Saleh, Maiduguri
Fatima Abubakar Sadiq
Fatima Abubakar Sadiq is 27 years old. She is a mother of four children (3 boys and a girl). She has a diploma in Islamic Studies from the Mohammed Goni College of Legal and Islamic Studies (MOCOLIS) in Maiduguri.
When her spouse was killed by insurgents, she enlisted in the CJTF with the aim to help secure her community. At the height of the insurgency, she often participated in military/CJTF operations in local communities outside Maiduguri and earned some money to assist her parents and in-laws to care for her children. As peace was gradually restored in Maiduguri, Fatima was left without any source of income to support her family.
She recently benefited from three months of training in hair dressing delivered by HCDI, with support from MCN.
‘I am already gainfully self-employed. I practice my trade at home, washing and dressing hair and doing pedicures. I now do a lot of good things for myself and my children.’ Fatima Abubakar Sadiq, Maiduguri
Hajara enlisted into Sector 6 of the CJTF at the Umarari Ward. She was seriously concerned about the rampant killings of people by the insurgents in Maiduguri Metropolis.
She could not resist the urge to join other youths to protect society from further killings and abuse by the insurgents. Like other female CJTF members, she is engaged in screening female worshippers for IEDs before they were allowed access to places of worship, like mosques. She also supported her parents to care for her family by plaiting hair.
Hajara has a National Diploma in Electrical Engineering from the Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri. The empowerment programme, supported by MCN, has enabled Hajara to realise her goal of becoming an electrical engineer. The three-month training programme enabled her to use electrical instruments that she could not access during her diploma training. With Hajara’s new skills, she now contributes to the family income.
‘Would you believe it if I tell you that I have already bought Sallah clothes for myself and my younger sibling? I was not able to do so last year. I am already saving for my mother’s clothes.’
Hajara Abdulmumin, Maiduguri