Expansion of Community Peace and Safety Partnership

The programme worked with partners to establish more Community Peace and Safety Partnerships (CPSPs) during the period. The programme organised meetings with stakeholders on establishment of 18 CPSPs across the three states. This will bring the number of CPSPs to 30. Meanwhile, existing CPSP platforms met and undertook several initiatives to address security and safety concerns in their localities.

By the end of May, 13 functioning CPSPs had discussed 178 security and safety issues and undertaken 119 actions to address concerns. These actions have so far yielded 20 results that enhanced community security and safety. The programme continues to record success stories from the activities of the CPSPs. One of the success stories is featured in this issue.

Mafa CPSP tackles rising incidence of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV)

During the November 2017 meeting of the Community Peace and Safety Partnerships (CPSP) in Mafa, Borno State, the representative of the Civilian Joint Task Force otherwise known as the “CJTF” reported that some security men deployed to Mafa LGA are engaged in sexual abuse of women and young girls in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. The security men reportedly went into family homes to take away young women and girls against their wishes and in the full glare of family members.

The insensitive act of these security men generated tensions in the IDP community as it was not only against cultural norms but also gave the impression that the security officers were an army of occupation among a captive population. The report of sexual abuse was undermining cordial civil military relations, which was vital to the success of the counter-insurgency operations.

During deliberations on the issue, members of the CPSP acknowledged that some of victims of sexual violence were lured by the need for provisions such as food, money, smartphones and fancy clothes offered by security men.

There was also the admission that not all security men engaged in the act and some of the culprits acted under the influence of drugs. The CPSP decided that it was important to identify security men who were involved in the practice in order not to tarnish the image of all security personnel.

Members said this was important because some security officials were actually providing relief and supporting recovery efforts of the communities. Examples were given of officers who supported education of young persons in the camp through provision of school uniforms and hiring of teachers for school children in Mafa.

The CPSP also decided to also take action to address the involvement of some local boys and some members of the CJTF in SGBV.

CPSP responses

The interventions of the CPSP included the following:

• Adopted sensitive approaches to engage with security agencies.

• Presented the matter at the meeting of the Local Government Security Committee (LGSC) where issues of security in the LGA are discussed.

• Organised an advocacy visit to the Military Commander in charge of Mafa with a request for discipline of officers involved in SGBV and restriction of movement of security men in the IDP camp. Organised an advocacy visit to the Mafa Divisional Police Station to register complaint of involvement of local youths in SGBV and other social vices and asked for more security presence.

• Invited the Inspector in charge of the Nigeria Police Force, Mafa Division to the platform meeting of April 2018 meeting to provide update on action taken in response to the petitions presented during the advocacy visit.


The interventions yielded the following results:

• There was proactive response by the security agencies involved. The military commander authorised transfer of suspected security officers from the area. He also restricted movement of security personnel in the camp. A new rule was adopted where soldiers stay in the outskirts of the town and are not allowed into the IDP camp after 4pm.

• The Inspector in charge of Mafa police responded by deploying more police officers to the camp to patrol and undertake surveillance to prevent incidence of SGBV and other violent crimes.

• As a result of these actions, no new case of SGBV has been reported in the IDP camp. Young women and girls reportedly go about their normal activities in the camp without fear of being harassed or molested.

'We can now go and fetch water at night without fear of being harassed or molested, thanks to the presence of more policemen.'

Yakura Bukar, girl in fertilizer IDP camp for Mafa 

Traditional Ruler Training – More Evidence of Dispute Resolution

The programme partnered with stakeholders to consolidate its initiative on training of traditional rulers and community groups in April and May 2018. So far across 6 benefitting emirates, 960 traditional rulers, 240 female leaders and 939 scribes have been trained.

The programme organised three lesson learning workshops in Damaturu, Maiduguri and Yola in April 2018. The workshops, which brought together 259 persons, including traditional rulers, government officials, security personnel, legal practitioners and the media served as a forum to discuss results and lessons of the initiatives.

The workshops confirmed the relevance of the training as testimonies presented showed beneficiaries have been applying the skills. Data collated by the programme indicate that beneficiaries had by April handled 1272 cases and 89 per cent of the cases were successfully resolved. There is evidence of growing reliance of community members and formal governmental institutions, including the formal courts on traditional rulers and community leaders trained as shown in the case stories and beneficiary stories featured in this issue of the newsletter.

Most of the speakers at the workshops stressed the significance of the training and called for its replication in other emirates and chiefdoms as well as the inclusion of religious leaders and more women leaders as beneficiaries.

For instance, Dr. Mustapha Ahmad, Sulhu Ambassador and District Head of Girei, Adamawa Emirate said: “The capacity building enhanced partnership between TRs and the courts and police where courts and the police refer cases to the TRs to resolve. Our methodologies have changed for good. I recommend replication of the training to all TRs in the State.”

'This programme has brought progress between neighbours and communities having different religious backgrounds. One of the challenges prior to the training was that a community with different people of different religions having only one Bulama of one religion. Often at times he is unaware of how to resolve disputes between the two. With this training now the ward heads understand better how to help.'

Rev Jonathan Dibal, Christian Association of Nigeria, Biu Chapter, Borno State

'We are pleading that it will also be taken to Chibok because it is important. We actually want to have the forms before the training comes to us. Take note that there are a lot of Vigilantes in our places who do their own sulhu and conduct jungle justice based on the highest bidder. These should be curtailed.'

Zanna Madu Usman Chibok, District Head, Chibok, Borno State

Beneficiary story: Traditional Rulers relieving the workload of the Magistrates in Damaturu, Yobe State

Gambo Hussaini Jumbam, Chief Magistrate Court 1, Damaturu has lauded the role that Traditional Rulers are playing to resolve disputes amicably since they were trained by the EU-funded Enhancing State and Community Level Conflict Management Capability in North Eastern Nigeria programme.

Until recently the Magistrates had few local justice resolution mechanisms to refer local non-criminal disputes to, and an ever-increasing caseload.

In March 2018, the Chief Magistrate referred a complex land dispute to the local village head, Lawan Abba Sheriff, who successfully deployed his recently tuned mediation skills and helped the parties in the dispute reach an agreement. The agreement was cemented by referral back to the Magistrates Court for validation, when the Chief Magistrate expressed his delight at such a speedy and effective outcome.

The Chief Magistrate said: “The village head settled the case amicably, with no aggravation, the entire parties are happy and satisfied and the case ended within a short period of time.”

In total, this Chief Magistrate has referred three cases to the traditional system since the training provided by the programme and expects to refer many more in the future.

The Traditional rulers are very pleased to play an important role in maintaining community relations by resolving disputes efficiently and to the satisfaction of all parties, which also raises the community’s confidence in them.

The success of the system is not limited to Damaturu, a market chief in Potiskum has reported that he has so far received over 25 referrals of cases from the police and five from the court, all of which have been taken in for resolution by the Traditional Justice System in Yobe.

Case story – Village Head intervenes in conflict over relief materials among IDPs

Malkohi settlement is provided by Malkohi community for IDPs who fled Gwoza LGA of Borno State to Adamawa State. The settlement has a population of about 300 households who have constructed temporary houses and farm on land provided by the host community.

Local and international organisations have supported the community with water, food, toiletries and other essential items. However, over the past few months supply of relief items have reduced significantly leading to competition among IDPs for few available supplies and rising tensions in the settlement.

In March 2018, a local NGO visited the Malkohi IDP settlement and Host community and asked their leaders to nominate 7 and 3 needy women respectively from the IDP settlement and host community. Since the NGO did not specify the type of relief it planned to offer there was not much interest among the IDPs, so the IDP leader submitted names of 7 women who showed interest.

When the NGO eventually distributed grinding Machines to the 7 beneficiaries, the leadership and residents of the IDP settlement objected and canvassed the sale of the machines and distribution of proceeds to all households in the settlement. The refusal of the beneficiaries and members of their households to give-up the machines generated tensions, raising fears of possible outbreak of violence. The matter was reported to the Ward Head.

When the NGO eventually distributed grinding Machines to the 7 beneficiaries, the leadership and residents of the IDP settlement objected and canvassed the sale of the machines and distribution of proceeds to all households in the settlement. The refusal of the beneficiaries and members of their households to give-up the machines generated tensions, raising fears of possible outbreak of violence. The matter was reported to the Ward Head.

Ibrahim Aliyu, Ward head of Malkohi, informed the Village Head, Alh Abubakar Gidado who summoned the IDP leadership and the beneficiaries.

During the mediation, the Village Head and the Ward Head stressed that the cause of justice and long-term community interest would be served if the beneficiaries were allowed to keep and use the machines. It would amount to injustice if the women were dispossessed because the majority wanted to benefit directly. The entire community would also eventually benefit from the multiplier effects such as employment and services that use of the machines would generate.

The leadership of the IDPs accepted the decision and the women have kept and commenced using their grinding machines.

Confirming acceptance of the decision, Bukar Gudan, IDP Settlement Leader, said ‘We have respect for the Village Head who has provided land for us both for building and for building, so there is no way we cannot listen to his plea."

'Life was almost miserable for me and my family as we lost everything to the insurgency; I use to wait for my husband to go for menial jobs to feed us but thanks to the NGO that gave us the grinding machine. I now support my husband in providing for the family needs like soap, salt, clothes and other basic consumables. I also support other women in need within the IDP settlement.'


Beneficiary story – Trained female leader resolves conflict among women

‘War of any kind is poisonous… What dialogue does not bring, war can never bring’.

This is the philosophy of Fatima Jato who benefitted from the capacity building programme on alternative dispute resolution organized by the programme for female leaders and wives of traditional rulers. Fatima Jato, a graduate of Biological Science from the University of Maiduguri is married to the Bulama, Bulumkutu Layin Kachalla in Maiduguri, Borno State.

Fatima has started applying the skills acquired in settling domestic disputes in Bulumkutu layin Kachalla.

Recently, Fatima was called upon by a neighbour to intervene in a conflict between 2 sisters who started fighting over dispute between their children.

Sometime last year, Mother A had accused Mother B (names withheld) of taking sides with her daughter when the children fought over a toy. During the ensuing argument, Mother A reportedly hit Mother B. This incident resulted in several cases of physical confrontations between the two women.

Narrating her intervention, Fatima said she explained the need for peaceful co-existence and told them: ‘the children have put the fight behind their backs as you can see, they are playing together again, yet you as mothers and guides are carrying it forth.’

She said she drew their attention to the indirect impact of the frequent conflicts on the character of their children who watched them fighting. She also made them think about the likely consequences of conflict by asking them who will train and look after their children if they harmed themselves or were arrested as a result of the violence.

The mediation initiative yielded results as the women resolved to put the fight behind them. All the neighbours are happy that a year-long conflict that resulted into several incidents of physical fights was resolved by a few words of wisdom.

"I feel very happy that I am able to carry out mediation and resolve conflicts in my community because sometimes fights like these escalate and gets out of hand with different people joining and the trail never ends. This then leads to something else.”

Fatima Jato, Female leader

Training – doctors, nurses and social workers trained on handling SGBV

Following the launch of the Adamawa Hope Centre, the Programme organised a capacity building programme for medical practitioners and social health workers in Yola. The capacity building programme which held at American University Conference Centre, Yola on 23-27 April attracted 24 participants. This is made up of 4 medical doctors, 10 nurses and 10 counsellors. The capacity building programme was facilitated by two medical doctors and two counsellors who organised plenary sessions for all participants and separate sessions for doctors and nurses and counsellors.

Participants acquired skills on core services to be provided by the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC). Topics included approach to victims, proper history taking, detailed and objective forensic examination, standard method of documenting and reporting injuries, medical treatment and follow-up, procedures for testing for pregnancy and STI/HIV infections, psycho-social support and approach to court room processes among others.

Key outcomes of the training were the preparation of 24 resource persons to drive service delivery at the Adamawa Hope Centre. Participants agreed to establish a network for sharing experiences and to explore opportunities for advocating for establishment of more SARCs in the state. The training brings to a total of 63 medical workers and counsellors trained by the programme in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.

SARC Steering Committees mobilise public support for SARCs

The SARC Committees held meetings during the period and undertook advocacy measures to ensure effective take-off of the SARCs and to address SGBV. The Adamawa SARC held 2 meetings while 1 meeting was organized in Borno and Yobe each. The meetings focused largely on initiatives to sensitise the public on the services provided by the SARCs and mobilise support of key stakeholders for the SARCs. By the end of May 2018, the committees have undertaken six successful actions to address SGBV

You can download the April and May 2018 MCN newsletter below: