A success story: Community Peace and Safety Partnerships (CPSPs)
February and March 2018 saw the end of consultations for the extension of CPSPs to more local government areas (LGAs) across the three states. As a result, MCN contracted the following organizations to convene CPSPs:
- Borno State: Centre for Peace, Diplomatic and Development Studies (CPDDS) and Yelwa Community Circle in Bayo, Hawul and Kwaya Kusar, Gubio, Kaga and Monguno LGAs
- Adamawa State: Murmushi Foundation, Pastoral Resolve (PARE) and Justice Peace and Development Commission (JDPC) in Demsa, Fufore, Lamurde, Mayo Belwa, Michika and Numan LGAs
- Yobe State: Centre for Research, Innovation and Linkages (CRIL, Yobe State University, Damaturu and the North East Youth Initiative for Development (NEYIF) in Gujba, Gulani, Gaidam and Tarmuwa LGAs
The Tricycle Riders' Association (Keke NAPEP) put internal strife behind it and partnered with security agencies to tackle crime in Potiskum town.
Tricycles are the predominant means of internal commercial transportation within towns and villages in Borno and Yobe in northeast Nigeria. There are estimated to be over 5,000 tricycles operating in the Potiskum area alone, carrying more than 15,000 passengers per day.
In October 2017, the Potiskum CPSP learnt that tricycle riders were knowingly involved in criminal activity and were compromising the security and safety of people and the broader community. The situation was exacerbated by internal upheaval in the Tricycle Riders' Association and poor relations with security agencies.
The Potiskum CPSP:
- engaged with the Potiskum Local Government Council and facilitated the conduct of fresh elections for the tricycle riders’ association
- supported the Potiskum Local Government Council to mediate between members of the tricycle riders’ association and the leadership to mend the broken relationship
- encouraged the leadership of the association (who are involved in the CPSP) to engage with security agencies at CPSP meetings and outside to improve their working relationship
- worked with the Tricycle Riders' Association (Keke NAPEP) to revamp registration of its members to enable better coordination and tracking of riders and their actions. The association now has 4,300 registered members
- encouraged the association to recruit 50 Keke NAPEP volunteers to monitor and report suspicious activities and ensure members comply with traffic laws and curfew hours.
The results are impressive:
- Tricycle riders are now more law-abiding and have a much-improved relationship with the security agencies, as attested by the commandant of the JTF.
- The Tricycle Riders' Association has reported several incidences of criminal activities to the police, who have acknowledged the role of the tricycle riders in combatting crime.
- Citizens are less likely to be harassed while using tricycles and are safer whilst riding or as pedestrians due to improved adherence by riders to laws and regulations.
- The transparent election of new leaders and the demonstration of how a trade association can effectively represent its members leading to an easier working environment for all is a classic example of how addressing root causes can lead to significantly greater results overall.
'Our members have a lot of information concerning criminal activities being planned by some passengers but they cannot approach the security personnel at the check points because of the harassment they encounter from them. How do we then share security information with them when they see us as criminals and also treat us less humanely when we approach them?'
Saidu Lawan, Chairman, Tricycle Riders' Association – Potiskum
Official Launch – The Borno State Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC)
On Monday 19 February 2018, 200 key government functionaries, civil society groups and the media gathered at the Umaru Shehu Ultramodern Specialist Hospital in Maiduguri to witness the official opening of the European Union funded N3lewa Centre.
The centre was formally opened by the wife of the Borno State Governor who, in her keynote address stated:
'The Sexual Assault Referral Center couldn’t have come at a better time than now when every hand must be on deck to curb these vices rearing its ugly head in the society. There are a lot of activities geared towards these over the years, particularly various awareness Campaigns and Capacity building of relevant stakeholders. With sustained efforts, we shall curb these dangerous ills in our societies.'
The Hon. Commissioner for Health also commended the efforts made by the European Union and the British Council in establishing a SARC in Borno State. He stated that the Ministry of Health would give its full support to ensure that victims of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) are fully taken care of.
As evidence of the support for the SARC, the Hon. Commissioner for Health highlighted:
- the immediate deployment of personnel to the SARC
that the hospital supports SARC by providing immediate medical attention in the form of tests and medication to any victims brought into the centre.
Official Launch – The Adamawa State Sexual Assault Referral Centre
On Tuesday 27th March 2018, a large number of stakeholders gathered at the Adamawa State Specialist Hospital to witness the official opening of the European Union funded Adamawa Hope Centre by the wife of the Adamawa State Governor.
The Medical Director of the Adamawa State Specialist Hospital, Dr. Bala Saidu, stated his appreciation for the efforts of the European Union, the British Council and the Ministries of Justice, Health and Women Affairs for supporting this initiative.
In his remarks, the Adamawa Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Bala Sanga, praised the setting up of the centre which he said will provide curative justice for the survivors and facilitate the prosecution of rape suspects. He said Adamawa has reviewed its penal code which now puts the jail sentence for rapists to minimum of 25 years and maximum of life in prison.
The Commissioner for Health, Fatima Atiku, said there was a lack of data around SGBV and the SARC provided an opportunity to start harmonising data. She said the SARC came at the right time as rape cases are becoming rampant and she promised to support the centre.
While commissioning the centre, the wife of Adamawa State Governor, Maryam Jibrilla, decried the increasing incidences of rape especially among teenagers. She advised parents to be careful over their female children as according to her: 'female children have become more vulnerable and exposed to sexual assault.'
'I am passionate about the plights of women and Girls and will support the Centre'
First Lady of Adamawa State
'No medical doctor will not want to support the SARC initiative which provides Counselling, medical examination and legal support'
Dr. Bala Saidu- MD, Specialist Hospital Yola
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