Insecurity: Global Rights pegs northwest as highest in mass atrocities, harps on women in peace-building

By Angela Atabo


Global Rights, an International human rights organisation, has pegged the Northwest of Nigeria as the leading region in mass atrocities in the last 10 years as compared to other regions of the country.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN),reports that the organisation made this known during its North West Regional Conference on Women Peace and Security, with the “Promoting Best Practices for inclusive Security and Peace-building Processes in North West Nigeria’ ’in Abuja.


Mr Edosa Oviawe, Programme Manager of Global Rights, while fielding questions from journalists during the conference, said that Global Rights has been tracking incidents of mass atrocities across different regions in the country.


Oviawe said that the tracking revealed that in the last 10 years, incidents of mass atrocities in the North West have been on the rise.


“The North West which used to be at the bottom in ranking in terms of incidents of mass atrocities, has suddenly been at the top in the last decade and this is not far from the metallising issues of insecurity that we are having across the country including banditry.


“So, we thought, how do we begin to get community to take ownership of their own security, how do we build their capacity, how do we get everybody in the region to work together?


“That is what gave birth to the idea of the project we started last year, which is majorly looking at how to rethink the security approach we are having in the region.’’


Oviawe said the conference was aimed at bringing stakeholders and partners in the region together to look at what Global Rights had done in the past year, and to look at the strategies and success stories.


This, he said was to find ways to build on the gains of the organisation in the past year.


The Executive Director of Global Rights, Abiodun Baiyewu,in her welcome address expressed worry over the disenfranchisement of women from the peace-building process.


According to Baiyewu , although women are the major victims of crisis in the country, they are hardly carried along in peace-building processes.


“As in all peace-building processes, resolution 3.5 reminds us of the importance of women in peace-building.


“ As a matter of fact, half of Nigeria’s population is women, but half the population of Nigeria is disenfranchised from peace-building processes, and that begins to inform why we thought that this intervention was necessary, ’she said


The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’adu Abubakar, represented by Alhaji Sani Umar Jabbi, the Sarkin Yaki Gagi, in Sokoto, expressed gratitude to Global Rights for choosing Sokoto and the North Western states for intervention.


Abubakar thanked the organisation for training women to improve their well-being, as well as their engagement in decision making.


According to him, the choice of the states in the North West precisely is timely.


He commended the funders ; British High Commission, Global Rights, Kukah Centre and all other partners implementing the initiative in empowering women in decision making.


“Women constitute 50 per cent of the population of Nigeria, and it is high time we decided on inclusion because it is very important.


“Women need to be empowered so that they can have the voice to represent the women themselves,” he said.

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