The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding Nigeria on behalf of its over 220 member organisations spread across the six geo political zone wishes to express deepest concern and dismay at the escalation of violent conflicts across Nigeria. The increasing prevalence of the Boko Haram insurgency, farmers-herders clashes, militancy, secessionist movements, land disputes, power tussle, banditry and kidnappings, etc., have resulted in wanton destruction of lives and properties. The Round 26 Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) assessment by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reveals that between 20 October 2018 and January 20, 2019, the trends from six states most affected by displacement – Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe- showed about 1.9 million people internally displaced and over 50,000 peopledead with numerous properties and farmlands destroyed.
Although government has put forward strategies for conflict intervention, it has become clear that the State institutions cannot sufficiently cope with these interventions alone. Also, women who are key stakeholders in conflict prevention and peacebuilding have been underutilized and undermined in these peace processes. This situation has created a hierarchy where men are relied upon to develop frameworks and strategies for preventing conflict and violence torn societies at the exclusion of women as their voices remain suppressed on key issues that affect their well being.
To ensure that women’s contributions and concerns are duly harnessed, WANEP – Nigeria with support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) is implementing the project “Enhancing Participation of Women in Peace and Human Security in Nigeria”. This project is anchored on the need to respond to the impact of violent conflicts, mainstream gender capacities and promote women’s rights to participate in peacebuilding, conflict prevention and decision-making in six states in Nigeria – Bauchi, Bornu, Delta, Edo, Gombe and Rivers States. It builds on national policy making and implementation structures while at the same time influencing governments to be more accountable, inclusive, transparent and democratic. At the local level, the project builds on the decentralized government systems. It is integrated in community development processes that are already in place in local government structures. This intervention is another contribution to the effective implementation of Nigeria National Action Plan (NAP) on United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 and other government policies on women, peace and security. The projects also mirrors Nigeria’s achievements in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and Beijing Platform for Action (Beijing+25) aimed at empowering women and girls.
Consequently, WANEP currently engages media agencies (radio stations) in seven states across Nigeria to speak on women’s issues in a weekly live radio programme titled “Women’s Voices for Peace”. The radio programme is aired seven days of the week in English, Fulani, Hausa, Kanuri, and Pidgin Languages. Varied stakeholders from the civil society, academia, legislature judiciary etc both male and female who have good knowledge and experience of the issues are invited to educate the populace on the need to involve women in decision making and peace processes.
The schedule of the radio programme are as follows:
WANEP reiterates her call for an inclusive approach to peacebuilding to prevent violence, promote peaceful co- existence, and ensure more equitable and prosperous society.
National Network Coordinator