By Lizzy Okoji
Abuja – The Presidential Committee on the North-East initiative (PCNI) and the Centre for Democracy and Development have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to fast-track Peace building, sustainability and reintegration in the North East.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that both organisations entered into the partnership on Wednesday in Abuja to strengthen the coordination efforts of attaining absolute peace in the region.
Alhaji Tijjani Tumsah, Vice Chairman, PCNI, said that the development of peace building and re-integration architecture requires synergy and effective communication, saying that best results can only be achieved when all actors interface with each other.
He said that sharing with and learning from each other was in the best interest of the people, the North East and indeed Nigeria as a whole.
“ In the last five months, the PCNI has intensified efforts aimed at coordinating the inputs by diverse actors working on Peace Building and Reintegration in the North East.
“ This has yielded several outcomes, with the most important being the initial meeting of critical actors holding today.
“The coordination efforts of the PCNI have been fast tracked under a collaboration with the Centre for Democracy and Development.
“Strengthening and improving the links between formal and informal actors is an imperative for the success of government and other initiatives aimed at achieving sustainable peace and mutual accountability.
“Another positive potential outcome from a common front in peace building will be a comprehensive response system and accountability architecture that addresses grievances, which left un-resolved may put to risk any efforts for sustainable peace.
“These and other matters must inform interventions in the North East.
“Issues of de-radicalization, countering violent extremism, transitional justice deserves high priority for stability and social cohesion,’’ Tumsah said.
Tumsah said that the ongoing work of the Presidential Committee on Human Rights Abuses was a step in the right direction, which would provide content for accountability by all actors in the conflict and offer redress to survivors.
He said that the initiative should be complemented with a robust peace building plan endorsed by all actors who are committed to its efficient delivery.
According to Tumsah, most of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have expressed their desires to return to safe and reclaimed areas in order to pick up their lives, resume livelihoods, and reclaim their dignity.
He said that supporting this resolve requires concerted efforts to provide security, infrastructure, coordinated peace building plan, an active reintegration framework and a sincere reconstruction of the social fabric of communities.
The PCNI Vice Chairman said that as the apex body for the coordination of rebuilding the North East, it was working with all stakeholders to ensure that primary and secondary drivers of insurgency are squarely addressed.
Also speaking, Mrs Hidayatt Hassan, Director, CDD said that part of the objective of the meeting was to create a platform to deliberate on challenges that are affecting the processes of rebuilding the North East.
She said that stakeholders would also discuss on ways to address the gaps of effective coordination of activities in the peace building and reintegrating efforts currently taking place in the region.
Hassan said that the CDD was very keen at building relationships with organisations working on ground in the North East to produce visible results and positive impact in the development of the insurgency affected communities.
She added that the Centre would not just work with Internationals actors but also with actors in the grassroots who have a good understanding of the situation on the ground.
The CDD Director appreciated the PCNI for extending its hands of support towards them, stating that synergy was key in the rebuilding of the North East.
Hasssan urged all humanitarian actors in the North East to work with the PCNI in achieving its mandates of rebuilding the North East.
She said that the MoU between the CDD and PCNI would go a long way to fast track the development and rebuilding of the North East. (NAN)