Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN Foundation) is a network of 46 civil society organizations spread across Nigeria and committed to promoting police accountability and respect for human rights. It was established in 2000 to provide opportunity for civil society involvement in police reform and the enhancement of safety, security and justice.
NOPRIN is seriously concerned that insurgency in parts of Northern Nigeria by the militant terrorist sect Boko Haram is continuing and casualties and human rights abuses associated with the attacks and government’s response continue to escalate.
While terrorist activities continue to assume increasing sophistication, targeting men and women, the young and the old - even in the states where government has imposed emergency rule, their source of sustenance and the goals they seek to achieve are not yet clear.
NOPRIN believes that dealing with terrorism requires a multidisciplinary approach. It requires cultivating critical constituencies in security. NOPRIN therefore, highlights the following recommendations for the consideration of the Delegates to the National Conference, especially the Civil Society Delegation.
The academia: There is need for academic research. This requires grants- some sort of education trust fund- to research extreme groups.
Local communities: Local communities are torn between Boko Haram terrorists (who attack them on a daily basis) and the repressive state security agencies that engage in revenge attacks, and sometimes massacre of communities in the pretext of searching for fleeing of suspected terrorists. There is need to engage the communities (feeder communities), with a view to restoring/building public confidence and cooperation with the police/security forces.
Police and security forces need to work with civil society organisations in local communities to reach the people.
Victims of both Boko Haram and the state need victim support services. States need to set up victim support groups, incorporating, for example mothers of disappeared persons.
Civil society organisations wear dual hats as both responders and victims. They carry out frontline documenting. There needs to be an initiative to protect defenders to continue to document cases.
Media: security agencies need to cultivate the media to report incidents the way they are.
Government needs to address the socio-economic root causes (and other risk factors) of crime, ensure social justice and equity, check corruption and provide the enabling environment for job creation.
Organised private sector needs to create jobs. The growth of an economy is measured by how many people are working.
Government must urgently improve funding, morale and training- to enhance the intelligence and investigative capabilities of the police and other security forces. It must also ensure accountability for both cost and conduct.
Contemporary crimes rely more on timely and reliable intelligence than on AK47 and armoured personnel carriers.
There is the need to create a platform for regular meeting of stakeholders to share information and compare notes.