The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission in conjunction with stakeholders in Nigeria has developed a holistic, integrated coordination mechanism to enhance efforts in the protection and security of Nigerians.
The ECOWAS mechanism for protection and human security for the Nigerian Government was adopted after a three-day capacity building workshop for multiple stakeholders in Abuja.
The Head, Human Security and Civil Society Division, ECOWAS Commission Hajiya Raheemat Momodu,, speaking at the closing of the workshop at the weekend, said that effective collaborations of all stakeholders is key to effectively tackle protection and human security challenges confronting member states.
Momodu said that in a bid to achieve this, the ECOWAS Commission brought together stakeholders across sectors to discuss their individual mandates, challenges and how they can work for effectiveness.
She also said that the resolutions from the workshop were developed into a consolidated and holistic approach mechanism which would be presented to the Nigerian government for implementation.
Momodu noted that the COVID-19 has exposed how fragile many countries of the sub-region are in protection and human security issues like Sexual and Gender Based Violence amongst others.
She said: “The final resolution is that there is a need for all ECOWAS Member States, Nigeria in this case, to institutionalise a whole of government and a whole of societal approach to protection and human security.
“And that it is very important that we do not all work in silos and the fact that every sector of the society is equal stakeholders.
“The media, you were fully represented, the private sector, government establishments and other persons.
“What next after this is the establishment of ECOWAS protection and human security integrated coordination mechanism in a place that the Nigerian government wants.
“We are not going to dictate to the Nigerian government but we prefer that such a mechanism since it is going to coordinate other stakeholders should be in a central office that will be accessible to everybody.”
She said: “ Once the mechanism is created, ECOWAS will continue to interface with that mechanism when it comes to protection and human security so that we work together with Nigeria and with the support of partners.
“To ensure that the mechanism is functional in terms of remaining focus on issues of protection. When it comes to protection, we need to have something like a protection web that covers everybody,” Momodu said.
On implementation of the mechanism, Momodu urged the Nigerian Government and that of other Member States to implement the mechanism which emanated from the people themselves.
“Implementation has always been a problem not just in Nigeria but generally. It is so easy to write, to say I am committed to doing this.
“But now, we have got to a stage in Nigeria and elsewhere that we begin to pay more attention to implementation and execution.
“What we write on the text does not automatically turn out to reality so that is why ECOWAS is advocating that not just Nigeria.
“But that all our Member States begin to see the issue of protection and human security as beyond paper commitments to actually coordinate and implement,” Momodu said.