CISLAC canvasses verifiable early warning reporting to boost response mechanisms 

1 year ago
1 min read

Tasks President-elect on proactive conflict management 

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has called for improved early warning reporting in Nigeria through enhanced media collaboration and communication to support response mechanisms.

The Executive Director, Auwal Rafsanjani, made the appeal at a one-day media training with backing from Open Society Foundation (OSF) on early warning and early response (EWER) reporting to curb and reduce conflicts and violence in the society, at the weekend, in Lagos.

He said the programme, titled ‘Media and Effective Early Warning and Early Response Mechanisms: Conflict Sensitive and Objective Reportage’, was geared at strengthening capacity, advocacy, accountability and local engagement towards developing EWER mechanisms to promote safety of citizens across the federation.

“As you are not unaware of, every part of Nigeria currently battles with an evolving epidemic of multi-dimensional security threats. Lagos State, in particular, is bedevilled with clashes between indigenes and non-indigenes on the basis of ethnic differences. And more intense is this challenge, given the recently conducted general elections.

“This situation calls for more collaboration, communication, coordination and collective support for early warning, conflict prediction and early response mechanisms among communities and security operatives, which are central in conflict prevention,” Rafsanjani observed.

He regretted that lack of transparency and accountability in governance, inactive constituency offices across the six geo-political zones, coupled with growing social injustice were hampering early detection and adequate response to conflict signals at the community level.

Rafsanjani said CISLAC will be complementing the role of internal security agencies by building well-informed and vibrant Early Warning Community Observers in Lagos State to enhance collaboration, build trust and ownership with state security institutions, community leaders and security structures, using the EWER system as a vehicle to prevent conflict threats from escalating. He recalled that in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari highlighted a lot in the security sector, yet not much had been done ever since.

The activist urged the media to support activities of early warning community observers trained to monitor, report early warning threat signals, amplify them and spur security operatives to speedily respond professionally.

He charged journalists to own the EWER system by leveraging verifiable information as caution signals to prevent harm, loss of life and property, as well as to de-escalate crises.

Rafsanjani charged the incoming administration to prioritise early conflict detection through swift responses. Publisher of BRANDish, a marketing magazine, Ikem Okuhu said relevant process flow in EWER reporting must take into cognisance verifiable information gathering, objectivity in processing and analysis for targeted response planning and appropriate outcome assessment.

He pointed out that factual information processing in EWER is targeted at raising alarm on conflict signals, mobilising community at risk, encouraging delegation, influencing timely decision, in addition to efficient forecast and information management.

“Possible benefits in factual and verifiable early warning reporting include risk mitigation and preparedness, resilience building, vulnerable protection, rapid response and cost efficiency,” he added


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