UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS) convened a one day brainstorming session on topical developments in Nigeria. Policy analysts, consultants and CSOs drawn from a broad spectrum of experts attended the session. Participant at the session covened by SRSG Mohamed Chambas and chaired by Prof. Oluwafunmilayo J Para-Mallam included, Hon. Sani Zorro, Dr. Hakeem Baba Ahmed, Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze, Dr. Zebulon Takwa, Sen. Saidu Dansadau, Mr. Uche Ifukor, Barrister Mohammed Bello Turkur, Mallam Mohammed Haruna, Malam Muhammmad Namadi, Dr. Martin Ejidike, Prof. Oshita Osang Oshita, Moudjib Djinadu, Madam Halima Ahmed of ECOWAS and some UN Country Team members. Core issues discussed include:
~ The retreat of Boko Haram insurgency and the resultant refugees/IDP crisis;
~ Militant activities in the Niger Delta Region, state of amnesty programme and efforts by the Federal Government and other stakeholders to address the issue;
~ Biafran secessionist activities, focusing on the main actors, trends and implication.
~ Causes, trends, effects and security implications of clashes between herdsmen and farmers; possible linkages with other actors, e.g Boko Haram;
~ Clashes between the “Islamic Movement” and security forces: the background and geographical spread: possible linkages to other groups or actors: outcome of investigation on the December 2015 clashes and the current situation.
In his intervention, Mr. Obaze said that Nigerians should be open in discussing national issues rather than from partisan angles. Continuing, Mr. Obaze stated that there is need to adopt the PIB as a core component of addressing the Niger Delta Quagmire. Also, the tackling the herdsmen-farmers clashes must be dealt with through relevant policies, starting with checking the issue of herdsmen carrying automatic assault weapons. On the way forward, he urged participants to underline that mediation should be given priority in conflicts and should not be selective; need to avoid forum shopping by parties to the conflict, and that government should improve its strategic communication, avoid policy ambiguities and engage in medium and long term policy planning cycles.
Mr. Obaze is the former Secretary to the State Government of Anambra State, Nigeria from 2012 to 2015 - MD & CEO, Oseloka H. Obaze. Mr. Obaze also served as a former United Nations official, from 1991-2012, and as a former member of the Nigerian Diplomatic Service, from 1982-1991.
Selonnes Consult Ltd. is a Strategic Policy, Good Governance and Management Consulting Firm, founded by Mr. Oseloka H. Obaze who served as Secretary to Anambra State Government from 2012-2015; a United Nations official from 1991-2012 and a Nigerian Foreign Service Officer from 1982-1991.