The National Orientation Agency (NOA), Lagos State and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), a German Foundation operating in over 120 countries of the world, held a one-day interactive forum on Security in Multi Ethnic Cities, at the Four Points Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos on Thursday 12th October, 2017.

Setting the tone for discussion, the Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Lagos State, Mr. Waheed Ishola in  declaring the event open asked the following questions: To what extent are our security agencies living up to expectations. Are the citizens adequately playing their roles in terms of security of the community, society or the nation at large? In what way(s) can we improve on the existing strategy to overcome security problems? These and more he urged  participants to generate appropriate guidelines for the peace and safety of the State. He commended the implementing partners, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Foundation for been apt in conceiving the event.

Speaking on cultural influences in Security Management: Lessons from a Multi-Ethnic City, Dr. Bamidele Ashiru of Department of Political Science, University of Lagos, noted, that in order to develop an effective Security Management System, especially in a multi-ethnic society, there is need to understand the cultural peculiarities and crime pattern. He observed that in some societies in Nigeria there is a culture of religious fanaticism and bigotry. In some others, ritual killings, hostage taking etc are prevalent and in some others, street fighting, Area boys and gang war are predominant.

He called on school authorities and religious leaders to go back to moral value and ethnical re-orientation of the society and develop an all inclusive management system in the following areas:

1.   Community policing in the form of a strategic network with traditional rulers, Vigilante groups, Volunteers and Religious Leaders etc.

2.   Developing an engaging security with trust and confidence of the people.

3.   Religious leaders to refrain from inciting sermons and speeches in Multi-ethnic and Multi-religious societies.

In her welcomed speech, the Country Representative of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Mrs. Hildegard Behrendt-Kigozi remarked that the foundation is pleased working with NOA in Nigeria and that Multi-Ethnic Cities is not perculiar to Nigeria alone. However, security management in urban settlement with cultural pluralism and dysfunctional settlement pattern cannot be over emphasized for a better society. Hence the one day workshop.

Other speakers at the workshop were: Prof. Tajudeen Akanji from Center for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Ibadan; Former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Sinotu Ojikutu; Col. Hassan Stan-Labo(Rtd.); Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, Chairman, CAN, Lagos State; Eze Ndigbo Nwachukwu of Lagos State; Divisional Police Officer, Ikoyi Division, SP Mustapha Tijjani; Mr. K.T. Fajolu, Director of Operations, Lagos State NeighbourHood safety Corps; Mrs. Nwamaka Charles-Nwafulume (DSC), Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC); Comrade James Olusegun Spencer, Head of Project, (NURTW); Rev. Fr. Raymond Anoliefo, Director, Jusice, Development and Peace Center (JDPC), Lagos; Mr. Princewill Akpakpan, Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO); Amb.(Barr.) Obuesi Phillips, National Director, Community Agenda for Peace amongst others.

The event was well attended by a cross session of stakeholders: Traditional rulers; Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN); Representatives of Sarki Ikoyi, Obalende and Victoria Island; Civil Society Organisations; Police; NSCDC; Vigilante Group of Nigeria; Youth Groups; Chaplins Fellowship of Nigeria Incorporation; Neighbourhood Safety Agency, Lagos State; Academia; Elected Government officials amongst others.

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