An expert on peace and conflict resolution in Nigeria, Dr. Chris Kwaja, says rural banditry has remained a major threat to the country’s security.
Speaking at a symposium held at the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution in Abuja on Thursday, October 22, Kwaja said all stakeholders should put their hands to see an end to the menace of banditry.
“For the security agencies to launch successful country-banditry operations, it will require the strong support of the communities as key providers of intelligence.
“The experiences of communities as victims of banditry have had a huge impact on their perception for the security agencies as the first responders to their security needs.
“This will require restoring the fractured trust between the civilian population and the security agencies,’’ he said.
According to Kwaja, civil society organisations have a role to play by working with the government and affected communities.
“The ability of CSOs to develop a robust framework for community-level early warning and response as well as conflict management, remains an important pathway for community cohesion in Northern Nigeria,” he noted.
He added that CSOs and community leaders had voices and structures beyond the use of force to confront and respond to situations.