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Don’t compound Nigeria crises with mismanagement of gender, CLEEN warns

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Mukaila Ola 

Nigerians have been warned of the dangers of compounding the already existing crises in the country, with mismanagement of gender related issues.

Issuing the warning, the CLEEN Foundation on Tuesday in Maiduguri, lamented that the nation already has a big crisis with ethno-religious and socio-cultural crises pushing the country closer to the precipice, and any additional crisis may spell doom.

The Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, Dr. Benson Olugbuo, who was represented by the Programme Manager of the Foundation, Ms. Ruth Olofin, cautioned at the opening of a three-day capacity building workshop for female police officers on gender awareness in conflict and emergency.

Olugbuo  said: “The police in a conflict-context require a deeper understanding of the dynamics and nuances of such environment and the right skills in addressing gender issues.”

According to him, the training was organized to draw strengths from the experiences of female police officers and the role that security actors such as the Police can play in preventing sexual and gender based violence, improve their awareness as well as facilitate entry points for women and girls in Borno to be part of peace-building and resilience processes. 

He said: “The training will be contextually delivered drawing experiences from prevailing practices on the field. 

“It is expected that trained personnel will be equipped with the rights skillset to deliver on their mandate and are better able to provide safer spaces for women and girls to participate fully in the development of their communities.”

Olugbuo said: “This training workshop and the project intervention by CLEEN is coming at a crucial time in our country in view of the multiplicity of national and international reports of gender rights violations in conflict and emergency situations and the plethora of policy frameworks and laws for the prevention of gender discrimination and violence in the country. 

“Particularly in the North-East, the call for enhanced gender awareness by the police in conflict situations also resonates globally with international instruments in place and gender based violence increasingly featuring on international development agenda.”

He said it is hoped that the workshop would build the capacity of the police women and provide greater protection for vulnerable members of the community, ensuring reduction to the barest minimum of sexual and gender based violence in Borno State post training.

Also speaking at the workshop, the Borno State Police Commissioner, Mohammed Aliyu, who was represented by an Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Metropolitan Command, Hassan Musa asked the attendees to put whatever they are thought into use.

He said: “We should use it to improve our job, our society and the country.” 

At the workshop are 60 policewomen selected from across police stations in Borno State.

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