FPP ACTIVITIES REPORT
(Between April 2017-April 2018)
Growing impact of FPP in Nigeria
Since the establishment of Foundation for Peace Professionals (FPP) in 2016, the organization has continued to make great impact in Nigeria, particularly in the area of peace building facilitation, crisis intervention, human right defense, research and advocacy for social justice.
The foot print of FPP can be seen almost everywhere in Nigeria, starting from our intervention during the crisis that erupted in Ife Town, Osun State in April 2017, to our fact finding mission to Southern Kaduna over the fulani herdsmen recurrent attacks in May 2017 and our major anti hate advocacy campaign to avert genocide in Northern Nigeria, after we uncovered an inciting hate song, calling for genocide against a section of the country (igbo). The organization has gone further to produce a major research project, tagged Nigeria Peace Index (NPI), which is a national replica of the renowned Global Peace Index (GPI) to measure the level peacefulness in states across Nigeria. The research work commenced in 2016 and was publicly unveiled in April 2018 at the Federal Capital, Abuja.
FPP is also actively operating in North East conflict zone, where it is combating the misinformation of the dreaded Boko Haram terrorist group through counter narratives.
Our anti suicide bombing campaign in North East involved the production and distribution of counter terrorism tracts, spanning over states like Bauchi, Yobe, Gombe and Borno State. The anti suicide bombing campaign also extends to North Central State of Plateau and Abuja, Nigeria’s federal capital.
The organization also releases periodic reports on development at the heart of Nigeria’s war against insurgency in North East, particularly in Borno and Yobe State. This is particularly important because, it allows the government, international community and the general public to have a different non partisan perspective that could enrich the quality of information at their disposal, as well as enhance the quality of decision to advance the counter terrorism efforts.
FPP has also been in involved in utilizing mediation as a tool for alternative dispute resolution (ADR). The organization has been involved in facilitating out of court settlement of disputes between parties in conflict. Also, we have been leading advocacy for improved accuracy in conflict reportage and analysis.
Measuring Peace in Nigeria
FPP is the producer of Nigeria Peace Index (NPI), an independent research work that is rating the level of peacefulness in the 36 states of Nigeria. Nigeria Peace Index is a national replica of the renowned Global Peace Index (GPI) produced by vision for humanity. NPI seeks among other things, to address crisis and violent extremism through a peace building lens and by way of providing human centered perspective in which tools for conflict transformation offer alternative solution. The NPI also propose dealing with root causes when preventing violence while utilizing fundamental indicators to change public perception and narratives.
FPP believes that ‘’human attitudes, which often impede peace is a total summation of human life experiences, which if improved upon may lead to more peaceful society’’. We also understand that measuring peace at national level allows a country assess the social, political and economic factors that often create peace and on this basis, NPI was produced to help put public peace through human centered approach at the heart of Nigeria’s national development.
Averting Civil War through genocide Prevention in Northern Nigeria
FPP is responsible for the popular anti hate advocacy campaign carried out in August 2017 to avert the call for genocide in Northern Nigeria. In August 2017, FPP uncovered a dangerous and inciting hate song calling for genocide against a section of the country (igbo) in northern Nigeria and we promptly launched an emergency anti hate advocacy to avert the catastrophic response that may occur as a result of the sad development.
Our advocacy quickly gained national prominence, as leaders across the country, including past presidents, governors and ministers all re-echoed our message, in addition to the responses of traditional, religious and socio-cultural organizations.
With the aide of all those who re-echoed our messages, which include regional and global organizations such as United Nations, African Union and Ecowas, government was forced to take prompt action and we were able to avert a major catastrophe that could have befallen the nation as a result of the hate campaign by ethnic and regional advocates.
Many analysts have argued that, our intervention in preventing genocide in Northern Nigeria could be equated to averting a civil war in the country.
Anti suicide bombing campaign in North East, Nigeria
FPP is carrying out anti suicide bombing advocacy in North East Nigeria, to limit the effect of terrorist activities in the region. The campaign was to discourage people from suicide bombing activities already popularized by the dreaded Boko Haram insurgency.
Our anti suicide bombing campaign/research materials were distributed in Mosques/institutions across North Eastern states of Bauchi, Gombe, Borno, Yobe as well as Plateau State and Abuja in North Central to counter the narrative of the insurgency group, using Islamic narrative as a rallying point for public education.
Youth Education against thuggery in Jos North, Plateau State
The FPP in collaboration with a registered organization (Gangare Youth Peace Ambassadors) has since April 2017, been engaged in youth public education against thuggery in Jos North, Plateau State. The organization is also offering free DE-RADICALIZATION counseling to perpetrators of violence as well as their victims.
• Peace clubs in secondary schools
FPP in partnership with (Gangare Youth Peace Ambassadors) established/reestablished peace clubs in secondary schools in Plateau and Bauchi state, training students on mechanism for conflict prevention.
• Post-traumatic disorders counseling and guidance.
We also implore the use of Neuro-linguistic programme to counsel victims of post-traumatic disorders and broken homes through our hard working members.
• Early warning system mechanism
FPP remain one of the most active organization in Jos, often providing early warning information to appropriate authorities in real time, on possible incidences that may lead to violent conflict if not promptly addressed and we also provide possible suggestions on strategy to keep peace.
Crisis intervention in Ife and Southern Kaduna
FPP intervened in the Ife crisis of April 2017, as well as that of Southern Kaduna in May. Our intervention in Ife, Osun state sharply shaped public narrative and provided direction for government to take appropriate action to arrest the situation. Both the state and federal government eventually adopted our position on the crisis and took further steps to manage the crisis as recommended by us.
Similarly, we equally embarked on a fact finding mission to Southern Kaduna, not only to understand causes of the consistent attack by fulani herdsmen in the area, but to also provide recommendation to address the situation, particularly the humanitarian crisis.
As part of our fact finding mission, we provided relief materials to victims of the attacks living at internally Displaced Persons (IDP) at Kagoro Community.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
FPP mediated a conflict between a civil society organization, Citizens United for Peace and Security (CUPS) and a member of the Federal House of Representatives. The civil society organization and the honorable member had strong disagreements on national issues which led to confrontation between supporters of both parties. The crisis escalated and could not be resolved until it was taken to court for legal intervention.
However, after more than a year in court and the matter could still not be resolved, FPP considers the moment ripe and initiated a mediation process to ensure an out of court settlement. We were able to get both parties to the discussion table and a resolution was agreed in less than a week, in-spite the fact that one of the party resides abroad.
A win win situation was arrived at, as the matter was withdrawn from court. Additionally,
FPP had attempted to resolve another the conflict between National Teachers Institute (NTI) and its almost 150 unlawfully sacked recruits. While the matter is currently at the industrial court, we are still hoping to facilitate a mutually beneficial out of court settlement.
Monitoring war against terrorism
FPP is keenly observing and monitoring the anti terrorism war in Nigeria, particularly the war against Boko Haram insurgency. The organization releases periodic situation reports based on observation of the various developments in North East.
Just recently, FPP team went on a 5 days visit to Borno State, the founding place of Boko Haram. The visit was to observe and assess the situation and living condition of the people in terms of economic activities, educational progression and infrastructural development.
Advocacy for accurate conflict reportage
FPP has been engaging media organizations to improve how conflict is being reported and analyzed. Media understanding of methods of reporting and analyzing conflict are very necessary because; media report or analysis of conflict can be the sole information available to his audience and how the media frames the conflict can bias the audience in favor of one party, or one solution over another; it can intensify the conflict, or cool it down. FPP reached out to several media organizations to suggest ways to improve how matters of peace and conflict is being discussed on the media.
The impact of our peace building work cannot be quantified in numbers because our work is mostly research and advocacy based and its effect is far reaching on human centered development.
• Our emergency advocacy response against the inciting hate song in Northern Nigeria saved the country from a major crisis that would have claimed several lives and possibly leads to civil war.
• Our prompt response to the crisis at Ife town in Osun State helped halt the escalation of violence that reportedly claimed almost 10 lives and provided clear direction for timely intervention by government.
• Our fact finding mission to Southern Kaduna, apart from the findings and recommendation which could help prevent future crisis, we also provided relief materials to more than 100 victims of the crisis living at the IDP camp in Kagoro community.
• Our anti suicide bombing campaign in North East Nigeria is very significant because it helped educate many young people against the misinformation of Boko Haram terrorist group.
• Our recently unveiled Nigeria Peace Index research is gradually influencing narrative of peace communication. The research is forcing an indicator based peace building narrative to address root causes, while putting public peace at the heart of decision making.
5 MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS
1. One of our major achievement so far is the publication of Nigeria Peace Index (NPI) research, which is a national replica of the renowned Global Peace Index (GPI). The NPI is a big deal for us because the research was conducted without sponsorship from any organization, either local or international. The NPI report will help peace builders engage authorities at various level to put public peace at the heart of their decision making, through indicators based peace building. The NPI would also help people coming into Nigeria to have a glimpse into the situation in the country and make information decisions about their movement and investment.
2. Another major achievement for us was our success in averting a major crisis in the country, through our anti hate advocacy against genocide in Northern Nigeria.
3. We also consider our prompt response to the Ife crisis in Osun State as another achievement because our response helped limit casualty and quickly put crisis under control.
4. The anti suicide bombing campaign is another achievement which we hope to be sustained for maximum impact.
5. Our successful youth education program in partnership with (Gangare Youth Peace Ambassadors), which include the establishment of peace club in secondary schools in Plateau and Bauchi State, de-radicalization counseling and Post-traumatic disorders counseling and guidance is worthy accomplishment.
All the above achievements are apart from our consistent influence in changing narrative of conflicts and other national developments.
Abdulrazaq O Hamzat
Foundation for Peace Professionals (FPP)