Facilitators at a civilian-military relations accountability forum organised by Cleen Foundation have identified sustained dialogue and improved understanding as the panacea for strengthening civil-military relations.
Stakeholders, which included Col. Sylvester Olumuyiwa of the Nigeria Army, Commandore Samuel Ade Shiyanbade of the Nigeria Navy, urged for more understanding between the military and civilian to improve accountability, security and respect for human rights in Nigeria.
They said that the state of affairs, histories, current security challenges and the shrinking space for civil liberties in Nigeria led to a number of right violations by security personnel on citizens.
They added: “There has been an increased focus by Nigerians and international community to spotlight the accountability mechanism set up by security agencies to address citizens complaints against security personnel that bother on human right abuses. These mechanism are part of measures to instill public confidence and to position security institutions as right respecting”.
Speaking, the Executive Director of Cleen Foundation, Dr. Benson Olugbuo explained that the forum was initiated to foster a constructive engagement and dialogue between civilians and the security agencies to build trust.
He stressed the need to enhance framework for effective oversight of security agencies including the military through improving the feedback process to improve accountability of security actors and service delivery to the citizens that they seek to protect and serve.
He added, “ These two go hand in hand to create a positive climate for civil military relations in Nigeria and improving citizens confidence in the security institutions.”