Yemi Adedeji, Abuja
The British military has revealed that it’s monitoring closely, the recent abduction of scores of Schoolgirls from Government Girls Secondary School (GGSS), Dapchi, Yobe State, by the Boko Haram, while also declaring its readiness to help the Nigerian military.
Ian Robertson, a Major and the General Advisor, British Advisory And Training Team (Bmatt), disclosed this in an interview with journalists at an event organised in Abuja by Partners West Africa Nigeria, with the Theme, ‘prioritising the Voices Of Women in Security Organisations Using The Second Generation National Action Plan (2017-2020)’.
His words: “having heard about this particular issue recently and I’m still trying to get more information about what is going on but it is clearly very disappointing that something like this has happened, that the girls have been taken. But let me reassure you from the British military perspective, we are monitoring the event quite closely and we are cooperating with the armed forces of Nigeria to see how we can assist.”
Asked if the federal government has made enough commitment towards rescuing the girls, he said; “that is very difficult for me to comment on. I don’t really monitor what your government does here, I’m working at a very basic level to trying to ensure that the training that we provide to your soldiers, the armed forces of Nigeria have a gender perspective. I understand the question but I’m not sure i will be able to answer it for you.”
Bearing his mind on what Nigeria could learn from Britain in terms of having women voices on security issues, Robertson said; “I think Europe as a whole has really embraced the idea of a gender perspective and in particular, Scandinavian countries are leading on this, in terms of having a gender perspective in everything that they do.
In the UK there is something that we have been actively involved for quite a number of years now and i think that only through collaborative work and understanding together can we begin to understand where the operation is large that we can help each other in taking women peace and security forward.”
Earlier, Kemi Okenyodo, Executive Director, Partners West Africa,said the workshop aimed at facilitating a holistic planning of security sector reform processes in North-east Nigeria, with a view to identifying good practices that could be replicated in other parts of the country by ensuring that citizens get an opportunity for engaging with policy reform processes that would affect them directly or indirectly.
She added that the workshop drawn participants from the six geopolitical zones, aimed at promoting the inclusion of women in peace and security through the Second Generation National Action Plan (2017- 2020).
While presenting a paper on Security Intervention in the National Action Plan, Eleanor Nwadinobi, Gender Adviser for Security Justice Reform Programme (SJRP) lamented that there are certain things that act as barriers for women in the security sector, adding that countries that recognises equality between men and women enjoy more peace.