By Salisu Sani-Idris
Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD) says it will mainstream a society-driven national dialogue for peace, national unity, security and sustainable development.
Amb. Sani Bala, Executive Director of the centre, said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Bala said that the centre was desirous of restoring public confidence in the Nigeria State, which concerned Nigerians had argued was heightening the divides in the country.
According to him, the divide is creating widespread demand for dialogue and consensus building on restructuring.
He said that the SCDDD welcome like-minded and willing Civil Society Organisations domiciled and active within the different geopolitical zones and the FCT to join in driving the process of meaningful national dialogue.
“This will lay sound basis for the development of the common grounds for durable peace, national unity, security and sustainable development in Nigeria,’’ he said.
Bala said that the first phase of the dialogues was expected to be from the end of January to April.
He said that the SCDDD and stakeholder CSOs and other groups were expected to commence their deliberations at the zonal levels.
“Although our national challenges are varied and wide spread, the zonal level deliberations will focus on these interrelated thematic areas of unity, security, youth engagement and CSO-Government partnerships across the country,’’ he said.
He said that the role of the CSOs as grassroots monitoring and humanitarian organisations in promoting and advocating for accountability in governance and pushing for the presence of government in all communities were increasingly being recognised.
He said that the United Nations, the African Union and ECOWAS were encouraging communities to do same.
“Hence, there is need for partnership between the CSOs, state and Federal Governments.
“The centre appeals to stakeholders in the six geopolitical zones and the FCT that are supportive of defining the challenges of governance in the country to fully participate in the zonal meetings.
“The zonal meetings will soon be called by their zonal CSOs driving the dialogue,” he said.
According to him, the Savannah Centre strongly encourages the participating stakeholders to make the pragmatic recommendations aimed at proffering lasting solutions to our national challenges.
“At the end of the first three months, Savannah Centre, alongside representatives of the stakeholders on these engagements, shall interface with the Federal Government and zonal governments.
“The meeting will craft positive pathways and supportive sets of activities that can contribute to the success of the needed nation-building process that can guarantee peace, national unity, youth engagement and sustainable development,” he said.