The News: The Center For Peace Education And Community Development, Jalingo in collaboration with The Space For Change, Lagos organised a one-day stakeholders town hall meeting on Thursday 14th September 2023, at Lemonde Hotels, Tundun Wada, Jos Plateau State, with the theme ‘civil space and human rights.’

Why It Matters: According to Joseph Gimba, the chief executive officer of the Center For Peace And Community Development, The civil space is a physical or digital space, where people come together to exercise their human rights. However, civil space has been shrinking as a result of laws made by the government, which puts the government and security operatives in a privileged position to trample on individual human rights, and not allow them to enjoy their civil rights.

Traditional rulers at the meeting.

Speaking on the issue, Mr Gimba, says:

All stakeholders have agreed that one way or another, they abuse the rights of their fellow humans unknowingly and unknowingly, through their actions and inactions. As such we I invited to the meeting stakeholders such as 

lawyers, magistrates, traditional institutions, vigilantes, the hunters association, and neighbourhood watch security team, to enable them to understand the dynamics of the civil space, and human rights abuses to ensure peace in the community.”

The Neighbourhood watch security team.

What Now: James Sanni Waziri of Nabor in Jos-North local government area of Plateau State, who was in attendance, appreciated Space For Change for coming to educate them on human rights abuses saying:

” We need more of these kinds of workshops because we need security organisations like the Police, the Secret Security Service (SSS) and other sister organisations to come and join us, so that together with the general society, we can be aware of certain things that we should do and not do.

A photograph of other stakeholders who attended the meeting

We are calling on the government to dispense good governance to the society, this will reduce the level to which these abuses occur and how human rights are trampled upon.

We also ask that the government should spell out in clear terms the role of the traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the society who assist the law enforcement agencies in carrying out their duties.”


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