CODE launches monthly security brief as an advisory for policy makers


By Angela Atabo

Connected Development (CODE), a civil society organization, has launched the Monthly Security Brief (MSD) which will serve as security advice to policy makers and security agencies.

Mr. Hamzat Lawal, Founder and Managing Director of CODE, made this known during a media conference in Abuja.

Lawal said this was necessitated by the rising insecurity in the country, which is of concern to citizens.

According to him, Nigeria is among the countries with the highest number of terrorism-related deaths, adding that bandits randomly attack communities, inflicting heavy casualties, stealing livestock, destroying property and social facilities.

He said that despite all of this, no one had been punished as a result of these deaths, to shape public behavior.

“For as Connected Development, here is our answer: we are launching monthly security briefs (MSD) for policy makers and security agencies, but importantly, also informing citizens on how they can act.

“We believe our first edition will help inspire the needed conversation and action and so far we have recorded that 3,120 Nigerians have fallen victim to a security blackout across the country.

“In addition, 465 people were killed, 355 people were abducted, 120 people were injured and 2,000 people were displaced within the country,” he said.

Lawal said CODE’s plan was to launch the case, then have political dialogue and engage the media to inform them of the findings.

He said CODE had more than 10,000 people on the ground in the 774 local government areas who would collect and document security incident reports that typically did not reach social media or mainstream media.

He expressed hope that the security brief will inform a national civil society working group on security and development, in partnership with government and security actors to build lasting peace.

He said the group would also work with traditional and religious institutions.

Lawal added that CODE is currently tracking public, private and multilateral resources that have been committed to the COVID-19 pandemic through its COVID-19 Transparency and Accountability Project (CTAP).

He said CODE has so far implemented the project with BudgIT, an NGO operating in nine countries with the aim of strengthening healthcare accountability and citizen engagement.

“Our team in these counties are engaging in community action, high level engagement in some of these countries including Kenya, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Cameroon,” he said.

He said that despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and government repression, the group has recorded major impacts.

“In Cameroon, we influenced the institutional audit processes within the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Justice on the use of funds.

“In Nigeria, our advocacy has influenced the documentation of the disbursement of COVID-19 funds by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, providing the public with the distribution of COVID-19 funds,” he said.

Lawal said that in Malawi, the group worked with the Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) to monitor a Covid-19 school expansion project in Salima district.

He added that in Ghana, the team’s advocacy, through partnerships with other CSOs and activists, resulted in the formation of a parliamentary committee to review COVID-19 related spending.

He said that in Sierra Leone, the group, along with other civil society groups and the media, urged law enforcement and the Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate and prosecute those responsible.

He said that in Liberia, advocacy with other civil society organizations and media institutions led the national government to account for COVID-19 funds. (NAN) (

Edited by Maureen Ojinaka/Idris Abdulrahman

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