SEGOF seeks partnership with UN Agency, to tackle Crime and Drug Related challenges

By Tony Ezike

Abuja, Nigeria – June 14, 2024: The Southeast Governors Forum (SEGOF) is collaborating with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), to address critical issues in Southeast Nigeria. This collaboration was announced following a high-level meeting at the UNODC Country Office in Abuja, led by Director General of SEGOF, Senator Uche Ekwunife.

The meeting aimed to explore how SEGOF and UNODC could work together to tackle pressing regional problems such as insecurity, corruption, health crises, and the criminal justice system. Mr. Oliver Stolpe, the UNODC representative, highlighted the organization’s ongoing initiatives in Nigeria, focusing on criminal justice, health, peace, conflict resolution, and drug control. He stressed the importance of training in drug treatment and effective communication with drug users.

Senator Ekwunife praised UNODC’s efforts and emphasized the need for regional partnerships to effectively address these challenges. She proposed collaborative efforts to improve the criminal justice system, develop strategies to reduce insecurity, combat corruption through value reorientation summits, address health threats such as human trafficking and organ harvesting, and enhance prison conditions and rehabilitation programs.

Mr. Stolpe responded positively to these proposals, citing the success of Bayelsa State’s Community Safety Corps as an example of effective community-based security systems. He also emphasized the importance of recruiting qualified personnel and incorporating technology in crime-fighting efforts.

The meeting concluded with SEGOF committing to submit a detailed proposal outlining their goals and expected outcomes. They also agreed to request a mini-conference with UNODC to discuss collaboration opportunities and to jointly organize a conference with key stakeholders to plan future actions.

Senator Ekwunife expressed optimism about the partnership, stating, “This meeting has set the stage for a productive collaboration to address the Southeast’s challenges. We believe that, with UNODC’s support, we can enhance security, fight corruption, improve our justice system, and tackle health issues effectively.”

SEGOF remains dedicated to finding innovative solutions and building strategic partnerships for the sustainable development and prosperity of the Southeast region.

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