About Us

After 12years of working in the UN and shuttling between tough terrains, mediating crises, resolving conflicts as well as preaching the gospel of global peace, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, CFR decided to return to Nigeria to use his expertise and experience to help address the enormous developmental challenges that Nigeria, ECOWAS and Africa are grappling with. He established Savannah Centre to focus on the nexus between peace, democracy and development. Often times, most ‘think tanks’ are established to deal with one or two of the above three thematic issues. Savannah Centre was established on the underlying principle that peace, development and democracy are inextricably linked. Gambari was inspired by two UN Secretaries-General, both Africans – Boutros Boutros- Ghali and Kofi Annan. They both wrote seminal reports that dealt with peace, development and democracy in the world.

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SCDDD Policy brief on: “Community Security Resilience” – A PCNI funded project in North East Nigeria.

April 4, 2019
The Nigerian nation-state is witnessing security challenges unprecedented in the history of the country. Insurgency in the Northeastern region of the country, agitation for secession and self-determination in the Southeast and South-south, herder-farmer clashes over natural resources in the North-central, rural banditry and surfacing of insurgency in the Northwest and large scale criminality in form of kidnapping and abductions for ransom, ritual killings and communal clashes across the Southwest have reached fever-pitched state. Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD) in partnership with the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiatives (PCNI) undertook a model scheme of Community-Based Policing as a pilar for Community security resilience by adopting the theoretical concept that community security is the springboard for national security. The project covered initial three states namely, Adamawa, Borno and Yobe and from May to August, 2018, six communities (2 in each State) were used for the pilot scheme. The concept was to bring together community members of all social strata and diverse occupation to come together as a forum to discuss issues of security of their community in conjunction with the Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) within their jurisdiction. It was to forge partnership principally with the police and supported by other relevant agencies to govern the security of their domain. Such structure would enhance intelligence gathering, early warning mechanism and quick intervention. Confidence-building would be promoted with ultimate aim of building trust among all stakeholders on community security. A round of consultations were concluded with all key players, a committee known as Community Security Working Group (CSWG) was created per each community, training workshops were conducted for the players, implementation was launched and monitoring and evaluation conducted to steer the scheme as well as evaluate the impact. A upper tier response team was also created comprising of senior members LEA command to respond quickly to reports as well as monitor events in the communities. These structures recorded remarkable enthusiasm as well as fostered improved Police-Community relationship. The evaluation report to PCNI encourage further discussions on the extension of the program. Recommendations emanating from the project were wide ranging and groundbreaking. The way forward for national security architecture should be to entrench community-based policing as the smartest thing to do. However, there is the need for state statutes and bye-laws to confer legitimacy to the structure and procedures. With reference to adjudication and traditional justice most crucial in the element of community peace-building, a lot more work needs to be done. The policy brief concludes that community resilience can be achieved if efforts and interventions are geared towards human security. THE BACKGROUND The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended bestows the responsibility of security on the Nigeria Police. For success, citizens must cooperate with the police in the discharge of this responsibility. Citizens must support efforts of the police by providing timely information with which the police must work. However, police- citizen relations has degenerating over the years to the extent that mutual trust is lost. Arising

RELEASE: PROFESSOR IBRAHIM AGBOOLA GAMBARI APPOINTED AS THE NEW CHAIRPERSON OF THE APRM PANEL OF EMINENT PERSONS

February 20, 2019
AT its annual meeting held on the side-line of the 32nd Ordinary Summit of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 10-11 February, 2019, the African Peer Review Forum of Heads of State and Government, chaired by H.E. President Idris Derby Itno of the Republic of Chad, appointed Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari as the new Chairperson of the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons with immediate effect.  He succeeded former South African Minister, Hon. Bridgette Mabandla. Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, who is the founder and current Chairman of Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD), a Non-Governmental and Non-Profit Think-Tank committed to policy research, advocacy and training in diplomacy, democracy and development in Nigeria and Africa in general, is also currently serving as the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations on Political Dialogue and Elections in Zambia. Professor Gambari is a seasoned scholar and a Diplomat per excellence with an illustrious career, spanning over the academia, government and international diplomacy. He worked in different capacities under three successive United Nations Secretaries-General of the United Nations in New York. Until his retirement from meritorious service to humanity in December 2012, he served the United Nations both as the Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs and Joint Special Representative of the UN/AU Hybrid Mission in Darfur, the Sudan. Professor Gambari holds the National Honors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Republic of South Africa (CFR and OCORT) respectively. While serving as the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, he established a Mediation Support Unit in 2006. He also served as the UN Special Representative in Angola and Myanmar as well as Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Africa, with special responsibilities for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) which mid-wife the establishment of the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). Professor Gambari is taking over the Chairmanship of the APRM Panel of Eminent Persons at a time that the voluntary membership of the APRM Forum is expanding appreciably and the NEPAD has formally been transformed into the African Union Development Agency, (the Union’s technical policy implementation agency) this assumption of the Chair of APRM is also at a time the African Governance Report is formally presented to the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union with total commitment to the effective implementation of the AU Agenda 2063 whose aspirations and goals were reaffirmed as central to the mandate of the APRM. The Savannah Centre shares the belief that Professor Gambari would build on the good foundation laid by his predecessor, Hon. Bridgette Mabandla, whom he had the privilege of working with as her Deputy Chairperson, to work fervently with the Members of the Panel, in collaboration with the Chief Executive Officer, Professor Eddy Maloka, to steer the course of the successful implementation of the aspirations and goals of the AU Agenda 2063 which are central to the mandate of APRM. The Savannah Centre heartily congratulates Professor Gambari and wishes him a

Nigeria’s 2019 General Elections: Savannah Centre’s Message of Hope to All Stakeholders.

February 13, 2019
Since the commencement of the Fourth Republic in 1999, Nigeria has had four successive general elections (2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015) during which political power was transferred, peacefully, from one democratically elected government to the other. In 2015, Nigeria made history as Political Power was successfully transferred from an incumbent Government and Political Party to the opposition. That seamless transfer of power raised Nigeria’s Political Profile in the comity of nations. Nigeria must build on the lessons learnt from that peaceful exercise which made Nigerians proud of their nation. In less than 60 hours, Nigerians will go to the pools to cast their votes for various Political Parties and Candidates. This will be the Sixth general elections in Nigeria since the commencement of the Fourth Republic in 1999. Nevertheless, despite these notable electoral successes recorded in the election periods mentioned above, grave concerns have been expressed over the lack of strict adherence to rules and regulations governing the integrity of the Nigerian electoral process. Therefore, there is the need for great improvement to guard against violent disputes which often mar the credibility and acceptability of the outcomes, thus casting a shadow doubt on the overall credibility of democracy in Nigeria. Concerned about these electoral malpractices and the resultant disruptive disputes, often marred in violence in the Nigerian electoral circles, the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD), like other concerned stakeholders, felt that time had come for more positive steps to be taken to work together towards addressing these discredited electoral processes with a view to enhancing the credibility, sustainability and  acceptability of the election outcomes by Nigerians and the international community. The LEAD Project As part of its contribution to the nation’s efforts towards establishing the culture of peaceful, transparent, free, fair and credible general elections in Nigeria from 2019 and beyond and laying the foundation for a more democratic and people-driven party politics and credible electoral processes  that are guided by the rule of law to ensure the emergence of competent and effective leadership that would  guide and drive the political processes  for effective, transparent and accountable governance in Nigeria, the Savannah Centre, conceptualised and designed the “Leadership Effectiveness and Accountability Dialogue” (LEAD) as a Project. This Project which is designed for a period of four to five years, is to be driven by a Special Council known as the ‘Council of the Wise’, made up of seven (7) notable, knowledgeable, experienced and widely respected men and women, with equal number and calibre, as alternate members, all carefully selected from the country’s six geopolitical zones and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). Happily, this project is financially supported by MacArthur Foundation /PLAC, for its first two years (2018/2020). Essentially, the LEAD Project, is a Political Accountability and Open Governance enlightenment and Training Project, aimed at reawakening the conscience, re-educating and rebuilding the capacity of the Nigerian critical political stakeholders and influencers (Political Parties, Candidates, Traditional and Religious Leaders, Youths and Women Organisations, Media, Business Groups, Academia and Think-Tanks

REBUTTAL

February 12, 2019
The attention of Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy, and Development has been drawn to the publication on “News Agency of Nigeria” website, https://www.nan.ng/news/oyedepo-gambari-others-endorse-buhari/, with the headline: Oyedepo, Gambari, others endorse Buhari re-election bid and to make some clarifications: a. At the time of this publication, Professor Ibrahim Gambari was abroad and could therefore not have been at the meeting under reference and be one of its signatories. b. Professor Ibrahim Gambari is a statesman and not a partisan politician hence his role in the political environment in Nigeria, is to moderate actions and reactions of partisan politicians with the hope of finding common grounds for Nigeria’s electoral progress for sustainable democracy. c. As Chairman and Founder of SCDDD, Professor Gambari, and indeed the Savannah Centre, remain apolitical, but with deep engagement with all stakeholders for the survival of democracy in Nigeria. Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, Abuja
News PRESS RELEASE

SCDDD Press Release on 2019 Nigeria’s Elections.

January 22, 2019
    The Nigerian state has entered yet another election cycle in our journey of democracy. As we approach the general elections of 2019, the country has begun to see activities consistent with democratic norms yet full of aberrations that threatens democracy itself and our collective aspiration for a stable and progressive nation. If the path of development through democracy is to be followed diligently, recent events in the polity portend danger we must avert. We in Savannah Centre have therefore deemed it necessary to express the need for caution in our national polity. Key players must exercise extreme sense of decorum and patriotism during this period by avoiding incendiary comments and engaging in activities that can cause derailment of the democratic process as we move towards the 2019 general elections. Click the link below to download the full release. Heating the national polity  

Seasons Greetings

December 24, 2018
  In Warm appreciation, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. On behalf of the entire SCDDD Team, we would like to wish all of you a very happy holiday Season and a year full of happiness, success and good health in 2019! As we reflect back on all that we have accomplished this year, we of course realize that none of this is possible without the support of people like you, people who believe in working towards achieving sustainable democracy, national peace and good governance practices. Thank you for your commitment! We hope you will continue to support us in the years ahead. God Bless You!!!

Report of SCDDD Policy Monitoring Dialogue (PMD) 2 on “Leadership Governance and Security Challenges in Nigeria”

January 29, 2018
The second edition of the key governance issues to be addressed in the 4-serie policy monitoring dialogue hosted by the Savannah Centre and funded by the Ford Foundation. This 2nd edition of PMDP event is titled “Political Leadership, Security and Governance as National Questions”, designed specifically to address the state of insecurity in Nigeria, using a holistic and pro-active approach, by addressing the growing incidences of youth restiveness in the country with separatist ideologies as recorded in the South-east and Niger Delta. Also, internal-communal conflicts/herdsmen and pastoralist clashes in the North-west and North central, violent and political extremism in the North-east (Boko Haram), North-west Shiite Sheik El-Zakzaky led Islamic Movement of Nigeria among others.   DOWNLOAD REPORT

OSAA & SCDDD Organizes Expert Group Meeting on “The Role of African Civil Society in Preventing Violent Extremism in Africa”

January 29, 2018
Against this backdrop, the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (OSAA) and the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development (SCDDD) will convene an Expert Group Meeting on “The Role of African Civil Society in Preventing Violent Extremism in Africa”. The meeting will take place on 28 – 29 November 2017 in Abuja, Nigeria. The EGM provides a platform to highlight the important role of civil society organizations in preventing violent extremism in Africa as well as amplify civil society perspectives and examine ways to enhance their effectiveness, capacity and international support.       DOWNLOAD PICTURES DAY I DOWNLOAD PICTURES DAY II DOWNLOAD CONCEPT NOTE
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