Tomorrow is a New Day Baseline Study
A baseline study was conducted in all seven communities.
The goal of the baseline was to collect data that would provide insight into the conflict dynamics of each community.
The baseline was conducted using an integrated -methods approach including 1523 baseline surveys, 23 focus group discussions (FGDs), and 19 key information interviews (KIIs).
The results of the baseline results will:
1) Be shared with the communities as a part of engendering community ownership of the project; and
2) Inform programming decisions to ensure that the project is responsive to the needs of the targeted communities.
Violence as a Means to an End:
Many young people in the Niger Delta still believe that violence is an effective means to achieve one’s objective. This was especially pronounced in Kaiama, Amassoma, and Oporoza, where youth explained that violence is the only way to get attention from the government and community leaders.
Mixed Perceptions on the Effectiveness of the Amnesty Programme:
Communities had mixed feelings about whether or not the national amnesty process has ‘dealt’ with the militancy. Survey participants were less convinced that the Amnesty process has contributed to reconciliation in their community, with only 43-63% responding that it had.
Root Causes of Conflict:
Many participants pointed out that root causes of conflict - like unemployment and lack of community development - are not bring addressed by the Amnesty Programme. Other commonly cited root causes of conflict were: restless youth, leadership tussles, and exclusion from decision-making, especially of youth, women, and ex-militants. In Kaiama, Amassoma, and Kpor violence associated with cultism was also identified.
Trauma in Communities:
Many people are still suffering from physical and psychological scars from traumatic events. The conflicts causing their pain varied – some are from the Niger Delta struggle, while others are from inter-ethnic, cult, or other recent community violence.
Acceptance of Ex-Militants:
The findings around the reintegration of ex-militants were complex. In Oporoza, ex-militants are fairly well integrated. In Kpor ex-militants currently are largely marginalized. In Kaiama, Amassoma, and Koko, there were mixed perceptions of ex-militants, including those who fear them and those who appreciate their sacrifices for the Niger Delta cause.
Relationship between Communities and Security Forces:
Nearly half of all community members do not trust the security agencies: military, Joint Task Force (JTF), and police protecting their communities. Many reported tensions between community members and security agencies.
Hope in Peace and Reconciliation:
Between 73-97% of community members believe that reconciliation is possible. When asked how they will know that reconciliation has been achieved, common responses were that there would be: peace in the community, a reduction in crime, an increase in feelings of safety, and community development.