Archive of ‘Politics’ category

How to Stay Safe During Elections

General Elections

Yes, general elections is around the corner and staying safe is a priority. After the hullabaloo that happened during the All Progressives Congress Lagos Campaign rally, more and more Nigerians have began to question the assurance of safety of lives and properties during the elections.

There is a prediction that while some states might be marred with violence, some states will have peaceful elections.

Elections in Nigeria are generally marred with violence, as women, we have to keep our families safe. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe during the general elections.

Get Home Early

Two weeks to the election, ensure you get home early. Don’t stay out late at night for any reason and in times when you have to commute a long distance, stay in the safest place you can find.

Refrain from wearing political campaign tees in hot zones

Hot zones are places known for political violence. During the weeks preceding the elections, don’t wear political campaign uniforms indiscriminately. Be cautious.

Beware of Social Joints

Yes, you have social joints where you hang out like Newspaper stands, your street vendors etc. Ensure that these places are safe before venturing into any political discussion or contributing to political conversations. Always beware of violence breaking out any minute due to political differences any minute.

Cut back family Outings

Yes, you love to take the kids out every Sunday but its election period, be extra careful. Prior to the election, cut back family outings. Have fun with the kids at home just for the time being.

Get food Items

The markets will be closed, there will be a hike and the outcome of the election will determine the stability of the country. So get food items. Ensure that you are not short on any food item.

Avoid crowded areas

Because anything can happen at anytime especially in crowded areas, avoid crowded areas like a plague.

Service your vehicles

In case of any emergency, you might need to use your vehicle and the hullabaloo of the election might not allow your mechanic to be readily available. So service your vehicle.

Go home immediately after voting

After casting your vote, go home. Don’t loiter.

NGO trains 30 women on peace building in Borno


A Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Kalthum Foundation has trained 30 women on conflict management and peace building in Borno.

The Project Coordinator, Ms Kalthum Rabiu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday in Maiduguri, that the women were exposed to conflict management, communication and peace building techniques.

Rabiu disclosed that the training was designed to build the capacity of rural women and promote their engagement in peace building process at the grassroots.

She explained that the trainees were drawn from Maiduguri, Jere and Konduga Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.

Rabiu said: “The aim is to promote women engagement in conflict management and peace building through effective awareness creation activities.

“It is also focus on addressing Gender Base Violence (GBV), protect women and children against abuse in the society.”

The coordinator noted that effective participation of women in peace building process would fast track implementation of rehabilitation and resettlement of communities ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency in the Northeast.

According to her, the training was conducted in collaboration with the British Council supported Managing Conflict in Nigeria (MCN) programme.

Rabiu added that the organisation had initiated various programmes to empower women, check social vices and provide support to persons displaced by Boko Haram insurgency in the state. (NAN)

Bauchi first lady empowers 400 women with starter-kits worth N4 million


The wife of Bauchi State Governor, Mrs Hadiza Mohammed, on Sunday empowered 400 women in the state with starter kits worth N4 million.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that each of the women, all of them from Katagum Local Government Area, received N10,000 worth of the kits to support their petty businesses.

The assistance was extended to the women as part of activities of the pet project of the governor’s wife, the Bauchi Sustainable Women Economic Empowerment and Peace Initiative (B-SWEEP), under its second phase of Women Micro Entrepreneurship Support Scheme.

Speaking at the occasion held in Azare town, headquarters of the local government, Mrs Muhammed said 500 women had earlier been granted similar gesture during the first phase of the scheme.

“In the first phase of B-SWEEP Women Micro Entrepreneurship support scheme, we empowered 500 women on Aug. 29, from Bauchi South Senatorial District at the total sum of N5 million.

“This is because women are the backbone of the family and society, hence the need to be empowered in order to alleviate their hardship.

“In this second phase of the empowerment scheme, we selected 400 women from different market women associations that comprise all the 17 wards in KatagumLocal Government Area.

“The objectives of my pet project include empowerment of women through skill acquisition and financial literacy, re-integration of women and girls school dropouts into formal and non-formal school system.

“Others include enhancing food security through women participation in agriculture among others,” she said.

NAN reports that the first lady had earlier paid courtesy call on the Emir of Katagum, Baba Farouq, before visiting pregnant and nursing mothers at Urban Maternity Centre, Azare, where she distributed items such as sanitary pads, wrappers, and indomie noodles, among others.

In his remarks, Gov. Mohammed Abubakar, who was represented by the state deputy governor, Mr Sule Katagum, said the state government recognised the role of women in the society and would continue to support them.

The governor appealed to the beneficiaries to make the best use of the knowledge and skills acquired by using the money judiciously. (NAN)

Group urges women to see voting as task to be executed


Female Voter Initiative, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), on Sunday in Lagos urged all female registered voters to see voting as a civic task that must be done.

Miss Morenike Afolayan, Convener of the group, said this during an awareness walk organised by the group in Ikeja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the walk is tagged: “Strengthening Democracy through Political Engagement of Women’’.

Afolayan said the organisation was committed to reminding women across the country of their status as Change Agents in the political development of the country.

“There is need to encourage the female gender to participate in the electoral process and in politics generally which has necessitated this awareness walk.

“Women should take voting as a task and not leave the process to men alone. We need to start taking up leadership roles as well so as to be seen and heard.

“One of the simplest steps in this new age of democracy is getting women to vote.

“Even though women do not seem to agree on many views, they do agree and share on issues that affect their status and welfare.

“So, it is possible for women to improve on their political participation and have candidates compete for their support and votes through things that can improve their well being.

“The PVCs should not be used as mere means of identification but should be utilised as ticket to cast votes for the candidates of our choice,’’ Afolayan said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NGO was established in April with a mission to seek and encourage young females and women to participate in the political process.(NAN)

YIAGA AFRICA decries exclusion of women, youths in party primaries


A Civil Society Organisation (CSO) YIAGA AFRICA on Friday expressed worry over high rate of exclusion of women and youths at the just concluded party primaries in Nigeria.

Ms Cynthia Mbamalu, Project Director, YIAGA AFRICA said this in a document on the group’s Watching the Vote Statement on the Conduct of Political Party Primaries for the 2019 General Elections in Abuja.

Mbamalu said that as part of efforts to deepen the integrity of candidate selection process, YIAGA AFRICA WTV observed the conduct of primaries to assess their compliance with democratic principles.

She said part of the observations entailed highlighting recommendations for improving the integrity and quality of party primaries.

“The just concluded primaries witnessed a high rate of political exclusion, especially of the women and youths.

“This exclusion came in the form of high cost of nomination and expression of interest forms, outright refusal to sell forms to especially young females, undue disqualifications, impositions, etc.

“This implies that the largest chunk of our population and indeed the electorate was deprived of the opportunity of running for offices in the forthcoming elections.

“Democracy should be inclusive and participatory in nature.’’

Mbamalu said party primaries ought to promote the principles of inclusion and diversity to ensure equality and fairness.

She added: “But the just concluded primaries were fraught with high incidence of exclusion of women, young people and persons with disabilities as aspirants, party members or delegates.

“For instance, none of the presidential aspirants of the major parties was a woman, only the ADC had one female aspirant.

“For the delegates, there was also a very low representation of women, youths and person with disabilities.’’

Mbamalu said that while the presidential primaries had less cases of aspirant suppression, the same could not be said of legislative primary elections.

“For the presidential primaries, parties like PDP, SDP and ADC gave equal opportunity to aspirants to address delegates and audience.

“This was not the case in the governorship and legislative primaries,” she said.

She said that reports indicated that several aspirants especially women and youths were willfully excluded from contesting“ in the shoddy primaries’’.

She said the group observed deliberate substitution of candidates who won in primaries with supposed “anointed choices” of party leaders.

Mbamalu also said that there was disruption of voting and counting process to deny leading aspirants of opportunities to emerge as party candidates.

She said that in some instances, aspirants were disqualified from participating in the primaries in order to make way for anointed candidates.

This, she said was contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act on internal democracy and openness.

She said that it also negated judicial decisions demanding that only candidates who contested in primaries could participate in the main election.(NAN)

UK women allowed to apply for all military roles for first time


Credit: HuffPost UK

British women will be granted the right to apply for any role in the military for the first time, the country’s Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson, said on Thursday.

Williamson said that women serving in the army could now transfer into infantry roles, including the Special Forces, such as the Special Air Service.

“I am absolutely delighted to announce that all roles in the military are now open to women,” he said on his Twitter account.

“Our Armed Forces will now be determined by ability alone and not gender. This is a truly defining moment in the history of the Armed Forces,” the secretary added.

The British Ministry of Defence called it an historic day. A ban on women serving in close combat units in the British military was lifted in 2016.

Local media said that since then, about 35 women had either served in or been trained to join the Royal Armoured Corps.

In another development, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, on Thursday asked the international community to match words with action over the empowerment of women for the sake of peace and security.

Guterres told a high-level Security Council debate on women, peace and security that “There is a significant gap between what we say and what we do over the issue.

“Every year, we make laudable commitments, but they are not backed with the requisite financial and political supports.

“We repeat statistics about the sustainability of inclusive peace processes, but that is not how we mediate most conflicts.

“We extol the positive influence of women peace builders, but provide little space for their participation.

“We rely heavily on women organisations, but do not fund them adequately. We recognise the importance of gender analysis, but cut the budgets for such expertise.’’

He promised a series of measures to address the gap in the coming year, including having more women peace builders, promoting women’s role in mediation and more funding on gender equality in the peace and security pillar.

“Gender parity has the greatest potential impact on effectiveness and credibility in UN field operations. But this is where the numbers are lowest, and the rate of change is slowest,’’ said Guterres.

He said he had formed a working group to put emergency measures in place to address this.

“Women’s meaningful participation in mediation is directly linked to more sustainable peace.

“Women’s participation, however, should not be confined to advisory roles or parallel structures,’’ he stressed.

Guterres added that he had created a high-level task force to review UN funding on gender equality, including in the peace and security pillar.

“I will hold UN entities accountable to their commitments to track spending on women, peace and security with a target of reaching or exceeding 15 per cent by 2020,’’ he said. (dpa/NAN)

PCRC wants women to participate in crime prevention in communities


The Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), on Friday, urged professional women to participate actively in crime prevention in communities, especially those crimes that affect women and girls.

The Chairman of PCRC in Enugu State, Dr Dominic Ezema, made the call in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the end of a two-day Capacity Building Workshop for PCRC members on “Safety and Security Issues” in Enugu.

Ezema said it was appalling that the number of women in PCRC remained “very low’’, adding that
“in a statewide workshop of this nature, having only one female in attendance does not speak well of citizens involvement in fostering security.

“I have given directive to the chairmen of the PCRC in the 17 council areas to get more professional and community-oriented women involved and get them close to police to assist in crime prevention in their communities.

“With good number of women in PCRC and other security volunteer organisations, the issue of rape, maltreatment and violence against women making waves in some communities will be effectively tackled.

“PCRC believes in prevention: I believe that women would come out with robust mechanism toward preventing such acts in the first place in communities.”

The chairman thanked the police command in Enugu State and the Nigeria Policing Programme (NPP) for the two-day lectures and enlightenment for over 100 members of PCRC in the state.

He said “I am grateful that this two-day workshop has solved the issue of the lack of enlightenment among PCRC members and further exposed us to our roles to the police and the public.”

A participant at the workshop, Chief Ejikeme Odumegwu, who is also the Chairman of PCRC in Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State, said that the workshop had been enriching, as practical ways of
assisting the police to secure the environment were showcased.

Odumegwu said that the workshop had exposed him to the essence of partnering the police, working in synergy with them and regarding the police as friends.

He noted that the lectures also exposed the positive reforms taking place in the Nigerian Police.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Mohammed Danmallam, had earlier attributed the drop in crime rate in the state to efforts of PCRC partnership with the police command in the state.

The workshop was organised by PCRC in partnership with Nigeria Policing Programme (NPP). (NAN)

2019: Group raises concern over alleged marginalisation of northern women


A political group, the Northern Women in Politics, has raised concern over alleged unfair treatment and marginalisation of their political interests, arising from the just concluded primaries of various political parties in the country.

President of the group, Saadatu Abdullahi, stated this at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, where some female politicians and aspirants cutting across political parties registered their grievances.

She added that several women of northern extraction who showed interests in the 2019 general elections were shortchanged and intimidated out of the race by their male counterparts.

She said that “A huge number of our members have been seriously traumatised, brutalised and chased away thereby denied access to the venue of their party primaries.

“There are some who even won their party primaries but were later replaced by their male counterparts just because they are not related to the corridor of powers.’’

Abdullahi who said Nigerian women constitute more than half of the voting bloc during elections, also called for more appointive and elective positions for northern women in politics.

“ We are underrepresented in both elective and appointive positions. The deliberate attempt to absent women from political life and leadership positions, if not checked will undermine democracy and women’s economic empowerment especially in the northern Nigeria.

“Presently out of 21, only five elected female federal legislators in Nigeria are northerners, one senator and four members of House of Representatives.

“It is imperative for political parties to re-examine their constitutions and stick to the values and policies for which they were registered to practise.

“They should ensure that this is reflected in their operations especially on the principle of women’s representation at all levels of political leadership.

“We are calling on every state in the northern Nigeria to give women chance to particularly participate in political parties, legislative bodies, public service and decision making,’’ she said.

Also, a female candidate for the House of Representatives on the platform of Social Democratic Party (SDP) Mrs Safrat Dunguns, from Adamawa narrated her ordeal and eventual emergence as candidate of the party.

She called on the gender desk of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to wake up to its responsibility in addressing unfair treatments against northern women during and after elections. (NAN)

2019: Women’s participation essential for inclusive, credible elections – NCWS


Dr Theresa Omoke, the President, National Council for Women Societies (NCWS), Ebonyi chapter, says participation of women in electoral and political processes are vital to ensure that elections in the country are inclusive and credible.

She spoke on Wednesday in Abakaliki, when officials of the council paid a courtesy call on Prof. Godswill Obioma, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ebonyi.

Omoke decried the marginalisation and low representation of women in the political and electoral processes in the country.

She explained that elections could only be truly representative when women fully participate and are included in all aspects of the political and electoral processes.

“Elections are only truly representative and credible when women fully participate and are included in all aspects of the electoral process.

“As women’s voice, we appeal to political parties through INEC to press on political parties to create enabling environment for women participation in the electoral process and positions.

“We observed that in the recently concluded primaries of political parties in the country, that many women were discouraged from participating fully in the electoral process.

“The cost of party nomination forms was enormous and beyond the reach of women, ranging between N12 million and N15 million, according to political party.

“There were deliberate violence orchestrated to scar women and deny them opportunity to participate in the party electoral primaries.

“It was also observed and even more worrisome, that many political parties did not have plans to allow women participation in terms of normal concessions given to women”, Omoke said.

She said that women were responsible for the successes recorded in many previous elections in Nigeria, but regretted that they remained grossly marginalised by the male folks.

“Women through the efforts of the NCWS mobilised at the grassroots levels and persuaded them to come out and vote en-masse candidates of their choice, and yet men deliberately blocked women continually through many strategies”, she added.

The group pledged to partner the electoral body to ensure full participation of women in the forthcoming elections.

It further pledged to assist the commission to conduct credible, free, fair and transparent elections in Ebonyi.

“We are here to seek partnership with the REC and INEC team in Ebonyi in the areas of voter sensitisation, voter education, collection and preservation of voter cards as well as election monitoring and observation”.

The group appealed to the commission to include the council in the 2019 election monitoring and observation, urging the electoral body to ensure credible, violence free poll in the state.

Obioma, in his response, commended the women for the visit and assured them of the readiness of the commission to conduct transparent, credible free and fair elections in Ebonyi in 2019.

Obioma noted that women constituted critical mass of the voting population, noting that the council ‘s collaboration with the commission would enhance its electoral activities in the state in 2019.

Obioma appealed to the council to preach against vote-buying, vote-selling and other forms of election irregularities capable of undermining outcome of elections in Ebonyi.

He said the commission would engage the council in monitoring the Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) collection at local government levels.

He appealed to women not to allow their children to be used as political thugs by desperate politicians to disrupt the electoral process or cause election violence.

“We will do everything within our statutory powers to ensure that elections in Ebonyi are transparent, credible, free and fair, and we pledge to partner with you to achieve the objective.

“Preach against election violence, vote- buying, vote -selling and other forms of election irregularities during your advocacy campaigns.

“Again, support the emergence of your fellow women in the 2019 elections irrespective of party affiliation,” Obioma said. (NAN)

Defeat all barriers, NAPTIP task women, girls



The Director-General of National Agency for the Prohibition Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Ms Julie Okah-Donli, on Wednesday urged women and girls to defeat all barriers limiting their potentials.

Okah-Donli gave the task at the commemoration of this year’s International Day of the Girl Child organised by the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) in Abuja.
The theme for the 2018 event is: “ Empower Girls: Before, During and After Conflict’’.

The director-general was represented by the Assistant Director of Public Enlightenment, Mrs Ebele Ulasi.

“Women empowerment in all sectors is such a compelling fact of success, it is essential to build strong economies, establish more stable and just societies and improve quality of life considering the fact women constitute a large number of global population.

“There is need to accelerate the capacities of women and the whole society need to work towards assisting the female gender overcome challenges that impedes their capabilities.
“This can be achieved through gender parity, equity, focusing investments on education, training and professional of women, encouraging mentorship and collaboration,” she said.

Okah-Donli said the crime of human trafficking debases womanhood, saying the prevalence of this heinous crime diminishes the potential of the female gender that form the bulk of its victims.

She said NAPTIP was utilising strategies ranging from policies, prevention, prosecution, protection and partnership to stem the tide of human trafficking.

The President, National Council For Women Societies (NCWD), Mrs Laraba Shoda, underscored the need for sex education in homes and schools, saying many are still ignorant.
She also advised girls to be determined to achieve their dreams, saying education is key.
The National Women Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Hajiya Salamatu Bawa, said the girl child should not be limited to stereotypes.

She said young girls should know their rights, be innovative and contribute meaningfully for the overall development of the country.

The Director-General of NCWD, Mrs Mary Ekpere-Eta, said the observation of the Day supports more opportunities for the girls and increase awareness of gender inequality face by girls worldwide based upon their sex.

She said inequality includes areas such as right to education, nutrition, legal rights, med care and protection from discrimination, violence against and early child marriage.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the day is celebrated annually on Oct. 11. (NAN)

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