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North-East Women Move Towards Better Political Inclusion in Future Elections




By Yagana Ali, Yola.

The 2023 elections have come and gone, with winners declared and runners-up recorded, while those who felt cheated are approaching the respective Election Petition Tribunals, to reclaim mandates.

The Nigerian woman is not comfortable with the outcomes of the just concluded elections, as only a very few of them made it to elective offices nationwide.

A meeting, held in Yola, which brought together, representatives of women groups and civil society organizations in Northeast Nigeria, is to look into the impact of the 2023 General Elections and women’s participation, particularly the experiences and the lessons learned.

The program, which is a media parley and public hearing on improving electoral integrity, is being coordinated by the Centre For Non-violence And Gender Advocacy in Nigeria.

Nigerian women are advocating for the inclusion of female folk in political appointments at the federal, state, and local governments 

In a keynote paper presentation, Professor Anna Malgwi outlined that there was no reason whatsoever, why women should be relegated to the background politically, when they could perform better as the nation’s President, Senate President, Speakers of parliaments, and Governors, among others.

The crux of the program is to fashion out modalities that will ensure women are appointed to respective political offices since they could not make it to the elective offices.

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FG Establishes Family Courts to Ensure Justice for Abused Children 




 Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, has disclosed that the federal government has established family courts in 16 states across the country to ensure child-friendly justice for children, either as victims or as offenders of violence.

Tallen disclosed this while briefing newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, ahead of the 2022 National Children’s Day celebration, which has “Strengthening Supportive Systems for the Protection of the Nigerian Child; A Wake Up Call” as its theme.

According to her, the establishment of family courts is as a result of the effective and sustained advocacy and sensitisation for effective implementation of the Child Rights Law (CRL).

She said that “as a ministry, we are sometimes overwhelmed with these issues and it wil seem as if  we are not doing enough.

“In the meantime, the ministry, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, has developed policies and carried out series of programmes to ensure the safety of children.

“The establishment of family courts in 16 states of the federation is a direct result of the effective and sustained advocacy.

“It is also for the sensitisation of effective implementation of the CRL to provide child-friendly justice for children, either as victims or as offenders.”

Tallen added that to ensure the safety and protection of children, she also reconstituted the Technical Working Group on Ending Violence Against Children and the Technical Working Group on Case Management in Nigeria.

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She said the ministry had also launched the Beta Version and upgraded the National Orphans and Vulnerable Children Management Information Systems (NOMIS) data base.

She explained that the data base was to provide robust data on the National Orphans and Vulnerable Children, generated from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The ministry had also launched the Movement for Good to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and mobilised some persons to pledge to end the practice by 2030, she added.

On the annual May 27 children’s day celebration, aimed at raising awareness on issues affecting children, the minister said the celebration had been dampened by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and insecurity.

She, however, noted that in spite of efforts by government and other stakeholders, children were still vulnerable and victims of abduction, ritual killings, rape, child marriage, domestic abuse and others.

“These are all acts that are perpetrated by close family members and caregivers that are supposed to protect these children.

“More worrisome is the recent increase of violence in schools, where children are physically and sexually abused online and off line.

“These acts are allegedly perpetrated by their peers and teachers who are supposed to protect and shield them from violence,” she said.

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The minister, therefore, urged stakeholders, particularly the entertainment industry, to use their platforms constructively toward promoting good values.

She revealed that 31 states have so far domesticated the Child Rights Act 2003, adding that advocacy was ongoing to ensure the remaining states do the same.

The Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr Ramatu Tijani-Aliyu, represented by Hajiya Hadiza Kabir, the Secretary, Special Development, stressed the need to strengthen mechanisms that would protect children from violence.

Ms Erika Goldson, the Deputy Country Representative of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), encouraged children to choose role models that would help them to grow positively. (NAN)

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Senatorial Aspirant, Secures Federal Job for Six Youths in Kogi West




From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja

The only female aspirant in Kogi West senatorial district under the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Mrs Adedoyin Ibikunle Eshanumi, has secured job for six youths in the zone in the federal Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Eshanumi, a frontline aspirant for Kogi west Senate seat, disclosed this in chat with our correspondent in Lokoja on Wednesday.

According to her, the gesture was part of her exemplary efforts to reduce unemployment rate among youths in Kogi west in order to complement government’s efforts and curb youth restiveness in the zone.

The female aspirant disclosed that her plan and target was to have secured employment for over 50 youths in Kogi west into different federal government federal MDAs by December 2022 by God’s enablement.

The philanthropist added that she is running for the senate seat to access more opportunities to assist the good people of Kogi west.

“My mission is to see Kogi west blossom where our youth and women will be doing very well for themselves and most especially reduce poverty rate in the zone by Gods grace,’” she said

She assured the people of Kogi west of best representation if given the opportunity to represent them at upper chamber of the National Assembly.

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Recall that women and widows across Yagba Federal Constituency had earlier endorsed Chief Adedoyin Ibikunle Eshanumi as their candidate for Kogi west Senate seat.

The widows also made passionate appeal to His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello to support the candidacy of the female aspirant.

Eshanumi had overtime empowered thousands of vulnerable women especially widows across Kogi west senatorial district as well as youths in the zone.

One of the beneficiaries, Luke Babatunde Ezekiel, expressed his excitement for the gesture and thanked the female aspirant for given him a future.

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EFCC arrests ex-Speaker Etteh over N240m NDDC Contract




The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Patricia Etteh, over a shady contract worth N240m awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission.

Etteh, it was learnt, was at the Abuja office of the EFCC on Tuesday and had yet to be released as of 9pm.

The former speaker was said to have received N130m through her personal account from Phil Jin Project Limited, a firm which was awarded a N240m contract by the NDDC in 2011.

Officials of the EFCC told newsmen that Etteh had been unable to explain why the firm transferred N130m to her out of the money.

A top EFCC official said, “Etteh is currently in our custody.

What happened was that in 2011, the NDDC awarded a contract of N240m to Phil Jin Project Limited for the supply of solar powered street lights in some communities in Akwa Ibom.

“Shortly after the contract was awarded, the firm got N34m as an initial sum. Two weeks later, they received N253m, a total of N287m. This is despite the fact that the contract itself was worth N240m.

“Etteh is not a director in the company or a contractor. But the company paid her N130m. So, she was invited to explain what the money was for and she has been unable to do so. It is either the company is fronting for her or there are some shady deals. We cannot ascertain the execution of the contract in any case.”

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Etteh, who represented the Ayedaade/Isokan/Irewole Constituency of Osun State from 1999 to 2011, was the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House of Representatives. She, however, resigned and was replaced by Dimeji Bankole.

Culled from PUNCH

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