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Sadiya Umar Farouq bags Most Trusted Woman in Public Office award



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The International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has decorated the Minister of Human Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq with the award of the ‘Most Trusted Woman in Public Office’.
The Special adviser on media to the minister Nneka Ikem Anibezein a statement indicated that the Minister was bestowed with the award on Thursday in her office in Abuja.

While decorating the minister, the Country Head for Nigeria and Commissioner for West African Countries, IHRC Ambassador at Large, Dr. Friday Sani noted that a searchlight was secretly beamed on Umar Farouq for the past two years but no crime of diversion of funds or otherwise were found during the investigation.

“Our regional organization received several complaints over financial irregularities and diversion of funds meant for the poor people of Nigeria and this prompted our close to two years investigation with our world class security organization.

“The report we have received from our partners, the International Police Corporation has proven negative of any money diversion linked directly or indirectly to the honorable minister as claimed by those who wrote officially to our office. And this has compelled the resolution of our advisory board to Honour the Minister as the First Nigerian Most Trusted Woman in Public Office”.

In her response, the Minister thanked IHRC for the noble award while promising to keep working hard for humanity.

“I see this as a divine honour from God because I have never met this people. I don’t know them but I know that there is an International Human Rights Organization .

“This award goes to the team who have supported me through thick and thin. Posterity will judge us. For us to be even recognized means that we are doing well and we will continue to serve our country in our service to humanity”.

Eight other members of the IHRC Executive accompanied the Country Head for Nigeria and Commissioner for West African Countries to decorate the minister including Barr. Barnabas Idoko
Director for Complaints and Registration, IHRC, Fadila Sale Badi Ag. Director for Int’l Genda Affairs, Tayo Folorunsho Technical Partner, One Student, One Skill Education Programme, Danladi Omale Technical Partner, Social Affairs Services, Barr. Godfrey Asst. Head of Legal, IHRC and Barr. Chisom Laura Ikeudeoba, Multimillion Regional Volunteers Coordinator, Eastern Nigeria, IHRC.

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NationalUpdate Woman

GBV: Stakeholders call for budgetary provision for Costed Multi-sectoral Action Plan




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****say Kogi records 2,203 cases so far in 2023

***Stakeholders call for budgetary provision for Costed Multi-sectoral Action Plan

By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

Stakeholders on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Kogi state have called on the State Government to make budgetary provision fot the GBV Costed Multi-sectoral Action Plans to mitigate violence against women and girls in Kogi and around the world.

The Stakeholders made the call during a stakeholders’ meeting/ Press Conference organized by Centre for Integrated Health Programmes, (CIHP) in collaboration with the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in Lokoja.

The meeting was part of efforts to mark Orange the World 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence Campaign in Kogi State running between 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) and 10th December (International Human Rights Day).

The Stakeholders at the meeting observed that Kogi state has continued to witness rise in cases of gender-based violence.

According to them, the National Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Data Situation Room and dashboard for prevention and response to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Nigeria has reported a total of 2,203 cases in Kogi so far in 2023.

Speaking at the occasion, Hajia Fatima Kabir Buba, Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, Kogi State, said “Every year, the UNiTE Campaign focuses on a specific theme and this year’s theme is “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls.

The Commissioner held that GBV and harmful practices were rooted in power imbalances between the sexes and fueled by multiple factors including social and cultural norms, social acceptance of harmful practices, and insufficient legal protections.

“The Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2018 found that nine per cent of women aged 15 to 49 had suffered sexual assault at least once in their lifetime and 31 per cent had experienced physical violence”, she said.

Buba held that the state Government in the bid to mitigate the increasing incidences of GBV in the State had inaugurated a 23-member Technical Working Group to tackle the menace in the state with the cardinal object of ensuring that gender equality is upheld in all spheres of human life.

Eunice Abimbola Agbogun, Executive Director, Challenged Parenthood Initiative (CPI), in her presentation, urged that priority attention must be given to costed multi-sectoral action plan which she described as a multi-year road map.

Agbogun, the main brain behind the adoption of Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act in Kogi state said that the concept was designed design to justify resource mobilization and leverage of financial and technical resources from stakeholders.

“Costed action plans provide guidance on which activities to give priority to, expand and support in a bid to put an end to all forms of Gender Based Violence in Kogi State and Nigeria in general”, she stressed.

Amb. Idris Ozovehe Muraina, Chairperson, Kogi Non-Governmental Organizations Network (KONGONET), urged Kogi State Government to capture the Multi-sectoral costed action plans in the 2024 budget to enable effective implementation of the VAPP Law.

“Kogi State must adopt in totality, the costed multi-sectoral action plan on GVB intervention. This summarily means that every Ministry, Department and Agency in Kogi State will swing in issues of GBV in their annual budget and ensure it is captured”, he said.

Muraina said it was therefore imperative for Civil Society Organizations to monitor and track implementation of every facet of the Costed Multi-sectorial Action Plan on GBV at MDAs level.

Speaking at the meeting earlier, Kalu Samuel Uko, the Gender Mainstreaming Associate at CIHP said Gender Based Violence remains a societal nightmare that must be stopped, stressing that, all hands must be on deck to address this menace.

According to him, CIHP has continued to put measures in place to ensure that States tap into their agenda to kick against all forms of Gender Based Violence across the Country.

Highlight of the occasion was the pledge by various stakeholders including the non state bodies like the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Security agencies including the National Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Media among others. (Ends)

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NationalUpdate Woman

Why Gender bills would not fail under the 10th NASS, by Senator Kingibe




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***As women stage roadwalk against GBVH in Abuja

The senator representing the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the national Assembly, Senator Ireti Kingibe has explained why the 10th National Assembly will revisit the Five gender bills that were rejected during the ammendment of 1999 Constitution in the 9th National Assembly.
She said their male counterparts are now convinced of the relevance of the bills. Hence, she is convinced that the bless will get their blessings when it is time to amend the constitution.

It would be recalled that the five gender bills failed to fly in the immediate past 9th National Assembly as they couldn’t secure the required majority votes.
It was discovered that the bills failed largely because male legislators could not be convinced of their relevance.
The senator who Spoke on Saturday at the awareness walk to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, said sith the support of the men she is confident the bills will sail through this time around

“Without any exaggeration, women are the backbone of this country. We are the backbone of any country. We are the backbone of the home. Can we survive with a broken backbone?
“Nigeria is a country that is lagging behind in all human development indices
“Therefore Gender Based Violence and Harrassment(GBVH) must stop, and how will it stop? It is going to stop when there is proper reporting and proper consequence and collective responsibility, male and female, as you can see from the number of the organizations represented here we have decided that women are going to unite to fight Gender Based Violence and Harrassment(GBVH)

She acknowledged that the bills suffered setbacks in the 9th Assembly, but in the 10th Assembly, she does not expect the bills to fail.
She said even the men understand that for Nigeria to fully develop, they can not leave behind 50% of its population.
“So with the cooperation of the men and all Nigerians, including NGOs, the media and everybody the bills will sail through. We must insist on it. You must insist on it that it is a goal that must be achieved in this 10th assembly, whatever it takes.

“The 10th assembly would work towards getting presidential assent for the bills
The minister of women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, in her speech,  said their is a mobile Court that will take on pepertrators of GBVH as she asked Nigerian men to protect the women, their wives and daughters
We will stand by you. We affirm our commitment at the UN to the fight against GBV. We are at the forefront.

Representative of the UN, Kuawu Kowsin, said the gathering was to sensitize the people on the importance of joining hands to end Gender Based Violence Against Women.
“GBV has been an issue that is not only in Nigeria but a number of countries, so the UN has joined the ministry of Women Affairs to send a message that we are together to Eliminate Violence Against Women
“We have already taken a lot of steps in Preventig GBV. We have been talking to the people in the various communities to sensitize people about the harmful consequences of GBVH.
“When they become aware they will stop to perpetrate this harmful practice but also there is a lot of work that is being done by the UN to assist and support the survivors of GBVH psychologically and to help them to seek justice.
On whether there is any protection for men against violence he said, “There is a new law about Violence Against the people in general, this is also part of it but you know Violence Against Women is the major issue, Violence Against men is also covered.”

Barrister Louis Auta of the Network of Women With Disabilities who spoke on behalf of women and girls with Disability said they are tired of the exclusion.

“We are tired of GBVH. We are tired of violence against women and the girls with Disability and we are here to say Bye-bye to GBVH.”
The event for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women which started at the Eagle square as early as 7am on Saturday morning witnessed a large turn out of women from all works who engaged the awareness roadwalk to the Unity fountain square.
At the Unity Fountain, there was a cannival of sort as the women expressed their determination to ensure all violence against women are eliminated.

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Musawa: FG weighs up soft landing, may redeploy her to Youth ministry to oversee NYSC, HURIWA Alleges




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Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has claimed that there is an orchestrated maneuver by the presidency for a soft landing over the controversy surrounding Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy, Ms. Hannatu Musawa.

Musawa, who before her appointment remained a serving member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has been at the center of a controversy since HURIWA exposed her status thereby raising questions regarding her eligibility and transparency in public office.

A potentially strategic plan by the government was in the offing, a statement on Monday by the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, had disclosed.

HURIWA alleged from source he said was reliable said that there are indications that the Presidency is considering a strategic reshuffle to allow the positioning of Musawa to head the Ministry of Youth Development which oversees the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

HURIWA said that the move has raised eyebrows and prompted concerns about the transparency and accountability in governance.

According to HURIWA; “The core of the unfolding saga revolves around Minister Hannatu Musawa’s alleged inability to furnish conclusive evidence of her completion of the mandatory National Youth Service program during her Senate confirmation, stressing that there are potential contradictions in statements made by various stakeholders.

HURIWA further stated; “A prominent concern is the disparity between Minister Musawa’s assertion of having successfully concluded her service and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) counter-claim that she is currently engaged in active service.

“This discrepancy, if substantiated, further intensifies the ongoing controversy because NYSC had officially confirmed that she is serving now and has served for eight months out of twelve months.

“The matter of Minister Musawa’s eligibility for public office has not only ignited a national discourse but also raised legal concerns regarding adherence to the Nigerian Constitution and the NYSC Act.

“While acknowledging Minister Musawa’s apparent dedication to both her national service and her ministerial responsibilities, a pivotal question emerges: Do her concurrent roles align with the established legal framework as outlined in the NYSC Act and the Nigerian Constitution?
“The unprecedented nature of this situation in Nigeria’s history adds complexity to the matter. The NYSC Act, designed to foster national unity and involve young citizens in the nation’s progress, explicitly outlines participation requirements. Section 2 mandates that all citizens under 30 years of age who have graduated from tertiary institutions, both within and outside Nigeria, must fulfill a mandatory one-year national youth service. Notably, Section 13 of the Act stipulates penalties for non-compliance.

“Furthermore, the Nigerian Constitution specifies qualifications and disqualifications for public office. Specifically, Section 147(6) states that a person can not be appointed a Minister of the Federation unless eligible for election as a member of the House of Representatives. This connection between the criteria for ministerial appointments and legislative roles raises pertinent questions.”

“This discrepancy has led to substantial legal discussions about the feasibility of simultaneously occupying the roles of a serving corps member and a minister. Notable constitutional experts have questioned the compatibility of these dual roles and the potential precedents they might set. Femi Falana (SAN), a prominent legal scholar, contended that an active corps member may lack the necessary competency for political or governmental positions that require trust and public service.

“In a statement titled: ‘A Youth Corps Member is not competent to be a Minister in Nigeria’, Falana said that a person who is disqualified by law to be a lawmaker is also disqualified to be appointed as a minister. The Constitution appears to have set the same qualifications and disqualifications for the two offices. Specifically, section 147(6) of the Constitution provides that no person shall be appointed as a Minister of the Government of the Federation unless he is qualified for election as a member of the House of Representatives.

“Continuing, Falana emphasized that a person who did not participate in the national youth service is not qualified to be a member of the House of Representatives In the same vein, a person who has not completed the compulsory one-year youth service is not competent to be appointed a Minister in Nigeria since the Constitution has prescribed the same qualifications and disqualifications for election into the House of Representatives and appointment into the post of a Minister”.

Given the legal complexities at play, HURIWA reiterated its call for an exhaustive, impartial investigation into the legality of Minister Musawa’s dual roles. The organization underscored the critical need to uphold the principles of the law, transparency, and accountability to safeguard the integrity of public office and the governance process.

The rights organisation also expressed concerns about potential transparency violations if Minister Musawa had failed to disclose her ongoing NYSC service during her ministerial screening.

HURIWA, therefore, called on the embattled Musawa to quit one of the national services, adding that a transparent and independent investigation remains steadfast.

It stressed that the outcomes of an inquiry would shed light on the legality of dual roles and the potential implication for Nigeria’s democratic principles and governance integrity.

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