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SGBV, a Global Pandemic Requiring Coordinated Action for Security of Women and Children – EU, UN Women

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SGBV, a Global Pandemic Requiring Coordinated Action for Security of Women and Children – EU, UN Women

By: Michael Mike

The United Nations (UN) Women and European Union have described sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) as a global pandemic that requires fundamental and coordinated action that would guarantee the safety and security of vulnerable women and children across the world.

Delivering her goodwill message at the Strategy and Knowledge Sharing Workshop on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) for First-Time First Ladies in Nigeria organized by UN Women, the EU Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS,
Samuela Isopi said: “As we all know, sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) is a global pandemic that requires fundamental and coordinated action that would guarantee the safety and security of vulnerable women and children across the world.”

Isopi, who was represented by the Acting Head of Development Cooperation, European Union Delegation to Nigeria, Mr. Ruben Alba Aguilera noted that: “In Nigeria, the European Union continues to highlight the importance of the fight against SGBV through our political engagement with the government, and our development cooperation support in collaboration with like-minded partners and key stakeholders.

Our two flagship SGBV programmes; the Spotlight Initiative and the Rule of Law and Anti-corruption (RoLAC) Programme, have been quite instrumental in advancing this agenda. With a global envelope of 500 million Euros, the Spotlight Initiative is a clear demonstration of the EU’s commitment towards addressing SGBV. As the Spotlight Initiative comes to an end next month, a new SGBV programme is now in the pipeline, and we hope implementation can begin in 2024.

She said the European Union has been pleased to see an appraisal of the landmark achievements made, such as the adoption of relevant legal framework at state level, the establishment of more sexual assault referral centres and shelters, the launch of a national sex offender register as well as designation of SGBV courts by the judiciary. These are just some of the critical milestones achieved in the fight against SGBV in Nigeria.

She however said: “Moving forward, we simply cannot afford to rest on our laurels. Lessons have been learned over the years and many more challenges remain. Whether in establishing clear and efficient referral pathways for survivors of SGBV, or securing funding for designated institutions, speedy prosecution of cases, training of front line workers or inter agency collaboration and coordination.
We hope that this meeting serves to further prioritise SGBV intervention as well as raise public awareness on what we consider to be one of the most heinous crimes in our society. We also hope that this meeting will explore ways to continue raising a call to action that asks everyone to take concrete steps to question, call out, and speak up against acts of gender-based violence (GBV).

Isopi noted that the EU has contributed over a billion naira in support of the fight against SGBV across the country and will continue to collaborate with stakeholders in supporting adequate legislative instruments, targeted healthcare and responsive policies aimed at addressing the issue.

She added that: “We urge the government to take ownership by allocating more funding and ensuring that the SGBV designated institutions have all they require to address the needs of the people. Sexual Assault Referral Centres and specialised SGBV courts are best practices, and as the new administration both at states and federal level begin to settle in their various roles, we need to set the SGBV agenda so that they begin to give this the much-needed focus that it deserves.

In her keynote remarks, the UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Beatrice Eyong said the two-day workshop is one of the critical interventions of the joint EU-UN Spotlight Initiative which seeks to eliminate all forms of violence against women and harmful practices through women’s movement building to work together, provide support and resources towards addressing the causes and effects of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.

She said: “We are confident about sustainability of the collaboration between the EU and the UN in the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 which seeks to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment through addressing violence and all forms of discrimination against women and girls

“1 in 3 women have experienced violence. Globally, an estimated 736 million women—almost one in three—have been subjected to physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence – 26% of women aged 15 and older have been subjected to intimate partner violence.”

She added that: “Although globally we have decreased maternal mortality, child marriage in the past decade, violence against women and girls, as you can see from these statistics remains pervasive, today almost one in five (19 per cent) in 2022 compared to 1 in 4 ten years ago have experienced child marriage. Irrespective, one girl is too many!

She noted that SGBV is one of the most significant human rights’ violations in today’s world, insisting that: “These violations have public health implications and negatively impact on the social, economic and political development of our society. In 2021, gender-based violence across the European Union was estimated to cost around EUR 366 billion a year. Violence against women specifically makes up 79 per cent of this cost, amounting to EUR 289 billion

“It is for this reason UN Women through the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative has enhanced engagement of the private sector to address violence against women and girls in the workplace and society through a private sector-led GBV Fund and uptake in the UN Global Compact and UN Women’s Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). Excellencies, your offices present an invaluable opportunity to shape private sector’s influence on pervasiveness of violence in society. We call on you to continue challenging private sector entities to adopt policies to address violence.”

The Chairperson of the Nigeria Governors Wives Forum and the First Lady of Kwara State, Professor Olufolake Abdulrazaq said there is need to continue with frequent sensitization on SGBV in order to have a road map to follow.

SGBV, a Global Pandemic Requiring Coordinated Action for Security of Women and Children – EU, UN Women

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Japa: Youths Advised to Seek Opportunities in Nigeria

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Japa: Youths Advised to Seek Opportunities in Nigeria

By: Michael Mike

Nigerian youths have been asked to earnestly seek opportunities available in the country rather than insatiable search for Golden Fleece outside the shores of Nigeria.

The advice was given at the weekend in Abuja at Beyond Talent Conference organised by Africa Relief Trust Initiative (ARTI).

Speaking at the Conference, which had in attendance mainly fresh graduates, the founder of ARTI, Olatunde Popoola noted that there are massive opportunities in the country for anyone to excel and it was needed engaging in irregular migration in search of Golden Fleece outside the country.

He noted that: “Youths as well as women’s level of performance and contribution is a function of their renewed knowledge, skills, attitude and motivation. Attitude constitute the most important factor in the performance of the youths. The right attitude helps to learn, show commitment to work and relate well.

“Problem solving and decision making is also a critical function of an effective youth. They are the reasons why the youth are employed or unemployed. Problems do not go away by ignoring or by good wishes but by appropriate diagnosis, analysis and actions.”

He explained that the effect of training and education. Is especially important because it helps to over-ride natural inclinations, biases or reservations they encountered while in the performance of their duties.

He noted that: “To overcome these inclinations, this “Beyond Talent Conference” things optimizing youthfulness on the pillar of human capital development is designed to enhance youth’s competences and capabilities.”

Popoola explained that ARTI which has already commenced empowerment programmes in, Ogun, Lagos, Rivers States and Abuja has a plan to raise 50,000 young entrepreneurs in 10 years across Africa and raise 10,000 young leaders within the decade.

He noted that as parts of its goals, ARTI plans to build vocational and technical centres across Africa, support government of African countries with basic amenities like schools, hospitals, roads, transport, among others, with the aim of reducing poverty to the barest minimum on the continent.

Lectures were given by Group CEO, Lifestyle Asset Hub Ltd, Dr. Abioye Oke, MD, Pait Services Ltd, Mr. Lanre Farotimi, cofounder, NURIKA, Dr. Talle Amedu, MD, Handsome Leadership Consultancy, Pastor Handsome Okwu and MD/CEO, Dunastes kok Limited, Obiekwe Ndaguba.

Japa: Youths Advised to Seek Opportunities in Nigeria

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Farmers/Herders Conflicts: Take A Leaf from Buni, KACRAN Advises

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Farmers/Herders Conflicts: Take A Leaf from Buni, KACRAN Advises

By: Michael Mike

Kulen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria (KACRAN) has urged the Federal Government and Northern Governors to take a leaf from Yobe State Governor Mai Mala Buni’s approach in resolving farmers/herders conflicts

A statement signed on Saturday by the National President of the Association,
Hon. Khalil Mohammed Bello read: “The recent handling of Farmers/Herders conflicts in Yobe State by His Excellency, Governor Mai Mala Buni CON, has been commendable.

“After unexpected conflicts arose in the Fika and Gujba Local Government Areas of Yobe, Governor Buni demonstrated remarkable leadership by swiftly forming conflict resolution committees. This proactive approach led to the establishment of committees comprising herders, farmers, representatives of royal highness, security operatives, and others, tasked with identifying root causes and preventing future incidents.”

Bello added that: “Governor Buni’s directives also extended to Local Government Chairmen to form similar committees in their areas, emphasizing the importance of peace and harmony in the state. In response, the Kulen Allah Cattle Rearers Association of Nigeria (KACRAN) has embarked on a sensitization campaign to reinforce peaceful coexistence among members and neighboring communities.

“Additionally, traditional rulers were tasked with organizing security meetings to uphold peace within their jurisdictions. Stakeholders, including security personnel, heads of Farmers and Herders associations, and community leaders, have actively engaged in discussions aiming to maintain unity and stability.

“The positive response from stakeholders and the collaborative efforts to address conflicts reflect a shared commitment to lasting solutions. KACRAN acknowledges Governor Buni’s dedication to resolving conflicts and calls upon other Governors to adopt similar proactive measures in addressing Farmers/Herders conflicts nationwide.”

Bello added that the leadership demonstrated by Governor Mai Mala Buni is praised, and it is hoped that replicating such initiatives across states will lead to the eradication of farmers/gerders conflicts in Nigeria.

Farmers/Herders Conflicts: Take A Leaf from Buni, KACRAN Advises

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Tinubu’s Visit to Qatar Will Go Ahead As Scheduled- Ministry of Foreign AffairsLeak Letter, Work of Mischief Makers- Presidency

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Tinubu’s Visit to Qatar Will Go Ahead As Scheduled- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Leak Letter, Work of Mischief Makers- Presidency

By: Michael Mike

Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the visit of President Bola Tinubu to Qatar would go ahead as scheduled, adding that it was not ready to comment on the leak letter stating that the Business and Investment Forum planned by the Nigerian government during the visit would not hold.

The Ministry in a statement by its spokesperson, Fransisca Omayuli said it was “aware of the circulation of a diplomatic correspondence on the social media and wishes to state that it will not comment on leaks.”

The statement further read that “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) will embark on a State Visit to Qatar from 2nd – 3rd March, 2024 to further cement the excellent relations existing between the two countries.

“During the visit, discussions will be held at the highest level, on a wide range of bilateral and economic issues.
The President will be accompanied on the trip by the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar (OON), among some other Ministers and top government officials.

In a separate statement by the State House signed by Special Adviser to the President on Information & Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, stated that the leak diplomatic paper was the activities of mischief makers and was never a snub of Qatar government of President Bola Tinubu.

Onanuga, in the statement said: “We are aware of a leaked diplomatic correspondence between the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Abuja and our Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s state visit to Qatar between 2 and 3 March, 2024.

“The leaked diplomatic paper by mischief makers about an investment forum is not in any way a snub on President Tinubu by the Qatari government.”

He noted that: “The Note Verbale is about a private sector-led Business and Investment Forum to be held on the margins of President Bola Tinubu’s State Visit.

“The event is being put together by the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and Qatar’s Chambers of Commerce and Industry where business people from Nigeria will engage their counterparts from Qatar on commercial and investment opportunities available in both countries.

“We note the strong bilateral relationship between our two countries and affirm that the State Visit by President Bola Tinubu to Qatar is on the invitation of the Emir of Qatar, His Highness, Sheik Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani.”

Onanuga added that: “The State Visit is particularly aimed at strengthening the bilateral economic cooperation between Nigeria and Qatar.

“NACCIMA and Qatar Chambers of Commerce and Industry are collaborating to take advantage of President Tinubu’s visit to Doha to mobilise the business community from our two countries to explore opportunities in key economic sectors such as oil & gas, manufacturing, agro-business, construction, real estate, ICT, Renewable Energy, Solid Minerals and service sector, among others.”

He revealed that: “President Tinubu is expected to proceed to Qatar on the State Visit as scheduled and during the visit, the Nigerian leader will engage in high-level bilateral discussions with Qatari leader on many important matters, covering the full range of diplomatic and economic issues.

It is not correct for anyone to insinuate that the Qatari authorities have snubbed the Nigerian leader over a business and investment forum which is tangential to the all-important State Visit and which President Tinubu is slated to attend as a guest.”

He insisted that: “President Tinubu and His Highness Al-Thani are both committed to maintaining and building on the existing cordial and special relationship between Nigeria and the State of Qatar.”

Tinubu’s Visit to Qatar Will Go Ahead As Scheduled- Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Leak Letter, Work of Mischief Makers- Presidency

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