Tag Archives: CSOs

CSO frowns at posting videos, photos of rape victims

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The Women’s Voice Leadership (WVL), a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) in Bauchi State, has appealed to the media anc individuals to stop posting graphic images and videos of rape victims.


In a statement issued on Saturday in Bauchi by Mrs Comfort Attah, a representative of WVL, the group said reporting incidents of rape should be productive, nurturing, not a report of salacious details.

“Media reports that are thoughtful and that do not expose those who have had horrible experiences to further trauma.

“You must support survivors and honour their confidentiality by refusing to play into the media desire for details,” she urged.

Also, Legal practitioner, others urge support for rape victims.

Attah also urged the media to avoid the use of graphics or videos of rape victims because they are often subjected to scrutiny and in some cases to mistreatment.

“Images that try to recreate the scene, or show a distraught woman whose world has seemingly fallen apart or use of colours like red and black that suggest blood and something sinister, can hold up the process of recovery.

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“Imagine what the rape survivor feels when she sees illustrations like these, you are recreating the horror,” she said.

According to her, CSOs including ASHHF, RAHAMA and FOMWAN have watched with concern the increased cases of rape and gender based violence towards women in the state.

She said that the WVL has recorded several cases of rape that were yet to be taken to court because there was no punishable law for perpetrators and stigma that was associated with it.

Attah said that the CSO had paid advocacy visits to the state commissioner of police, as well as traditional and religious leaders on the need to curb violence against girls, young persons and women.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19: CSOs think of way to curb communal virus spread

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Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet)in partnership with Voluntary Oversea Service (VSO), Nigeria, has engaged more than 50 Community COVID-19 Champions/Volunteers on ending communal spread of Coronavirus.


Mr Pius Oko, Project Officer, CSDevNet, who disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria , in Abuja on Monday, said other partners on the project included SDGs Thursday, and the Nigeria Youth Engagement Network (NYEN).

Oko, who also heads the Youth Engagement Innovation Implementation Team on the VSO COVID-19 Response and Action, said the objective of the engagement was to end communal spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.

He said the engagement, which was pioneered by the VSO COVID-19 Response Small Grant Project, was being carried out in Abuja, Kano and Adamawa, with women making up 50 per cent of the volunteers.

Also, Ethiopia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases pass 4,500-mark.

Oko said since the index case of COVID-19 was recorded on Feb. 27, in Nigeria, several measures had been instituted by the Federal Government, led by the inaugurated Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

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“Nigeria Centre for Disease Control activated a National Emergency Operations Centre, in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Health to curtail the spread of the disease and protect the health of Nigerians.

“Such as restricting movement within and outside the country and announcement of lockdown in most states by governments at federal and at state levels.”

He, however, said in spite of all the entreaties from government, development partners and CSOs on public and individual responsibilities, there were still problems with perception, attitude and public behavioural pattern.

Oko noted that these problems needed to be tackled in order to discontinue community transmission.

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According to him, In April and May 2020, CSDevNet and SDGs Thursday, through many efforts and intervention, had directly supported more than 1,500 households and indirectly reached more than 3,000 households on COVID-19 response.

“We have done this through education, sensitisation, feed-a-family soft palliatives, and donation of personal protective equipment and hand washing facilities across the nation.”

Oko however, said following the already existing gradual easing of the lockdown, citizens should be encouraged to take responsibility and ensure adherence to all the health protocols/preventive measures.

He added that non-physical greetings, avoiding hand shaking or hugs, and inter-state travel restrictions, among others, should be complied with.

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Mr Abeng Lucky, Team Lead, SDGs Thursday, said that the VSO partnership with CSDevNet and SDGs Thursday, was to help upscale the ongoing interventions to directly reach 2,000 households in satellite towns and rural communities in a month .

Lucky, also Head, Youth Engagement Innovation Implementation Team, VSO COVID-19 Response and Action, said this would be achieved through Knowledge, Attitude and Practice (KAP), survey on COVID-19.

“We would also achieve this through identification and engagement of 50 community COVID-19 prevention champions on Advocacy, of which 50 per cent would be women.

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“Training of 100 youths in production of basic PPE and distribution of over 2,000 face masks and hand sanitisers, made by trained youths and Street-to-Street public awareness group.

“Periodic sensitisation on COVID-19 prevention and adherence to recommended health protocols and safety hygiene, using indigenous language and online sensitisation and advocacy using various media platforms.”

Lucky said that the intervention would reduce the impact of COVID-19 spread and prevent communal transmission through capacity building training production of basic personal protective equipment for youths.

He added that sensitisation and advocacy programmes, using indigenous languages and local action in satellite towns and rural communities, would quickly help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria.


#Newsworthy…

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COVID-19 Bill: Lawmakers desperate to force vaccine on Nigerians – CSOs

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Over forty Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria, on Tuesday, alerted that the House of Representatives was acting too fast in its bid to pass the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill.

The bill to make vaccines compulsory was co-sponsored by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, Reps Pascal Obi and Tanko Sununu.

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) already alleged that the Green Chamber of the National Assembly had been offered money to pass the bill despite no input from stakeholders.

The bill passed first and second reading at plenary under controversial circumstances.

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The CSOs, in a joint statement by Centre for Democracy and Development, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, Say No Campaign, Amnesty International, Yiaga Africa, Human and Environmental Development Agenda, International Press Centre, among others, said the bill almost passed third reading in April before it was resisted by some vigilant members.

The civil society community opined that the legislative and policy measures currently being implemented in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are inadequate to respond to and manage the challenge of infectious diseases with grave implications on the country.

The coalition lamented the House of Representatives’ attempt to give accelerated passage to such a critical legislation like the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill without consultation and inputs from relevant stakeholders and the public.

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“We understand that the House is resolute to pass the bill and it has fixed Tuesday, May 5, 2020 for presentation of the report of the Committee of the Whole and clause by clause voting on the bill without public hearing or consultation with relevant stakeholders. This runs contrary to the principles of effective and inclusive lawmaking.

“The Bill violates key principles of legislative drafting rules mandating laws to be simple, clear and unambiguous. This leaves room for significant amount of discretion on the part of the implementing authorities and limits the rights of citizens and respective institutions to question decisions taken in the exercise of the powers provided in the Bill.

“There is therefore the need to clearly define terms used, extent of powers granted, and penalties for breach. For instance, the proposed Bill makes an attempt to define ‘surveillance’ in its interpretation section but fails to provide a clear definition on the reach and extent of the power to demand public health surveillance program and regulating framework.

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“Throughout, the Bill is referred to as an “Act” implying that the proposed document is already an enacted legislation (Act). In addition, the Bill does not define who constitutes a health worker, which, as defined in the Bill, as anyone appointed by the Director General. In addition, we have concerns with Clause 74(1) and (2), which deals with the collection of fees, charges and moneys, and some payments to be made to the Consolidated Fund or the agency,” they said.

They demanded that the House of Representatives subject the bill to public scrutiny by embarking on stakeholder consultations and a public hearing to harness public inputs into the legislation.

The coalition asked the the House to utilize the opportunity provided by the reviewed lockdown policy to consult with relevant stakeholders and the people.

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They called for review of all provisions of the bill that foster inter-agency conflicts and abuse of power and undermine constitutionally guaranteed rights and are contrary to the rule of law and Nigeria’s International human rights obligations.

“It is important to note that while we understand the importance of a legislative framework that guarantee effective response to public health crises, we must do so within the rule of law and in conformity with the Constitution and Nigeria’s International human rights obligations. democratic principles”, the CSOs added.


#Newsworthy…

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CSO stands against illegal detention in Nigeria


The People’s Alternative Fronts has launched a campaign against illegal detention of Nigerians by security agencies in the country.

PAF started the campaign in the wake of the release of Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki after prolonged detention by the Department of State Services.


Sowore was held for months while Dasuki was held for over four years in contravention of different court orders granting their release on bail.

Secretary of PAF, Eze Alloysius, in a statement, said that the campaign would seek to end illegal arrest and detention of citizens without trial.


He called on Nigerians who have been detained or someone who knows anyone that is being detained to come forward with information for PAF to take action on it.

He said, “We hereby ask Nigerians whose family members, friends or loved ones are being detained by police and other agencies to contact us with detailed information.

“Those who are being detained in defiance of court orders should send certified true copies of the court orders.”

Alloysius asked Nigerians to call 08034723660 or email it to pafronts@gmail.com to submit their complaints for legal actions to be taken by PAF.


#Newseorthy….

CSO stands against illegal detention in Nigeria


The People’s Alternative Fronts has launched a campaign against illegal detention of Nigerians by security agencies in the country.

PAF started the campaign in the wake of the release of Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki after prolonged detention by the Department of State Services.


Sowore was held for months while Dasuki was held for over four years in contravention of different court orders granting their release on bail.

Secretary of PAF, Eze Alloysius, in a statement, said that the campaign would seek to end illegal arrest and detention of citizens without trial.


He called on Nigerians who have been detained or someone who knows anyone that is being detained to come forward with information for PAF to take action on it.

He said, “We hereby ask Nigerians whose family members, friends or loved ones are being detained by police and other agencies to contact us with detailed information.

“Those who are being detained in defiance of court orders should send certified true copies of the court orders.”

Alloysius asked Nigerians to call 08034723660 or email it to pafronts@gmail.com to submit their complaints for legal actions to be taken by PAF.


#Newseorthy….

Just in – Jalingo, Odok’s continued incarceration is an affront on humanity – CSO

…two counts bordering on terrorism


The Coalition of Cross River State Civil Society Organisations has asked the Cross River State Government to shelve it’s “humanity” theme for the 2019 Carnival Calabar and festivals due to the continued incarceration of journalist, Agba Jalingo, and lawyer Joseph Odok.

The duo are have been remanded at the medium security custodial center in Calabar for 94 and 67 days respectively following their separate arraignments before the Calabar division of the Federal High Court on September 25th and October 22nd, 2019.

While four counts bordering on terrorism and cybercrime were preferred against Jalingo in the amended charges with Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State said to be he nominal complainant, two counts bordering on terrorism and cyber stalking were preferred against Odok by the governor’s Chief of Staff, Martins Orim.


The CCRSCSO, after a visit to Jalingo, in a statement by Anthony Bissong Attah, Iso Edim, Richard Inoyo, Ukorebi Esien, Efio-Ita Nyok and Simon Utsu, said there was nothing human about the 2019 Carnival Calabar while the duo remained behind bars.

The coalition issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the government to release Jalingo and Odok or change the humanity theme of it’s carnival.


It also vowed to boycott the carnival and will urge international bodies to do same.

The statement reads, “We issue a 48-hour ultimatum demanding the release of the two activists Agba Jalingo and Joseph Odok without conditions.


“That if (i) above is not met, we demand that the international community and the generality of the Nigerian public in solidarity with the incarcerated journalist and activist boycott the 28 December 2019 Carnival celebration in Calabar.

“The first official assignment of the newly inaugurated Commissioner for Humanity in Cross River State, Blessing Egbara, is to comply with (i) above.


“Should the commissioner fail in her first official assignment, we call on Governor Ben Ayade to immediately replace the theme of Carnival Calabar 2019 to something else in order to avoid a contest of semantics and prevent the misrepresentation of human right reality within Cross River State to Nigerians and the international community.”

CCRSCSO noted that it is aware of a sinister move by the government to further arrest rights activist and charge them with offences similar to that of Jalingo and Odok.

Agba Jalingo and some police squad


Jalingo’s case was listed as one of the the 10 most urgent cases of threats to press freedom by the One Free Press Coalition in October.

The Cross River State Government accused TIME, a member of that Coalition, which reported the story, of practicing “gutter journalism.”


#Newsworthy…

Breaking – CSOs Give FG 14-Day Ultimatum To Release Sowore.

…Wole Soyinka Centre suspends award to Osinbajo

…It’ll be insensitive, inappropriate to attend

A coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to order the release of Omoyele Sowore within 14 days or face mass action.

Speaking on behalf of the coalition, yesterday, Yemi Ademolekun, convener of Enough is Enough (EIE), said shrinking of the media and civic space call for concern. She said there was a need to rise up against any action of the government that will stifle free speech.

While listing five demands, she asked the president to obey all pending court orders and direct the release of all those illegally arrested.

The five demands include: “President Muhammadu Buhari should show accountability as commander-in-chief and address the nation on his commitment to the rule of law and human rights,” the EIE convener said.

“The release of all illegally detained persons by Department of State Service (DSS).
“That the government obey all pending court orders. An investigation of the officer who violated protocols and circumstances leading circumstances leading to the second arrest of Omoyele Sowore.”

She said if the demands were not met within the time given, they would occupy all offices of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) nationwide.

“If these five demands are not honoured within 14 days, we call on patriots across Nigerians to join us as we occupy National Human Rights Commission offices across the country as it is legally mandated to protect Nigerians and also report to presidency,” Ademolekun said.

In a related development, the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) said it has suspended the integrity award slated for Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to protest Sowore’s rearrest in court.

The centre said in a statement that honouring Osinbajo with the award in the light of recent protests against Sowore’s travails and the “repression“ of free speech will be inappropriate.

The WSCIJ had announced it would present an “Integrity Specialty of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism’s Anti-corruption Defender Award of 2019” to the vice president at its annual award ceremony in Lagos.

It said the recognition is for Osinbajo’s “invaluable work of overhauling the Lagos State Judiciary, facilitating far-reaching reforms in the administration of justice in the state, his work of promoting integrity in the civil society and business in Nigeria and his consistency as a strong voice for promoting integrity in the country.”

“But the vice president has been called out over the current administration’s clamp down on free speech and Sowore’s trial.”
In the statement signed by Motunrayo Alaka, its executive director, WSCIJ said the award ceremony will go on as scheduled, but was silent on whether the award will be presented to the vice-president on a new date.

However, Osinbajo has said he was “extremely grateful for the recognition and award.

A statement by Laolu Akande quoted Osinbajo as saying: “The award, I note, is for our Justice reform efforts in Lagos State. I had accepted the award with pride on behalf of the excellent Justice Sector team we had.

“However, two reasons explain my absence. First is that I am currently in Abu Dhabi for an international meeting under the auspices of the government of the UAE where I am the keynote speaker.

“Second, in view of the developments on Friday in the Sowore case, I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony.

“Please accept my heartfelt apologies and extend the same to the other members of the organising team. God bless you.”
Sowore was rearrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) last Friday — less than 24 hours after he was released on bail. He spent 125 days in custody before he was briefly released last Thursday.

The pro-democracy activist is accused of insulting the president, treasonable felony and money laundering.

#Newsworthy…

CSOs gives FG 14-days ultimatum to face civil unrest – Sowore

… CSOs bare fangs

A coalition of over 200 civil rights organisations on Monday gave the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration 14 days ultimatum within which it should show commitment to the rule of law face or face mass action and civil disobedience.

In one of their five demands, they asked for unconditional release of Omoyele Sowore and others being held without justification, failure of which there will be mass action.

Sowore was rearrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) last Friday — less than 24 hours after he was released on bail.

He had spent 125 days in custody before his release.

The statement titled “Nigeria’s Troubling State of Affairs, read:

“Tomorrow, December 10th, the world will celebrate Human Rights Day. It will also be marked in Nigeria as we review the crackdown on the freedom of the press; proposed bills to curb dissent and a general environment of shrinking civic space of which the recent actions of our security agencies are just an example.

“We represent a cross-section of Nigerian civil society actors that have played various roles in Nigeria’s journey to civil rule.

“Two key issues are of concern to us, namely: Attack on Our Judiciary and Attack on Free Speech and Pattern of Silencing Dissent.

“In closing, we demand the following:

“President Muhammadu Buhari to show accountability as President and Commander-in-Chief and address the nation on his commitment to the rule of law and human rights.

“The release of all illegally detained persons by the DSS as revealed by Amnesty, Premium Times and Punch Newspapers in recent months.

“That the government obey all outstanding court orders.

“An investigation of the officers who violated protocol and the circumstances leading to Omoyele Sowore’s 2nd arrest.

“The unconditional release of Omoyele Sowore per his bail terms.

“If these five demands are not honored within 14 days – we call on patriots to join us as we occupy the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) offices across the country, as it is legally mandated to protect rights and it reports to the Presidency.

“May we remind this government that disobedience calls to disobedience, and that disobedience of the orders of the constitutional repository of the moral authority of arbitration – the judiciary – can only lead eventually to a people’s disregard of the authority of other arms of civil society, a state of desperation that is known, recognized and accepted as– civil disobedience.

“It is so obvious – state disobedience leads eventually to civil disobedience, piecemeal or through a collective withdrawal of recognition of other structures of authority. That way leads to chaos but – who set it in motion? As is often the case, the state, unquestionably. Such a state bears full responsibility for the ensuing social condition known as anomie.” – Wole Soyinka.”

Some of those who signed the statement include Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International (Nigeria) Idayat Hassan, Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD), Auwal Musa, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), ‘Yemi Adamolekun, Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE Nigeria), Lanre Suraj, (HEDA) & People’s Alternative Front, Kola Ogundare, Socio-Economic Right And Accountability Project (SERAP), Jaye Gaskia, Take Back Nigeria (TBN), Biola Akiode-Afolabi, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC) & Transition Monitoring Group (TMG).

#Newsworthy…