“Nigeria is left to battle against the rape epidemic. I think it is right to call ‘rape’ an epidemic considering the fact that it is reported almost everyday recently.”
The year 2020 started on a high note with everyone saying their new year resolutions at the break of the new day for the new year.
Hopes were high. As much as the aspirations for an excellent year were high, no one could have ever imagined what was in stock in this new year. No one could have thought that a disease which started as a joke in Wuhan, the Hubei province of China in the latter part of December, 2019 would bring the world to its knees barely 2 months in the year 2020.
For more than three months and still counting, countries of the world are still on lockdown even those with advanced health systems. Taking a leap to June, the sixth month of the year, everyone has started living with the reality that this disease called coronavirus would be around for a while. As if the coronavirus was not deadly enough, Nigeria would have to battle another epidemic.
The past weeks have been very eventful, but sadly for the negative reasons. In those weeks, we have witnessed killings, rapes and a host of others. While other countries may have to deal with their shares of these vices, Nigeria is left to battle against the rape epidemic.
I think it is right to call ‘rape’ an epidemic considering the fact that it is reported almost everyday recently. Though rape is not new to the world we live in as ladies are being made to suffer this unfortunate stigma. In India, it is reported that at least a girl is raped in every hour of the day. Nigeria too has been suffering its portion of the rape syndrome, but I think we have never seen a surge as these before.
First, it was Uwa, a UNIBEN undergraduate who found solace in reading in a Redeemed Church in Edo. Could she really be blamed for reading alone in a church considering the current situation which has put all institutions under lock and key! She was mercilessly raped and brutalised. She gave up the ghost the next day.
Days later, another case was reported in Akinyele area of Ibadan, Oyo State. An 18-year old lady was all alone in her father’s house before men of the underworld broke in, raped and then stabbed her to death.
Nigerians are still going about seeking justice for the late Uwa and Barakah before another PhD student of the University of Ibadan was also raped and killed in Ibadan. The most saddening part was that this lady was pregnant. Within those weeks, there have been cases of toddlers being raped by adults.
What I am sure of is that this vagina-hungry predators would not stop their wicked acts until a more stringent legal measures are taken to put an end to it. Women are humans, just as men.
More importantly, they are also citizens of the county who enjoy every fundamental human rights enjoyed by any legal member of a country. What is happening to them at the moment is an infringement upon their fundamental human rights. Women are the mothers of the nation, they deserve to be treated like one.
By Jeboda Abdulazeez
PRP Mourns Alhaji Umar Babankwata of Adamawa State
The Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) has expressed sadness over the demise of one of the Adamawa State’s respected elder statesmen and PRP strong pillars, Alhaji Umar Babankwata.
The PRP in a press release signed by its National Chairman, Alhaji Falalu Bello described as shocking, the death of former party’s state chairman whom he said was an ardent nationalist and NEPU stalwart who has led PRP in Adamawa State since its establishment in 1978.
Bello said, “Although he recently retired from his position of State Chairmanship of our great Party, the PRP, his views and advice remained very much sought after by patriotic politicians across the board.
“With his passing, PRP family has lost one of its best and patriotic stakeholders. His sterling leadership qualities, uprightness and sense of diligence will be surely missed by all of us.
“Indeed, Umar Baban Kwata’s death is a painful loss not only to his family and the people of Adamawa state but also to our great party, the PRP and our nation, Nigeria, at large.
“I therefore, on behalf of the PRP, commiserate with Alhaji Umaru Baban Kwata family, and pray that Allah forgive all his worldly sins, admit him into Jannah of the highest order and grant all his family members the fortitude to bear this painful loss,” he added.
Professor Jega, Others Task Nigerian Youth on Active Participation in Politics
Discussing the Nigerian Youth and the of building a just, united and materially advanced nation. The conference which was conducted via ZOOM (a virtual meeting application) on Saturday, 18th of July 2020, was marked by the participation of prominent Nigerians from within and outside Nigeria.
Professor Attahiru Jega who was the first speaker of the occasion discussed the roles of INEC in stabilizing democracy in Nigeria through Free, Fair and Credible Elections. He introduced by emphasizing the needs for youth to be actively engaged in all electoral processes which will improve remarkably well the credence in elections and a consequence of qualitatively better elected executives and representatives, which is an absolute requirement for nurturing good democratic governance and socioeconomic development in Nigeria, he went on to enlightened the public on elections in a liberal democracy, roles of election management bodies and the roles of INEC.
Furthermore, he pointed out some outstanding reforms and improvements needed to be addressed before 2023 in order to improve our electoral processes, and some of the recommendations proffered are;
a. The legal framework needs to be remarkably improved upon. The Electoral Act 2010 As Amended could be said to be better than previous electoral legislations, but it also needs further improvements. This must be done in good time before the 2023 general elections.
b. INEC needs to continuously refine and improve its deployment of technology in the electoral process. At the same time, it has to continuously train and retrain its staff towards requisite professionalism in the management and operational conduct of elections, learning from global best practices.
c. The independence of INEC and, especially, SIECS, administratively and financially need to be strengthened and protected from executive interference and/ or subversion.
d. The fight against corruption and use of money to subvert peoples will and electoral choices need to be made even more vigorously.
e. Political parties need to be repositioned and internally democratized to ensure that good quality candidates emerge democratically for elections. The corrupt roles of the party bureaucrats, “godfathers”, “moneybags”, and Governors, etc., need to be curtailed, with legislation and appropriate sanctions.
Significantly, all stakeholders have to be engaged in the appropriate nurturing of a democratic political culture generally, and electoral integrity specifically. All stakeholders need to recognize that the business of nurturing democracy, good governance and electoral integrity is a collective responsibility. All hands must be joined together on deck, to bring this about.
He reminded the youth of the special role they need to play towards improving the integrity and credibility of our electoral processes and in nurturing and consolidating our democracy towards good governance and sustainable development.
The professor concluded by emphasizing that Youth should be active, constructive and pro actively involve in our electoral and political processes should be a must and that all must dedicate energies in finding ways and means of bringing this to reality as soon as possible.
In his words ‘’As I often say, more and more nowadays, we must stop agonizing and focus on organizing”.
The second speaker Dauda Umaru Adamu, PhD candidate, Rice University, USA, spoke on The Economic Empowerment of Youth Geared Towards Poverty alleviation in Nation Building and adopted a multiple sectoral approach to the topic starting from history to the present.
He stated that Nigeria’s major imports are Refined Petroleum, wheat, and packaged medicants, which are in billions of dollars. Nigeria Still import wheat when out of the 84million hectares of land for farming only 32million hectares is been cultivated at the moment.
He added that young Nigerians are being drown in the Mediterranean in their bid to escape the economic hardship of the country. Lack of jobs, corruption, bad economic policies, lack of care and protection of our local industries are responsible.
He advised that Nigeria should learn from Abu Dhabi and Dubai, who after the discovery of oil, used the proceeds to developed other sectors of their economy. Their corruption rate is low unlike Nigeria, the 146th least corrupt country in the world.
Intellectual property is one of the cardinal assets for economic growth. He lay emphasis that failure to develop our educational system tons us of this.
He further asked if our representatives at the world Trade Organization are truly putting forward the interest of our local industries? Do they interact with the small businesses which depend on foreign market to understand their plight?
The Speaker concluded his presentation with the following recommendations:
– There is need to develop our intellectual property to fast track economic growth.
– Revitalization of local industries, boosting our Agricultural and Manufacturing sectors.
– Development and promotion of indigenous businesses and industries. While the third Speaker made us to understand that it is high time youth take the front line in fight to changing the narratives of corruption and maladministration which has kept us in a state of poverty and backwardness.
Engr. Mustafa Bello who was the third speaker presented on the topic ‘’The role of youth in Nation building through mass mobilization’’ started by challenging the youth to take the front line in fight to changing the narratives of corruption and maladministration which has kept us in a state of poverty and backwardness. His presentation was centered on the role of youth and the adverse effects of their refusal to participate in politics.
He advised the youth to take a stand and decide who should and should not be on the saddle of power by pushing forward and supporting credible candidates, that way the narrative of the nation will change in good time, He concluded.
The National Chairman of Peoples Redemption Party, Alhaji Falalu Bello in his closing remark appreciated all participants of the conference especially the Guest Speakers and further acknowledging the efforts of the youth leaders for putting up such an amazing program.
He encouraged the youth to do more promising that the National body will fully support subsequent programme alike.
PRP VS FG: Court Fixes Date For Hearing
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed a date for the hearing of suit filed by the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) against the Federal Government and Kaduna State Government over the lockdown that had been imposed on Nigerians for some months ago by the governments.
The court has, in its ruling by Justice Taiwo Taiwo on Monday, fixed 14th October, 2020 for hearing of the matter.
The court has also ordered service of both the originating summons and hearing notice to be served on the Attorney General of the Federation and the Attorney General of Kaduna State.
It could be recalled that the plaintiffs which include the party’s National Chairman in person of Alhaji Falalu Bello, OFR and the National Secretary of the party, Babatunde Alli had, on behalf of the party, sued the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Kaduna State Government over their failure to provide sustainance to citizens locked down during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
In an originating summons filed on behalf of the Plaintiffs by Barr. Saleh Jibril, the plaintiffs were praying for court’s declaration that persons locked down under the pandemic are entitled to provision of sustenance by the government. The plaintiffs were also praying the court for an order to compel the defendants to provide the necessary sustenance to persons locked down.
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