FIDA Nigeria Invites Applications for Programme Officer
Job Vacancy for Canadian High Commission’s 2022/23 CFLI program Funded Project Officer.
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria is a national non-profit, non-governmental, civil society organization of women lawyers established to promote, protect and preserve the rights, interests, and well-being of women and children through the use of the legal framework to ensure that they live free from all forms of discrimination, violence, and abuse in the society.
FIDA Nigeria has been at the forefront of advocating for laws and policies that protect the rights, including sexual and reproductive health rights, and dignity of women and girls; that ultimately seek to prevent all forms of violence that may be meted against them. In pursuing our objectives, we carry out advocacy, citizen engagement, and policy campaigns. We also provide technical assistance in legal education, training, mediation, and counseling to governmental and non-governmental institutions.
FIDA Nigeria is recruiting to fill the position below:
Job title: Project Officer
Location: Plateau State
Type: Six-month fixed term
The project aims at building a cohort of Women in advancing Peacebuilding in two vulnerable communities across Bassa and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas of Plateau State, North Central Nigeria through building skill sets of community-based women leaders, especially within a conflict context as they require a deeper understanding of the dynamics and nuances of such an environment in addressing the prevailing gender issues affecting security operations.
The individual will work towards achieving the major goals of the project to
- Establish the roles of women as peacebuilders and mediators in focal communities.
- Provide platforms for shared learning on participatory peace process by women amongst local communities
- Enhance a collaborative and coordinated approach between security actors and focal communities in mitigating conflicts
The Project Officer will work under the overall guidance and supervision of the FIDA Nigeria’s National President/Country Vice President, National Secretary, and other members of the National Executive Council, and would report to these individuals through the Programme Manager.
Duties and Responsibilities
The successful candidate will carry out the following tasks:
- Plan and implement the Project activities in Plateau State in close collaboration with the resident FIDA State branch and proactively deal with arising challenges, nuances, or changes.
- In collaboration with the resident FIDA state branch, develop and maintain stakeholder and network relationships essential to the project’s successful implementation.
- Develop products and prepare project and activity reports, technical briefings, background papers, and update notes for the project in the state.
- Contribute to the adherence to donor/grant requirements, including financial standards.
- Collaborate with the Accounts staff to ensure the proper management of financial records, including the provision of complete documentation for requests and retirements.
- Support the smooth and effective flow of communication between FIDA Nigeria, the State branch, and project stakeholders.
- Demonstrates professional competence in women and children’s rights, rule of law as well as, and knowledge of related policies and practices at the national, regional, and international levels.
- Demonstrates knowledge of programme management cycle, including monitoring and reporting.
- Ability to identify and contribute to the solution of problems/issues with a display of persistence.
- Conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines, and achieving results.
- Motivated by professional drive rather than personal concerns;
- Ability to collaborate with colleagues within and outside of FIDA Nigeria to achieve organizational goals;
- Ability to solicit inputs by genuinely valuing the ideas and expertise of others;
- Willingness to learn from others;
- Support and act in accordance with team and organizational decisions;
3. Planning & Organizing:
- Ability to establish priorities, to plan, coordinate, and monitor work while prioritizing competing demands;
- Foresight for risks and contingencies when planning;
- Ability to monitor and adjust plans and projects as necessary;
- Ability to write in a clear and concise manner and to communicate effectively with a range of audiences, including the ability to prepare reports and make presentations in a variety of fora;
- Ability to conduct presentations by clearly formulating positions on issues, articulating options concisely, conveying maximum necessary information, and making and defending recommendations.
Minimum Required Experience:
- 2 years’ work experience in addressing women’s and children’s rights issues
- Experience in project implementation
- Bachelor’s Degree in any of the following: Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution, Sociology & Related fields
Women are strongly encouraged to apply.
Qualified candidates should send their curriculum vitae and formal application addressed to the Country’s Vice-President/National President at email@example.com.
The subject of the e-mail should be “Application for the Position of Project Officer Plateau State”.
Deadline: 1st August 2022.
Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.
FIDA Nigeria Celebrates Tobi Amusan as the First Nigerian Athlete to Win A World Athletics Championship Gold Medal
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria celebrates Tobi Amusan, the first Nigerian athlete to win a World Athletics Championship gold medal as she stormed to victory in the women’s 100m hurdles in Oregon, USA on Sunday 24th July 2022.
Oluwatobiloba Ayomide “Tobi” Amusan (born 23 April 1997) is a Nigerian track and field athlete who specializes in the 100 metres hurdles and competes as a sprinter.
FIDA celebrates her as a great inspiration to others because she has proven that hard work, dedication, focus, and perseverance pays.
Having won the 2022 World Athletics Championship in the 100 metres hurdles, she has set a new world record of 12.12 seconds in the semifinal, then a wind-assisted 12.06 in the final.
Tobiloba was the 2018 Commonwealth and 2018 African champion and is also a two-time African Games champion in the same event. A woman of great fete, she won the Diamond League Trophy in Zurich in 2021 in the 100m hurdles.
We applaud her efforts and successes and call on other young girls to emulate her as a worthy Nigerian woman setting the pace in her chosen field.
FIDA launches campaign against gender-based violence in Plateau
It was a moment for sober reflection for some elderly women who had been victims of gender-based violence, when the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Nigeria, Plateau State chapter, staged a campaign against sexual and gender-based violence in Gyel community of Jos South Local Government Area of the state.
The campaign began with the presentation of an action plan against gender-based violence to the Dagwom Rwey of Jos South, Da Ngah Dangyang, with a strong call to key into the fight against cultural norms that were injurious to women.
A 73-year-old woman, Esther Williams, who was a victim, said she was denied access to education because of her male siblings. She said she was made to work in the farm and do other menial jobs to sponsor the education of her brothers.
Esther said her father did not give her anything as inheritance but willed all his property to her brothers.
She said: “This reminded me of what happened when we were children. There was sentiment against the girl-child, whereby the boy-child would be sent to school and always protected. We are happy that such cultural norms are being addressed for a healthy society.
“For some of us, we were denied education only for our male siblings to go to school, while we don’t share in the inheritance of our parents. This practice set back the African society, which affected us greatly.”
The state chairperson of FIDA, Mrs. Obioma Achilefu, who led hundreds of women to Gyel community market and COCIN secondary schools to sensitize women and girls on their rights in the society, such as right to education like the boy-child, said gender violence should be avoided for the development of society.
Achilefu told the traditional ruler to use his office and ensure that women in the community got their share of the inheritance of their parents, which is currently being left as birthrights for the menfolk.
She noted that most women were dying in silence in their homes due to the previlence of gender-based violence that inflicts pains and agony on them.
According to her, the project, which was sponsored by Ford Foundation and implemented by FIDA, was aimed at sensitizing women and girls on their rights and to kick against all forms of gender-based violence.
She said: “We are happy that the key players have agreed on an action plan to ensure that all the socio-cultural activities that affect women negatively are nipped in the bud.
“We are here to disseminate the action plan and to create awareness for those whom these norms have not helped. We talking about norms such as women not having right of inheritance, culture of genital mutilation, rape and all forms of gender-based violence.
“We have come to tell the community that everybody should rise up, everybody should speak out, people should not keep quiet when there is gender-based violence, children should be exposed to education to have them understand the right that the laws of the land has given them.”
Former commissioner of justice, Plateau State, Olivia Dazyam, appreciated the Ford Foundation for sponsoring the programme and Gyel community for embracing the programme to correct most societal ills.
“We have challenges of sexual and gender-based violence in the community and female disinheritance, widowhood and dangerous practices such as rape and domestic violence, among others.
“For two years now, we have been interacting and empowering the community to arise and speak out against the dangerous practices. We are happy that, at the end, the community came out with an action plan that they will pursue to ensure the practice of sexual and gender-based violence are eliminated in the community,” she said.
The programme officer, FIDA, Plateau State, Rita A. Lasoju, and former chairperson of FIDA, Plateau State, Mary Izam, said the programme was to create awareness on gender rights among women and girls.
Lasoju noted that there has been prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence, female disinheritance, economic violence, and rape, among others. So, the community came together and developed an action plan to tackle the menace in the area.
The secretary of Dagwom Rwey of Jos South, Jonathan Dangyang, said the traditional institution has accepted the project and would do everything within the ambit of the law to minimize and eliminate gender-based violence in the community and ensure equal rights between the boy-child and the girl-child.
The sensitization walk enlightened people against the danger of sexual violence such as rape, sexual harassment, sexual abuse, child sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, and harmful traditional practices, among others.
by Gyang Bere
Peer-to-peer Learning and Coaching Session for Trained Traditional/Community Leaders and CSOs in Nothern Nigeria
FIDA Nigeria as part of activities under the Palladium SCALE Project conducted a mentoring, coaching and peer-to-peer learning session for trained traditional/community leaders and civil society organizations under the project focal states from Northern Nigeria in Katsina, Katsina State on 21st July 2022. At the end of the session, the communities and civil society organizations developed a shared understanding for developing better coordination mechanisms and effective preventive and response strategies and referral pathways on SGBV & CEFM prevalent in focal communities on this intervention.
FIDA Nigeria Memo Presentation at the Public Hearing on 7 bills, Including the VAPP and ACJA Bill
FIDA Nigeria on the 20th of July 2022 was before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters to present a memo on 7 bills at the Public Hearing
The three bills FIDA commented on were:
1. Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 (Repeal and Re-Enactment) Bill, 2022 (SB.920);
2. Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015 (Repeal and Enactment) Bill, 2022 (SB.926);
3. African Union Convention on the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons (Domestication and Enforcement) Bill, 2021 (SB.763);
FIDA Nigeria Memo was read by Ms Ogechi Abu on behalf of the Country Vice President, Ms Amina Suzanah Agbaje, who was unavoidably absent.
The committee appreciated FIDA Nigeria for fulfilling its mandate and for constantly showing up.
The FIDA NIGERIA team was also represented by: Ms Mariam Omeiza, Ms Rahila Dauda and Mr Ifeanyi Eze.
FIDA Nigeria commends the work on the proposed ACJA bill and also appreciates its partners on the Joint EU- UN spotlight initiative for its contributions and support at the public hearing.
FIDA Nigeria Post-Election Statement on the 2022 Osun State Governorship Election
The Osun Governorship Elections came to a conclusion as Nigeria’s Electoral Umpire the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on the 17th day of July 2022 declared Senator Adeleke of the People’s Democratic Party, the winner of the polls having secured the highest number of votes cast during the election.
INEC records already in the public domain confirm that Senator Ademola Adeleke through a total number of 403,371 votes defeated the other fourteen opponents to emerge as the winner of the election, placing the incumbent Governor Mr. Gboyega Oyetola on second place with a total of 375,027 votes.
It is important to note that democracy thrives when the security of life and property as well as the safety of the electorate, electoral officials, materials, and critical infrastructures are guaranteed before, during, and after elections. The outcomes of this election align with our preliminary statements/findings earlier presented which recorded that the elections were generally peaceful with adequate security and logistical arrangements provided by the security agencies and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) well in place.
We commend eligible voters and all citizens of the state that participated actively in the process for their commitment and dedication to achieving a violent free election. We further commend INEC for the professionalism and dedication exhibited by most of her Adhoc staff which contributed to the early arrival of voting materials and personnel thus bringing credibility to the process. In addition, we commend the security agencies especially officers and men of the Nigeria Police Force for their dedication and commitment to free and fair elections.
FIDA Nigeria through her situation room situated in Oshogbo and Abuja respectively observed the participation of women and persons with disabilities during this Osun State Governorship Election which was held on Saturday 16th July 2022 through a network of her trained citizen observers deployed to monitor the process across the Local Government Areas of Osun State.
FIDA Nigeria with support from Goree Institute under the Charter Africa Project developed and deployed a monitoring tool via our trained citizen observers which were used in documenting election incidences and recording the participation of women and persons with disabilities during the election. Other information relating to election incidents is obtained from credible media sources and civil society actors respectively.
FIDA Nigeria’s Observations culminated in the dissemination of our pre-election statements on Thursday 14th and preliminary statements on Saturday 16th of July 2022. FIDA Nigeria through her observations provides a further post-election update on our findings as highlighted below:
2.1. Moderate Turnout of Voters:
FIDA Nigeria observed from INEC official results that 804,450 persons exercised their franchise at the polls from a total of 1.95 million registered voters across the state. This indicates that about 42.37% of registered voters actually participated in the polls with about 58.8% abstaining from the voting process. Comparatively the turnout is lower than in 2018, 2014, and 2003 Governorship Elections where about 45.74%, 53.14%, and 58.63% of the total voting population respectively exercised their franchise accordingly.
The implication of this outcome means that there needs to be an improved voter’s awareness strategy by all stakeholders towards ensuring an increase in the voting population even as confidence is gradually restored due to the impeccable performance of INEC and the existence of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended.
2.2. Close of Polls
FIDA Nigeria’s observers reported that at about 4 pm, 87% of polling units observed had concluded voting and counting of votes had either commenced or ended accordingly. However, about 13% of polling units visited still had the voting process ongoing after 4pm due to the late arrival of the electoral materials or malfunctioning of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machine. For instance at polling unit 5, ward 4, Ede North LGA, voting was observed ongoing after the hours of 4pm, similarly, in some polling units across Irepodun LGA and polling unit 1, St Peter Primary School, Odo-Otin LGA, voting was observed ongoing even as polls ended across most polling units. On this outcome, we would clamor for more effective and efficient service delivery from INEC ahead of the next elections.
2.3. Presence of Political Party Agents in Polling Units.
FIDA Nigeria observed that 48% of the polling units observed had more than three (3), party agents, on ground, while 44% of polling units visited were observed to have had three (3) party agents, and 8% of polling units were observed to have had only two (2) party agents present at the polling units. Furthermore, political party agents were observed to not have engaged in an open campaign in at least 96% of the polling units we covered and were reported to have agreed with the sanctity of the process by signing the election results across all polling units covered by our observers. Similarly, our observers reported that election results were displayed across all polling units visited.
2.4. Secrecy of the Ballot
FIDA Nigeria observed that the ballot process was transparent and fair in 87% of polling units covered by our observers, while voters in more than 78% of the covering polling units voted in secrecy. Our observers reasonably noted the election was free and fair in polling units except with the incidents of vote buying occurring in 16% of the polling units by leading political parties between the sum of N2, 000 to N5000 respectively.
2.5. Presence of Security Personnel
Our observation recorded an adequate number of Security agents present in 84% of the polling units covered. Our findings revealed this proportion were unarmed with firearms, however, 16% were reportedly armed with firearms. Security personnel were further reported to have conducted themselves without partialism.
2.6. Priority Voting for Persons with Disabilities & Vulnerable Population
FIDA Nigeria observed that persons with disabilities, the elderly/aged, pregnant women, and nursing mothers were prioritized in the voting process by INEC Adhoc Officials. Our Observers reported that Persons living with disabilities were prioritized in at least 56% of the polling units. While only 32% of the polling units provided special kits for persons living with disabilities however 68% of the polling units did not make such provisions. For instance, a gentleman living with albinism used a magnifying glass provided by INEC, to search for his name on the Register of Voters and subsequently casted his vote at Polling Unit 14, Ward 7, Ede North LGA.
Similarly, in polling unit 004, ward 10, Ife Central LGA, nursing mothers, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities were prioritized thus exercising their franchise speedily. At polling unit 003, ward 1, Olorunda LGA, pregnant women and the Elderly were prioritized by Electoral Officials. Furthermore, at Polling Unit 23, Ward 5, Oshogbo LGA, Pregnant women & the Elderly were prioritized accordingly. However, at polling unit 12, Ward 2, Ife North LGA, only persons with disabilities were prioritized while at Polling Unit 02, Ward 4, Oshogbo LGA, we observed that there was no preference for women, the aged, and persons with disabilities. Generally, 80% of the polling units prioritized pregnant women, the elderly, and nursing mothers.
In view of our pre-election, preliminary, and post-election observations/findings during the election, FIDA Nigeria recommends the following to deepen the electoral process in Nigeria ahead of the general elections in 2023:
- Prosecution of electoral offenders reported to have committed all forms of electoral offenses in contravention to the Electoral Act 2022 (as amended) to serve as a deterrent to others.
- We observed that only 32% of the polling units as reported had in place special kits for persons living with disabilities however 68% of the polling units did not have any such provisions. Based on these findings, INEC should put in place the electoral needs of persons with disabilities to aid their full participation in future elections in Nigeria. This can be achieved through, for example, the provision of adequate sensitive materials such as braille for voters who have visual impairments.
- Train and retrain electoral officers and ad-hoc staff to enable them to deliver services that are adequate to the changing needs of the electorates in Nigeria.
- For future elections in Osun state and given the persistent below-average voter turnout in the last two Governorship Elections (2018, & 2022), We urge INEC to embark on high-level dialogues with key stakeholders including traditional and religious leaders towards encouraging the participation of more female electorates, persons with disability, and citizens, in general, in exercising their franchise at subsequent elections.
3.2. Security Agencies
- FIDA Nigeria is calling on all security agencies deployed for election duty to arrest and investigate all persons involved in acts of vote buying reported in different parts of the state for prosecution;
- A continuous need to adhere to the principles of impartiality and neutrality toward securing the polls which will in turn mitigate violence perpetuated during elections especially those targeted at women.
3.3. Politicians and Political Parties
i) Should maintain peace and be magnanimous in victory.
ii) They should work with all Osun citizens including those in the opposition parties to improve the governance of the state.
- Should desist from the production of sensational headlines and hate speeches that contribute to increased tension before, during, and after elections;
- Should verify and fact-check all information received before disseminating it to the public.
- They should remain professional, neutral, and non-partisan in the discharge of duties.
Long Live Osun State.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Amina Agbaje (Mrs)
Country Vice President/National President.
FIDA Nigeria Preliminary Statement On The 2022 Osun State Governorship Election
FIDA Nigeria through her situation room situated in Oshogbo and Abuja respectively observed the participation of women and persons with disabilities at the Osun State Governorship Election held on Saturday 16th July 2022 through trained citizen observers deployed across the Local Government Areas of Osun State.
FIDA Nigeria with support from Goree Institute under the Charter Africa Project has tracked pre-election incidents ahead of the Osun Governorship Election which was disseminated to the public via our pre-election statement released on Thursday 14th July 2022. We have deployed our monitoring tool via our citizen observers which will be used in documenting election incidences promoting violence against women and persons with disabilities at the polls. Other information relating to election incidents are obtained from credible media sources and civil society actors respectively. FIDA Nigeria continues to closely watch the process across the thirty (30) Local Government Areas of the State until it is concluded by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The following issues are highlighted as part of our preliminary report:
2.1. Commencement of Polls
Reports across the Local Government Areas in Osun state observed indicate that there was early and high voter turnout for the polls across the state as security personnel, electoral officers and election materials arrived at most polling units between the hours of 8:00 – 9:00 am. 24% of the polling units had the election materials before 8 AM, 48% by 8 AM and 28% by 8:30 AM. Furthermore, we observed that 64% of polling units visited had more than one electoral official, 24% had 3 electoral officials, and 12 % had two (2) electoral officials. With regards to participation of female electoral officials, we observed that a larger percentage of the polling units visited, that is about 76% had more than 2 female electoral officials, 12% had less than 2 officials, while 12% were above 2 officials.
For instance, at polling unit 007, Ward 3, Boluwaduro LGA, polling unit 012, ward 2, Ife North LGA, accreditation commenced between 8.20- 8.30 am, Similarly at polling unit 7, ward 6, Iwo LGA, accreditation commenced as early as 8 am, however at polling unit 23, ward 5, Oshogbo LGA, voters were accredited at 9.45 am.
2.2. Turnout of Female Voters & Persons with Disabilities:
FIDA Nigeria observed a large turnout of female voters in about 88% of the polling units observed. Our Observers reported that only 12% of the polling units visited had low voters. For instance, at Polling Unit 1, Ward 1, Ife South LGA, about 175 women were observed exercising their franchise, similarly, at polling 1, Ikeja ward 2, Ife South LGA, about 204 women were observed undergoing the accreditation process. Similarly at polling unit 003, ward 1, Olorunda LGA, we observed a large turnout of female voters. At polling 005, ward 7, Ifedayo LGA a good number of female voters were observed exercising their franchise, Similarly, at Unit 004, Ward 10, Ife Central LGA, more female voters were observed exercising their franchise. Furthermore, at Polling unit 7, ward 10, Odo-Otin LGA, more than a hundred women were observed exercising their franchise. Our observers reported that 88% of the covering polling units observed a low turnout of persons living with disabilities across polling units visited.
2.3. Priority Voting for Vulnerable & Marginalized Persons
FIDA Nigeria observes that persons with disabilities, the elderly/Aged, pregnant women and Nursing mothers were prioritized in the voting process by INEC Adhoc Officials. Our Observers reported that Persons living with disabilities were prioritized in at least 56% of the polling units. While only 32% of the polling units provided special kits for persons living with disabilities however 68% of the polling units didn’t. However, 80% of the polling units prioritized pregnant women, the elderly, and nursing mothers. For instance, at polling unit 004, ward 10, Ife Central LGA, nursing mothers, pregnant women, and persons with disabilities were prioritized thus exercising their franchise speedily. At polling unit 003, ward 1, Olorunda LGA, pregnant women and the Elderly were prioritized by Electoral Officials. Furthermore, at Polling Unit 23, Ward 5, Oshogbo LGA, pregnant women & the Elderly were prioritized accordingly. However, at polling unit 12, Ward 2, Ife North LGA, only persons with disabilities were prioritized while at Polling Unit 02, Ward 4, Oshogbo LGA, we observed that there was no preference for women, the aged, and persons with disabilities
2.4. Functionality of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System:
FIDA Nigeria has observed that across most polling units within our purview, the bimodal voter’s accreditation system was largely functional which aided accreditation and the voting process. However, we observed some few discrepancies of where the BVAS were not functional. At polling unit 7, ward 10, Odo-Otin LGA, the BVAS was observed to have developed fault and was not rectified as at 12 pm. About 64% of the covering polling units were able to resolve the BVAS issue experienced, while 28% are yet to report resolve as at the time of this reports.
2.5. Security-Related Observations
FIDA Nigeria observed that security officials/personnel in at least 52% of polling units visited were perceived to be impartial, with 28% perceived to be very impartial and 20% perceived to have partial electoral/security officials. We further observed that Security personnel were present in 84% of the covering polling units unarmed with firearms while 16% are reported armed with firearms with at least one police officer is present at all of our covering polling units. Seemingly our observers in 68% of the polling units reported the presence of more than 4 security personnel. While 12% of the polling units had three security personnel, 16% had two security personnel and 4% has 1 security personnel each. Conclusively 80% of the covering polling units were observed and reported to be very secure at the close of polls as no incidences of ballot box snatching was observed.
2.6. Vote Trading: FIDA Nigeria observed disturbing incidents of vote trading across the state especially as our observers reported that about 16% of the polling units were to have witnessed voting inducements. For instance, at polling unit 2, ward 3, Isokan LGA, Incidence of vote buying were observed by leading political parties between N3000 to N5000 respectively. At PU005, Ward 08 St Peter’s School Sekona, Ede South LGA, Our observers reported incidence of vote buying. Similarly at PU 02, ward 002, Ayedade LGA, and Polling Unit 12, Ward 12, Ife North LGA, voters were induced with the sum of N2, 000 –N5, 000.
FIDA Nigeria will continue to observe the elections and later issue her post-election statement to detail more on the overall participation of women and persons with disabilities.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Amina Agbaje (Mrs)
Country Vice President/National President
FIDA Nigeria Trains Citizens Observers Ahead of the Osun State Governorship Election
FIDA Nigeria with support from Goree Institute under the Charter Africa Project on the 15th of July 2022 ahead of Saturday’s Osun State Gubernatorial Elections trained citizen observers in Osun state.
The observers will monitor and report on the electoral processes across the various local government areas of the state during the polls.
Observers were enjoined to conduct themselves creditably by remaining non-partisan as well as ensuring that their emotions are not clouded by sentiments whilst executing their roles as citizen observers across the selected Local Government Areas during the polls.
FIDA Nigeria Pre-Election Statement on The 2022 Osun State Governorship Election
On Saturday 16th July 2022, citizens of Osun State will exercise their franchise at 3,763 polling units within 332 registration area centers across the state towards electing a Governor at the off-cycle gubernatorial elections. This election marks the second election conducted following the enactment of the Electoral Act 2022 with attention hinged on the Independent National Electoral Commission (Electoral Management Body) performance in administering the polls.
The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Nigeria) has diligently observed situational happenings and pre-election incidents ahead of the elections. We have observed an upsurge in the total number of registered voters with an increase from 1.6 million at the last gubernatorial elections in 2018 to about 1.95 million presently. This indicates that more citizens are engaging in the political process and have taken advantage of the continuous voter’s registration towards ensuring that their votes count at the polls.
During the 2018 Osun Governorship Elections, a total of 48 Political Parties fielded candidates for the Governorship elections, however at the forthcoming elections, electorates will be given the option to choose from the 15 political parties fielding candidates at the polls. During our pre-election observation, which is clearly qualitative, we observed that none of these fielded candidates are neither females or persons with disabilities which has imposed some limits on the aspirations of women and persons with disabilities for the highest executive position in the state. We however appreciate the fact that six of the political parties contesting at the polls fielded women aged between 36-60 years as Deputy Governorship Candidates.
FIDA Nigeria with support from Goree Institute under the Charter Africa Project will observe the participation of women and persons with disabilities at the polls through trained citizen observers deployed across the 30 Local Government Areas of Osun State. An election monitoring tool has been developed and our approach in observation will be both qualitative and quantitative as we will leverage on partnerships with other civil society actors in documenting election incidences promoting violence against women and persons with disabilities at the polls. FIDA Nigeria citizen’s engagement will be made possible through the establishment of a situation room in Oshogbo, the Osun State Capital, and our National Secretariat where our Data Analysts will be documenting and analyzing findings from our citizen observers through the help of civic technology.
i. Securing the polls: We expect strategic deployment of security personnel across the 3,763 polling units of the state towards forestalling any form of violence at the polls which will limit the participation of women, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups. We applaud the deployment of 21,000 police personnel by the Nigeria Police which will ensure that a minimum of four police personnel are stationed in every polling unit in line with global best practices. We call on other sister agencies like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to massively deploy her personnel at the polls to checkmate violence and all forms of vote-buying that may impede the credibility of the poll. We hope to find security personnel at the polling units identified by their name tags and demonstrate non-partisanship in the discharge of their responsibilities.
ii. INEC logistical arrangements to aid priority voting for vulnerable groups: We expect early deployment of sensitive and non-sensitive election materials at the polling units as well as election officials at the commencement of polls. This will help to promote confidence in the system and improve credibility of the poll. We have observed that the Independent National Electoral Commission has religiously followed her set timetable & schedule of activities sequel to the elections which are in consonance with the dictates of the Electoral Act. We hope that the Election Management Body abides by her 2018 framework on access and participation of persons with disabilities in the electoral process and the provisions of the Disability Act of 2019 towards ensuring effective and seamless participation of persons with disabilities in the elections through the provision of magnifying glasses for persons with low vision & albinism, braille for persons with visual impairment & providing priority voting for persons with disabilities, nursing mothers, pregnant women, the aged/elderly and other vulnerable groups at the polls.
iii. High turnout of female voters: We expect that the increase in registered voters will translate to more voters especially women and persons with disabilities participation at the polls. We recall that at the 2018 gubernatorial elections only 696,007 voters representing about 43.5% of the total voting population exercised their franchise. We expect that due to an increased voters’ awareness and continuous voters registration, more women will participate actively which will transcend to an increased voters turn-out at the polls.
iv. Functionality of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System: We have observed the success of the mock accreditation system to test the functionality of the BVAS in Six Local Government Areas across the three senatorial districts of the state and hope that the system is well configured towards aiding the accreditation and voting process at the polls. FIDA Nigeria through her field observers will critically observe the functionality of this machine across the 3,763 polling units of the state.
FIDA Nigeria calls on women, persons with disabilities, and the good people of Osun State to exercise their franchise at the polls peacefully and resist any form of vote inducement and shun all forms of electoral violence. Political parties are also enjoined to conduct themselves creditably in order to promote a peaceful process.
God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Amina Suzanah Agbaje (Mrs)
Country Vice /National President
Peer-to-peer Learning and Coaching Session for Trained Traditional/Community Leaders and CSOs in Southern Nigeria.
On 13th July 2022, FIDA Nigeria as one of the resource partners for the Palladium Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement Project which project aims at curbing incidences of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), child early/forced marriage(CEFM) and trafficking-in-persons(TIP) as well as strengthening the capacity for local civil society organizations to advance SGBV, CEFM and TIP service delivery and effectiveness in the respective project focal states implemented a mentoring, peer-to-peer learning and coaching session for trained traditional/community leaders and civil society organizations as well as a legal counseling session for SGBV, CEFM and TIP survivors in Southern Nigeria.
The activities were aimed at scaling up the capacities of communities and civil society organizations to design effective responses and bye-laws aimed at responding to prevalent SGBV, CEFM, and TIP issues in their communities for the benefit of survivors