On Friday, July 15, 2022, members of the Lagos State branch of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Lagos) paid a visit to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), during which they presented gifts to the children at the Olikoye Ransome Kuti Children Emergency Ward E4.
Led by the FIDA Lagos Chairperson, Barrister Chinwe Efobi and the Chairperson of the FIDA Law Week Committee, Barrister Biola Laseinde, FIDA members, who were ten in number, proceeded to present gifts to her adopted – Ward E4.
The visit was an offshoot of the FIDA Lagos Law Week which was held last month although the visit was postponed for logistical reasons.
After briefing the Deputy Chief Medical Director, Prof. Wasiu Lanre Adeyemo (who represented the Chief Medical Director) in company of the Director of Nursing, Mrs. Oyegoke and other members of staff prior to the presentation, Barrister Efobi informed the LUTH Management on the objectives of FIDA, adding that it was the custom of FIDA Lagos to visit Ward E4 and make presentations of gifts as part of its Annual Law Week programme.
Welcoming the FIDANs, Prof. Adeyemo informed them that LUTH is a tertiary healthcare facility owned and sponsored by the Federal Government of Nigeria with support from private individuals and corporate bodies. The hospital, which has 5 Wards, is the only public hospital in Nigeria that is not connected to the national grid as it generates its own gas-powered power supply.
The Professor went on to add that LUTH has the biggest Dialysis Centre in West Africa with 92 beds, which was donated by the late Chairman of the Lions Club International, and that LUTH has the biggest Oncology Centre and ICU in West Africa, with an Oncology Ward worth N1.5 billion, which was donated by a single woman in honour of her late daughter. The Cancer Centre, Prof. Adeyemo said, was donated by NSIA, while the various Wards were renovated by various corporate organisations. Other facilities, such as the Labour Ward, Neonatal Unit, X-ray and Medical Imaging, the CETPower Project, etc, are all products of Public Private Partnership (PPP).
The Professor expressed the gratitude of the LUTH Management for FIDA’s kind gesture towards Ward E4 and urged the Federation and other public-spirited individuals and organisations to do more as government cannot do it alone.
He also took some time to advise the visitors to take their health seriously by carrying out routine medical checkups and screenings, particularly for BP, diabetes and cancer every six months to ensure early detection. He also advised them on the need for proper diet and regular exercise.
Thereafter, the Deputy Chief Medical Director and other staffers of LUTH took the FIDA members on an extensive tour of the various facilities at LUTH, after which the FIDANs proceeded to the adopted Ward E4 for the presentation of gifts where the Assistant Director, Nursing Services, Mrs C.O. Nwokolo, received the gifts on behalf of the children. The Fidans thereafter offered prayers for the quick recovery of the children who have been admitted for various ailments.
Expressing the gratitude of the children, Mrs Nwokolo urged FIDA to intervene in partnership with the LUTH Management in respect of the ongoing renovation of Ward E4 by decorating the Play Area, as well as providing a FIDA emblem to indicate its adopted status.
The visit ended with photo sessions.
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
FIDA Nigeria, Ikorodu Branch with the support from Ford Foundation on Tuesday 12th July 2022, implemented a sensitization exercise against gender-based violence in Odongunyan /Odonla Community of Ikorodu L.G.A of Lagos State. In addition to the sensitization exercise was the dissemination of community action plans developed by stakeholders under the project geared towards addressing issues of gender-based violence across the community.
The exercise had the active participation of the Baale, Ward Councilor and other Community Leaders representing respective stakeholding groups across the community who carried the sensitization messages to the market and other strategic places in the community.
Dissemination of Action Plans and Community Sensitization, in Erinmope-Ekiti, Moba LGA of Ekiti State
FIDA Ekiti in company of the GBV Surveillance Team in Erinmope-Ekiti, Moba LGA of Ekiti State On the 6th of July 2022, sensitized the Community on the rights of women and children, especially the girl child as well as the repercussion of breaching those rights.
The sensitization started from the market square, where a lot of women were sensitized on their rights and the rights of their daughters.
Furthermore, FIDA Ekiti went to CAC Primary School, Erinmope-Ekiti, to sensitize pupils about their rights as children and sex education. The GBV Surveillance Team was again introduced to the pupils and teachers as a link between them and FIDA Ekiti in reporting cases of abuse against them or any woman or girl around them.
FIDA Ekiti Chairperson presented the Validated Action Plan to High Chief M. A. Awoyemi, who received the branch on behalf of the Monarch, and promised to màke adequate report and dissemination at the next Obaleo- in-Council meeting.
The Action Plan was also printed and hung in a conspicuous space in the community for an easy read. As a way of feedback, the community people suggested that FIDA hotlines should be made toll-free for communication ease.
FIDA Plateau on the 6th of July 2022, successfully sensitized the populace of Bukuru-Gyel Community of Plateau State on the rights of women and girls as well as the dangers of violating these rights.
Members of the community surveillance team on GBV earlier constituted on the project were reintroduced to a larger audience of the Jos South Traditional Ruling Council.
FIDA Plateau via her chairperson presented validated copies of the Community Action Plan to the Paramount Ruler of Jos South and members of the Traditional Ruling Council.
The council appreciated FIDA’s efforts toward curbing incidents of GBV in the community and pledged the Council’s commitment to supporting the implementation of the Action Plan. In furtherance of this commitment, the Council allocated an office space to the Surveillance Team to be manned by the Council’s Secretary. This would serve as a safe space where victims/survivors can walk to lodge their complaints.
FIDA Plateau went further to disseminate copies of Community Action Plans to other stake-holding groups across the community.
Theme: “Addressing drug challenges in health and humanitarian crises”
To commemorate this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, FIDA Nigeria raises a huge RED FLAG and calls for prompt action by all key actors and stakeholders.
It is pertinent to note that the UN now classifies the menace of Drug abuse and illicit trafficking as a ‘disturbing obstruction to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals’, particularly Goals 3 on health and Goal 16 on peaceful societies.
As such drug abuse and illicit trafficking are no longer seen as minuscule factors affecting development in society, but a huge menace to the attainment of a peaceful and developed society with a healthy populace.
The key purpose of the commemoration on the 26th of June annually, of this day, (also known as World Drug Day), is to raise awareness of the major dilemma that illicit drugs represent to society, and to increase action and collaboration in the pursuit of a world free of drug abuse.
In Nigeria with the insecurities across the nation fueled by multiple social, economic, political challenges of all dimensions, not to mention tribal and religious conflicts which also abound with a lot of out-of-school children, and youths in our communities. Our porous borders and inability to control armed men attacking communities and inflicting untold hardship on them further aggravates the situation.
These attacks and the resultant insecurities have displaced millions of people, devastated agricultural production and other livelihoods, cut off essential services, and caused a crisis of protection. The frustrations are indeed immense, cutting across all genders and communities in the country with no early end to the conflict foreseeable. Reliance on available drugs to escape one’s frustrations seems therefore an easy route to take
In Nigeria, over 2.1 million people or 300,000 households, are now internally displaced in northern Nigeria, according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). The resultant effect is a humanitarian crises situation which must be addressed Now!
Populations affected by humanitarian emergencies are particularly vulnerable to substance (alcohol and other drug) use and its disorders, yet treatment and prevention services are very scarce. The different types of substances usually abused are readily available and easily purchasable. This is wrong and aggressive intervention is necessary with the collaborative effort of all key players.
misuse is a traumatic experience for both the addict and his or her family and
friends, who may feel helpless in the face of the sickness. Addiction to any substance, whether legal or illegal, can in some cases lead to serious health conditions. Certain
medications could alter the structure and functioning of
the brain. It impacts an individual’s self-control and interferes with the capacity to resist the impulse to consume the substance after repeated use.
We find that under the influence of drugs, most members of the society exhibit irrational behaviour, cause conflicts, overreact on issues, as they lack capacity and the control to do things right. Consequently, in a society where all age groups are susceptible to drug abuse, the above poses a serious dilemma.
We also acknowledge that massive humanitarian problems persist in Afghanistan, Ukraine, and other parts of the world, while the COVID-19 pandemic remains a huge worldwide health disaster. People all over the globe are in desperate need; from war zones to the refugee camps, to communities shattered by violence.
FIDA therefore raises this red flag to advocate alongside the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime, on the urgent need to preserve the right to health for the most vulnerable in our communities, including children and youth, drug users, persons with drug use disorders, and persons who require access to regulated medicines.
We must intervene now to make our world safe, peaceful with continuous progressive development. We must all work together as collaborators, share genuine information about the drug issue, from health dangers to solutions to the global drug epidemic, as well as evidence-based prevention, treatment, and care services in times of crisis.
FIDA Nigeria calls on ALL, to recognize and properly address the growing menace of illegal drug availability, its abuse and illicit trafficking challenges. More must be done regarding the prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration of drug abusers into society.
Let us we work collectively to keep our children, youths and communities safe from exposure to drug use, drug abuse, and drug trade/trafficking activities, as we strive to prevent further humanitarian crises within our country, particularly as we mark another International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
FIDA Nigeria emphatically says NO to Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking!!!
Mrs. Amina Suzanah Agbaje
Country Vice President/National President FIDA Nigeria.
FIDA Rivers Celebrated the International Widows Day With Over 30 Widows at St Barnabas Anglican Church, Bundu Ama Community
FIDA Rivers State, on the 23rd of June 2022, celebrated the International Widows Day with over 30 Widows at St Barnabas Anglican Church, Bundu Ama Community of Rivers State.
The event featured lectures from Guest speaker and past Chairperson, Hon. Dame Aleruchi Cookey-Gam on the theme “Sustainable Solutions for Widows Financial Independence” and the rights of a widow presented by the Branch’s treasurer, Mrs. Erefaka Dumotari Boma.
The women were also taught Food Processing as a means of generating income for themselves by Mrs. Briggs Okorite Yobo and Liquid soap making by Mrs. Daba Iketubosin.
Foodstuffs, wrappers, and cash token were presented to the Widows. The widows were overwhelmed with joy and thanked FIDA for choosing to come to their church for the program
FIDA Lagos Calls for the Enforcement of Relevant Laws and Regulations that Protect the Rights of Widows.
FIDA Lagos lends her voice to mark the Internation Widows’ Day 2022 calls for the enforcement of relevant laws and regulations that protect the rights of widows. The branch emphasized the need for Programmes and policies aimed at ending violence against widows and their children, poverty alleviation, education and other support to widows of all ages.
Discrimination and harmful practices must stop. Let us be intentional in the empowerment of widows to support themselves and their families and address social stigma. This should be the ultimate of every nation for sustainable development.
FIDA Lagos marked the International Widows Day with some widows from the Kosofe Community, sensitizing them on their legal rights and the role of the family in helping them buffer the stigma and the financial gap created by the death of their husbands at the FIDA secretariat.
The event was hosted by the First Lady of Bauchi State, Dr. Aishatu Bala Mohammed at the Banquet Hall, Government House on Wednesday 22nd of June 2022.
It was indeed a colorful night as delegates flooded the venue in their beautiful traditional outfits representing the different regions of Nigeria.
The audience were enlightened on the rich cultural heritage of the Bauchi people, tribes, languages, foods etc. While to the cultural troupe entertained in their different regalia showcasing different tribal dance steps. It proved very colourful and entertaining.
Featured that night were also dance performances from FIDANs in three segments representing the North, west and southern region
Guests were also treated to lovely delicacies from the state