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SARS EPIDEMIC AND NIGERIAN YOUTHS

SARS EPIDEMIC AND NIGERIAN YOUTHS

BY OMOTOLA EUNICE OMOTAYO

Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was founded in 1992 by a former Commissioner of Police, Simeon Danladi Midenda. SARS was established as a result of an increase in violent crimes in Nigeria following a dispute between the Nigerian Police Force and the Nigerian Army which made officers of the Nigerian Police Force desert their duty posts. The responsibility of the Special Unit is to investigate, arrest, detain and prosecute persons involved in violent crimes like armed robbery and kidnapping, etc.

In the early 2000s, internet fraud and cultism were on the increase across the country, and to curb the menace, SARS operatives infiltrated institutions, made several arrests. This special squad recorded tremendous successes in the reduction of armed robbery, kidnapping, and cultism, etc.  

This is no longer the story, as SARS operatives are now known for extortion, torturing, framing up innocent citizens, blackmailing, and killing of Nigerian youths. The unit has today metamorphosed into an oppressor of the Nigerian masses, especially youths.  

Due to several incidents of SARS officers killing, extorting, and brutalizing Nigerian youths, there have been several campaigns to end SARS since its transformation from an agent of protection to that of oppression. Patriotic Nigerians across the country led by Segun Awosanya started an online advocacy campaign to end SARS brutality in December 2016. He started the online campaign with a hashtag, #EndSARS. In the year 2018, 14th of August to be precise, Yemi Osinbajo as the Acting President of Nigeria ordered the overhaul of the controversial police unit, SARS following an uproar of human rights violation of citizens by the Unit. On the 21st day of January, 2019 an order was also made by IGP Mohammed Adamu to immediately decentralize the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

None of the above-listed attempts to stop or reform SARS was implemented. The nemesis continued to prevail as SARS officials are constantly alleged of extortion, humiliation, and abuse of human rights especially the incessant killing of youths in Lagos, Ogun, Benin, Delta, and other States. 

Recently, the youths of Nigeria took to the internet (Twitter) to clamor for an outright end to the brutality perpetrated by the Special Unit, using the hashtag #EndSARS, which also got international recognitions. While the ‘peaceful’ protest was ongoing in several States across Nigeria, it was recorded that police attacked the protesters with tear gas and water-canons. It was also recorded that some of these protesters lost their lives in this act. Resulting from this was an announcement made on the 11th day of October, 2020 by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu that the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force, alongside its Units across other States of the country is thereby disbanded. He further stated that the operatives will be redeployed to other police formations and commands.

RECOMMENDATIONS

  1. We call on the government to look into SARS departments and carryout the much needed reformation of same.
  2. Training of Police officials to be human rights compliant in their delivery of duties.
  3. Policing is all about protecting, respecting, and valuing the lives of citizens. The bedrock of the country’s current challenges is the lack of transparency and accountability in the Security Sector. Proper implementation of the new Police Act, 2020 as a new legislation will aid the restoration of the people’s lost confidence. 
  4. The Nigerian Communications Commission should create a 3-digit emergency number that will be used to report any form of violence. The essence of applying this medium is to give the receiver access to the caller’s location in emergency situations without necessarily picking the call.

Nigerians want to be protected!

Nigerians want to be able to walk freely without the fear of being shot dead at any encounter with SARS.

Remember, we have the right to live, to express ourselves, and to be treated with dignity!

 

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A CALL TO PENITENCE FOR NIGERIA @ 60

A CALL TO PENITENCE FOR NIGERIA @ 60

BY OMOTOLA EUNICE OMOTAYO

NIGERIA @ 60

Nigeria! Our great nation blessed with lots of both human and natural resources: home to significant deposits of coal, iron ore, lead, limestone, tin, and zinc; not to mention oil and gas. Importantly, our dear country has rich land and water resources that are ripe for agricultural exploitations. What about the ever-resilient, gifted, talented, entrepreneurial, richly cultured, and religious citizens of our dear country. The fabulous lifestyles and rich sense of humor of the millions of the sons and daughters of Nigeria are amazing. Indeed, a blessed and great country was given birth to sixty years ago!

As this great nation celebrates its 60th birthday anniversary (Golden Jubilee), putting in mind all we are blessed with; can we be happier? Can we boldly say we are together? Don’t we still suffer in the hands of our merely mouthed democracy? Can we proudly say things are getting better? How is our education sector? Are the leaders of tomorrow being prepared for and given the opportunity to take over leadership? What has become of all the resources we are blessed with? Today, can a concerned citizen of our dear nation speak his/her mind freely on what he believes in?

At 60, insecurity and other social vices are at their peaks in the history of Nigeria. Arguably, Nigerians have always known better yesterdays. Citizens are at their lows economically. The poor apparently get poorer and even punished for being poor just as the marginalized could barely eke out a living. What a journey!

Do we see little/nothing to celebrate on this day? Let us do a proper reflection, honest meditation. There is actually a little achievement for the birthday ‘boy’ to celebrate. In truth, there is a need for serious sober reflections on the part of both the drivers of the affairs of the celebrant and even the driven. There is much to do on the part of each and every one of us. The concern for each Nigerian should constantly be what positive part he/she plays to move the country forward and bequeath future happy birthday celebrations on it. The age-long order of seeing collective resources of the celebrant as national cake must stop. Laws must be there for all rather than being treated as being for the poor alone. The country must strive to build strong institutions instead of strong individuals. The celebrant must be a home to children that are treated with dignity.  This is the least expectation.

 

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Covid-19 National Response: The Need for Government to Impose the Use of Face Mask in Public Places towards curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria

BY BLESSING MASE

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic that has affected Nigeria and the world at large, there is the need for governments across the world to explore all possible options to curb the spread. The outbreak of the virus has been responsible for the loss of lives and means of livelihood across the world. Further, it goes with the saying that the pandemic has negatively affected the economy of both developed and under-developed countries.

Owing to its nature and way of transmission, there has been a daily upsurge in the documented cases of the Coronavirus. In the past, there has been the imposition of compulsory lock down of state borders, country airports and even bans on interstate travels across the world because it was discovered that people are more exposed to the risk of infection in crowded places. There is rarely no citizen who has not experienced its own share of the pandemic. Interestingly, series of researches and findings by experts has revealed that the use of face masks and hand sanitizers would reduce the transmission of the virus.

At the moment, the risk of not wearing facemask in shops, schools, airports, places of worship, markets and other public places is very high as the mode of infection by droplets during talking, sneezing, coughing on surfaces and goods can lead to infection and further spread as someone touches same surface.

Another fact is, the Government of Nigeria and its citizens has expended so much resources on the treatments of COVID-19 patients, purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other safety measures towards curbing the spread of the virus. These situations, without doubt, have affected the Nation’s resources and could continually eat deep into it if national responses or policies are not put in place.

Covid-19 pandemic is no doubt a human rights issue which if not effectively checked can annihilate a large proportion of the world’s population. In line with the recommendation from the World Health Organization (WHO) on the COVID-19 regulations use of face masks especially for those exhibiting signs of the virus, such as coughing, high temperature, fever, etc., it is important that Nigerians comply with all relevant recommendations for public.

The significance use of face masks will help to curb the spread of COVID-19 if adhered to, so there is need for the Federal Government to impose its usage on Nigerians especially in public places. The National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and other relevant Stakeholders to facilitate the awareness of the use of face masks in public spaces towards protection of self and the society at public spaces.

CAVEAT

Lawyers Alert hereby puts our readers on notice that this article is based on the writer’s opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of the organization except otherwise stated.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

NIGERIA: NON-ADHERENCE TO COVID-19 PROTOCOLS FOR PREVENTING SPREAD OF THE DISEASE

PRESS RELEASE

Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. September 25, 2020.

Lawyers Alert, a human rights organization, is calling on Nigerian citizens to adhere to laid down COVID-19 protocols for preventing the spread of the virus in the country. The organization is concerned that life seems to have reverted to normal as citizens go about their daily activities uninhibited following a lifting of the lockdown on movement imposed by the Federal Government. Following the lifting of the lockdown, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 mandated a number of measures in line with World Health Organization’s (WHO) proposals for preventing the spread of the virus. These include public use of face masks, frequent hand-washing and physical distancing especially in crowded places. Research has however revealed challenges with enforcing these measures especially in crowded areas and localities where citizens lack adequate information.

A number of community-related risk factors have been identified as the cause of non-adherence to practicing recommended preventive measures. One of these is denial. There is widespread disbelief among the populace about the existence of the pandemic. Even citizens with adequate access to information choose not to follow the prevention guidelines. The conclusion can be drawn that the populace have willfully chosen to ignore the potential possibility of infection and consequences of same. However, living in denial will not halt the spread of the disease and has the potential to actually worsen the spread. Indeed majority of the populace still remain ignorant about their COVID-19 status owing to an inability or unwillingness to get tested.

According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, on the 24th of September, 2020, there were 125 new confirmed cases, which makes it a total 7,649 active cases, 49,098 discharged cases, 1102 deaths, 494,577 sample tested, and 57,849 confirmed cases recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

Several guidelines have been provided by the organization which if citizens were to adhere could curb the spread of the virus. The President Lawyers Alert, Rommy Mom, specifically made an urgent call for awareness campaigns to sensitize Nigerians to the efficacy of masks in preventing spread. In his words, “Nigerians must not allow themselves to be lulled into a false sense of security owing to the low number of fatalities recorded so far. This is a new virus and the way it functions is yet to be fully understood even by leading scientists across the globe. It is therefore crucial that we do everything in our power to get our people to imbibe the message of prevention instead. It is after all said to be better than cure.”

Lawyers Alert further calls on the Government to scale up existing advocacy campaigns. This can be achieved through advocacy visits to Community Based Organizations, Traditional Rulers, Religious Leaders and other such community gatekeepers owing to how influential these groups tend to be. Additionally, interest groups, from the formal to the informal sector are urged to partner with NCDC, the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF), and other similar organizations to help spread the word on the significance of masks to halting the spread of the virus. For instance, formal spaces such as business environments can mandate the use of masks for access. Transport workers (drivers) could be encouraged to wear face masks and insist on same from passengers. Social distancing could also be practiced in commercial vehicles by carrying fewer passengers and spacing them in the vehicles. Individuals who can afford to should maintain frequent use of alcohol-based sanitizers where the option of washing hands is not readily available.

Lawyers Alert is collating public opinion on the use of face masks and has begun the process of sensitizing the general public on its importance. The organization is also focused on gathering data on challenges faced by citizens especially poor and marginalized groups, and reaching the right stakeholders with this documentation in order to share lessons learnt and make recommendations.

Lawyers Alert encourages Nigerians to support government’s efforts in curbing the spread of this virus by wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing, frequent washing of hands under running water, as well as sanitizing hands and touchable surfaces.

 

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Freedom of Expression in a Democratic Society vis – a-vis Protest

By Ozobulu Solumtochukwu Precious

Several newspapers and social media platforms were inundated with the news that the pump price of Premium motor spirit (PMS) otherwise known as fuel increased to N151.56. This is resulting from the deregulation of the downstream sector and removal of subsidy by the Federal Government of Nigeria. The recent happening in the oil and gas sector can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant consequences on world economies. 

The hike in the price of petroleum products ignited widespread discontent and anger across various sectors in Nigeria. This is the third time the pump price of Premium motor spirit is reviewed in 2020.  Citizens especially youths expressed their displeasure in the recent increase through different mediums like protest. In Lagos State, protesters were arrested and their properties seized around Ojuelegba by officers of the Nigeria Police Force.  It is pertinent to note that this is not the first of its kind in Nigeria where protesters are arrested and detained.

 The question that seeks to be addressed is whether protest is lawful especially in the Nigeria context.

At different times, citizens have resulted to protest as a means of expressing their dissatisfaction with government policies, laws or mode of governance. According to Wikipedia protest is described as “a public expression of objection, disapproval or dissent towards an idea or action, typically a political one. Protests can take different forms, from individual statements to mass demonstrations. Protesters may organize a protest as a way of publicly making their opinions heard in an attempt to influence public opinion or government policy, or they may undertake direct action in an attempt to enact desired changes themselves”. For a state to be democratic, the people must be allowed to air their dissatisfactions as freedom of expression is pivotal to democracy. Freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are fundamental rights guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). Sections 39 and 40 of the constitution provided thus:

SECTION 39(1)

“Every person shall be entitled to freedom of expression, including freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference”.

SECTION 40

 “ Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons, and in particular he may form or belong to any political party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interests:

Provided that the provisions of this section shall not derogate from the powers conferred by this Constitution on the Independent National Electoral Commission with respect to political parties to which that Commission does not accord recognition”

By the aforementioned provisions of the constitution it can be rightly said that citizens have the right to peaceful protest.

The Public Order Act C382 LFN in the other hand gave State governors the authority to regulate and stop assemblies. The act provides thus:

S(1) For the purposes of the proper and peaceful conduct of public assemblies, meetings and processions and subject to section 11 of this Act, the Governor of each State is hereby empowered to direct the conduct of all assemblies, meetings and processions on the public roads or places of public resort in the State and prescribe the route by which and the times at which any procession may pass

S (2): Any person who is desirous of convening or collecting any assembly or meeting or of forming any procession in any public road or place of public resort shall, unless such assembly, meeting or procession is permitted by a general licence granted under subsection

S (3) of this section, first make application for a licence to the Governor not less than 48 hours thereto, and if such Governor is satisfied that the assembly, meeting or procession is not likely to cause a breach of the peace, he shall direct any superior police officer to issue a licence, not less than 24 hours thereto, specifying the name of the licensee and defining the conditions on which the assembly, meeting or procession is permitted to take place; and if he is not so satisfied, he shall convey his refusal in like manner to the applicant within the time herein before stipulated

The police reacted by disrupting the protests, arresting protesters and seizing of media men properties on the ground that the organizers did not obtain police permit as provided by the Public Order Act. The Public Order Act pose a threat to the enjoyment of the rights provided for in the constitution as it relates to peaceful assembly and expression. 

The CFRN provides that the constitution is supreme and any law inconsistent with the constitution is null and void to the extent of it inconsistency. The court in the celebrated case of All Nigeria Peoples Party v Inspector-General of Police (2008) 12 WRN 65 decided by the Court of Appeal on December 12, 2007 Adekeye JCA (as she then was) held inter alia: “A rally or play card carrying demonstration has become a form of expression of views on current issues affecting government and the governed in a sovereign State. It is a trend recognized and deeply entrenched in the system of governance in civilized countries– it will not only be primitive but also retrogressive if Nigeria continues to require a pass to hold a rally. We must borrow a leaf from those who have trekked the rugged path of democracy and are now reaping the dividend of their experience.”

Muhammad JCA as a contribution to the judgement said: “In present day Nigeria, clearly police permit has outlived its usefulness.  Certainly, in a democracy, it is the right of citizens to conduct peaceful processions, rallies or demonstrations without seeking and obtaining permission from anybody. It is a right guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution and any law that attempt to curtail such rights is null and void and of no consequence.”

Flowing from the decision of the Court of Appeal on the fundamental right of Nigerians to freedom of assembly and expression through peaceful rallies and protests Government at all levels should stop the police and other security agencies from further harassing or intimidating protesters.

He who comes to equity must come with clean hands; therefore, protesters/demonstrators must conduct themselves in a peaceful manner. Otherwise, they may end up being in conflict with the provisions of the law and be liable to prosecution.

“The majority will have its way, but the minority has an inalienable right to have their say.”

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

The Southern Kaduna Killings.

BY ELVIS TORKUMA

Southern Kaduna is a community in Kaduna state, Nigeria; they are predominantly Christians, Southern Kaduna has experienced violent attacks from armed herdsmen for years without a sustainable solution.

This conflict has killed many; victims are mostly women, children, and old people. Owing to these facts the Nigerian government, community leaders, religious leaders, security agencies have failed to find a lasting solution to this conflict. Since the beginning of this crisis many recommendations have been made, a commission of inquiry set up as well as conflicts resolutions team towards ending the conflict yet the crisis persists, lives lost and properties burnt to ashes.

In a bit to seek for help and solution, the southern Kaduna women went into the streets naked to protest the continued killings, some of the women recount their ordeal from the hands of their attackers, the conflict has taken away their husbands, children, breadwinners and has made of them widows. Their livelihood was taken away including their farmlands.

The need to end the southern Kaduna killings and conflict has become paramount owing to the long history of violent attacks from armed Fulani herdsmen in this region. This crisis is largely believed to be politically and religiously motivated while others believed it is due to land dispute as to the Fulani community in the southern Kaduna region vehemently said they are not settlers but indigenes. These arguments by the Hausa Fulani community in the southern kahuna often result in a crisis that has lingered for years with no sustainable solution.

Government inability to end the southern Kaduna killings and failure to bring perpetrators to justice has largely question the will of the government to end the southern Kaduna killings which has displaced thousands of vulnerable people from their homes.

The inability of the government to end the southern Kaduna killings further raises questions about the competency of the security forces to end the killing, survivors still live in fear knowing fully well that their killers are still out there.  

This development has made many concern Nigerians and human rights defenders to further criticize the Nigerian government for lack of will to bring sustainable solution to the southern Kaduna killings.

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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Female Education as Key to a Better life

It was on a Monday morning in September, Amina saw her mates going to school on a school bus, she waved at them with tears in her eyes and ran back home to her parents. Amina why are you crying her father asked, she answered; father I want to be going to school like my friends. Her father shouted “not in my house when did education become so important to a girl child. A few days later Amina ran away from her father’s house in Katsina to her aunt that stays in Lagos and explained how her father refused to enroll her in school and the aunt understood her plight and enrolled her in a school.

According to the World Bank Group, Girl Child Education is a strategic development priority. Better educated women tend to be healthier, participate more in the formal labor market, earn higher incomes, have fewer children, marry at a later age, and enable better health care and education for their children when they choose to become mothers.

In many homes in Nigeria, a girl child does not have the right to education as a Basic Human Right. Since the adoption of the universal declaration of the human right of all citizens in 1948, the nation’s policy on education states that access to education is a right for all Nigerian children regardless of gender, religion, and disability. Girls have the same right to education as boys, educated girls can make informed choices, and from a far better range of options. Educating girls saves lives and builds stronger families, communities, and economies. An educated female population increases a country’s productivity.

According to 2019 data to Educeleb.com obtained from the Federal Ministry of Education, about 38% of Nigeria out of school children are girls. This represents 3.85 million of the 10-19 million children out of school in the country. With this number of females not been educated it increases poverty in the country. It goes without saying, how essential the importance of girl-child education is to our society.
They are so many importance of education of the girl-child to the society these includes;
Income Potential: Education empowers a woman’s wallet by boosting her earning capabilities. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, also known as UNESCO, a single year of primary education has shown to increase a girl’s wages later in life by 20 percent.

Political Representation
Education empowers women to understand governance and politics, vie for political positions, and make women in power better leaders.

Safe Sex: A girl who completes primary school is three times less likely to contract HIV. With these statistics in mind, The World Bank calls education a “window of hope” in preventing the spread of AIDS and or any other STDs among today’s children.

Late Marriage: A girl that is educated understands what marriage is all about and gets married when she is mentally ready and at her convenient time. One in every three girls is married before reaching the age of 18. Early marriage can be a deception. Young girls get pregnant without even realizing it and how it is harmful and sometimes deadly for their lives. They hardly cope with the proper upbringing of kids as no one taught them how to do it as well. So many health problems may be experienced by these young girls; there is a high risk of getting sick with HIV/AIDS, not to forget domestic violence in the marriage which is a common problem that may not be handled by illiterate women properly.

Thriving Gross domestic product: This also soars when girls are being offered educational opportunities. When 10 percent more women attend school, GDP increases by three percent on average.

Poverty Reduction: When women are provided with equal rights and equal access to education, they go on to participate in business and economic activities, thereby increasing earning power and income to combat current and future poverty through feeding, clothing and providing for entire families.

Human Trafficking: Women are most vulnerable to trafficking when they are uneducated and poor. Educating a girl child will reduce trafficking in society.

Recommendations
The following are the recommendations as a solution to girl-child Education in Nigeria.
• Government to increase access to quality education for girl-child in the country.
• There is a need for government and other relevant stakeholders to establish more campaigns and awareness on the importance of girl-child education.
• The girl-child needs to be provided with a safe and supportive educational environment that will be free from abuse, with separate toilet facilities, safe drinking water, equal attention with boys, and a gender-sensitive curriculum.

• Government should pass legislation that makes the education of girls mandatory for primary and junior secondary school, and then enforce these laws firmly, and or especially in the rural communities so that the issue of house chores and other things that stop the education of a girl child will stop.

Conclusion
Girl- Child education is key to a better life for everyone in society as the lives of un-educated girls will always be at risk and will increase the poverty rate in the country.
A few years later Amina returned home as a Medical Doctor and treated her poor father that had been suffering from cancer of the lungs for years. Then the father realized how very important girl-child education is.

By Yua Miriam

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2020 in Uncategorized

 

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ONE NIGERIA: THE SILENT CLAUSE

By Goziem E. Onugha

As the number one represents “a whole”, Nigeria since the year 1914 has been called “a” Country. Nigeria consists of 36 States and 774 Local Government Areas. The Country even though has no physical boundaries and limits for participation of any citizen in any legal process, has overwhelming limits and boundaries.

Just as you would think that an Idoma man would be free to actively participate in any political process in Yoruba Land, the reverse is the case. Chapter 4 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides several rights of every citizen of Nigeria. These rights are neither affected, invalidated nor deterred by ethnicity, language, or tribe. Among these rights is a right of ownership of property by a citizen in any part of the Country.

The Silent Clause

Pursuant to the above provision by Nigeria’s grund norm, suffice it to say that the Constitution has given all citizens of Nigeria the right to participate in any legal process in any State of the Country. Albeit, it is a silent atrocity that a Hausa man would think of running for the governorship race in Akwa Ibom State. Literally, a citizen’s right to own a property (a living home, shop, school, hospital, hotel, etc) in any part of Nigeria also means that if I can run any business, no matter how big, in any part of Nigeria, I can also participate in any legal process in that State.

Unconsciously, we have proven inconsiderate of the constitution by letting our individual thoughts and considerations out-way the relevance and aptness of the laws that are supposed to govern us.

The express mention of one thing excludes another

The laws of Nigeria are clear on the issues of freedom of citizens. The laws are also clear on the equality of every citizen of Nigeria in any part of the country. The express mention of “freedom” of participation by citizens, excludes all other issues that relate to inequality and unacceptance of any citizen to participate in any political process.

Conclusion

The laws of Nigeria supersede all other considerations, sentiments, bias, and conspiracies of any tribe, religion, ethnicity, or State.

 
 

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RE: NELSON MANDELA DAY 2020: THE LITTLE THINGS TO FOCUS ON

By: D.U Innocent

You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself” – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela is a man celebrated globally for his belief systems and mindset which set him apart as an international icon. His experiences and actions throughout his life affected the lives of millions all over the world. He is late now, but he still lives in the hearts of millions of people because he stood for fairness, equality and justice for all. Madiba as he is fondly called left a bold legacy in the sands of time as the values he stood for cut across various echelons of the society.

Nelson Mandela International Day was launched in recognition of Nelson Mandela’s birthday on  18 July 2009 via a unanimous decision of the UN General Assembly. Nelson Mandela has many accolades. He’s an iconic figure that triumphed over South Africa’s apartheid regime. He was a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, and an international peacemaker. And he was the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa. Nelson Mandela International Day celebrates the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world and the ability to make an impact. It was inspired by a call Nelson Mandela made a year earlier, for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices when he said that “it is in your hands now”. It is more than a celebration of Madiba’s life and legacy; it is a global movement to honour his life’s work and to change the world for the better.

I have learnt that if our actions only stem from our decisions and choices then those actions will be short-lived, they will not be sustainable. I have learnt that while we chase the big things out there and keep moving every day, there are little (huge) things which are much more important to focus on. These things, in the long run, affect our lives and the lives of other people much more than the short cuts, accidental discharges, big breaks and huge achievements that we attain in our lives. Nelson Mandela knew this and that is how he changed the course of his nation and the world at large. History tells of how much investment he made in his mind. His investment in his mind became a gold mine, this is evidenced in his words and actions and today we have over a hundred quotes by him.

Our actions are borne from our thoughts, our mindsets, set of beliefs and the things we stand for. If we must make a lasting impact in our communities, we must be ready to invest in having the right mindset, set of beliefs and our will. These are powered by our habits, attitude, behaviour, intra-personal conversations and narratives and our zeal for continuous personal development. We must be willing to pay the price to be better and higher versions of ourselves continually. The earlier we begin to create time for the things that really count the better we become; because as we evolve, the results in our lives evolve too. I have also learnt that our minds are like farmlands, if we must have successful harvests, then we must be ready to heavily invest in our minds (By reading, learning, growing). We must plant very fertile seeds, we must water them, patiently watch them grow, fertilize and weed our minds from time to time as need be (in the place of personal reflections). We must guard it and guide it very jealously especially because of the information overload we have today. The harvest from the life of Nelson Mandela will continue to feed generations for a long time to come because of the legacy he left behind.

So, as we celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela and make the decision to be agents of change in our communities let us pay attention to the little things that make our decisions and lives count in the long run.


“We can change the world and make it a better place. It is in your hands to make a difference.”- Nelson Mandela


 
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Posted by on July 27, 2020 in Nelson Mandela Day

 

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COVID-19: CALL FOR COMPLAINTS FROM WOMEN AND WOMEN GROUPS

Lawyers Alert monitors and documents human rights violations, as well as provides free legal assistance to women and girls in Nigeria. We are aware of the violation of the rights of women during the lockdown associated with COVID-19 as evidenced in the media, both social and traditional. Several human rights agencies, including the National Human Rights Commission, has documented several of this.

Lawyers Alert in partnership with UAFA is conducting a fact-finding exercise of experiences of women during the lockdown owing to COVID-19 vis-à-vis human rights. In this regard, Lawyers Alert is desirous of harvesting inputs from women in Nigeria on their experiences during the lockdown to be shared with relevant agencies and ministries. We will go beyond fact-finding, documentation, and linking up with relevant government agencies to rendering free legal services for remedies and psychosocial support where necessary.

To this end, Lawyers Alert is calling for complaints and memos from women and women groups who have suffered human rights violations, by state and non-state agencies in any form associated with the COVID-19 lockdown. Complaints can equally be submitted by women groups, women organizations, and stakeholders.

Complaints should be submitted in the following format:
I. Addressed to Lawyers Alert and Attention the Director of Programs, 21B Democracy Crescent, Gaduwa Estate, Gudu District, Abuja, FCT.
II. Memos should be headed COVID-19 COMPLAINTS
III. Name of Complainant or group, contact address, street and phone
IV. Date and location of the incident, a summary of facts, and desired remedy including likely witnesses in not more than three pages.
V. A soft copy of Memoranda should be forwarded to roselineo@lawyersalertng.org, CC: lawyersalert_nig@yahoo.com.
VI. Memoranda should be submitted within 2 weeks of this publication as acceptance of the same closes by 5th August 2020.

Signed,

Management.
+2348099937318, +2348099936345

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2020 in Uncategorized

 
 
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