Nigeria: Egbeme-Ijaw youths to Buratai, call your Army to order

…Warns INEC over military hijack in its statutory function

By Prince Okafor

Ahead of Saturday’s gubernatorial and state Assembly elections, Egbeme-Ijaw youths, has called on the Chief of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai to call the Nigerian Army personnel to order.

In a statement its leader, Mr. Ebipade Kari, said, “Our attention has been drawn to purported plans by the ruling party at the centre to take over Delta State by all means in connivance with the Nigeria army.

“As peace loving citizens endowed with fundamental and inalienable socio-political rights, we wish to call on the Chief of Army Staff to call his personnel to order and not to allow the highly revered military force in Africa to be used as petty thugs by the ruling government.

“The shaky and flimsy excuse of providing security is mere gimmicks scripted to actualise the biddings of the ruling party. From the events recorded in the South-South region during the February 23, 2019 Presidential and National Assembly elections, it is clear that the ruling party is bent on controlling the states in the oil-rich region and had resorted to violence, gross deprivation of electoral rights and brutal force because it has no structure in the states therein.

“We are deeply pained and are still in a state of melancholy over the death of harmless and innocent citizens in the Southern part of the country especially Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta States and as such we shall not treat with indifference if another ugly episode is re-enacted during the forthcoming gubernatorial and state House of Assembly elections. Elections: Army sets up committee to probe alleged misconduct by troops

“It is in this state of deprivation that the ruling party is boasting and planning to use the military to disenfranchise the people of the kingdom. We want to make it abundantly clear that there is no war in Egbema as from time immemorial; the peace-loving people of Egbema have always employed diplomacy and maximum cooperation with security agencies to nip any security challenge in the bud. The youths and elders of the kingdom have sacrificed so much to ensure that there is sustainable peace in the area.

“We shall not sit down and allow a set of desperate politicians who have no regard for the socio-political and economic survival of the people of Egbema to disrupt the peace in Egbema kingdom.

“The rights of the people to decide their leaders through free, fair and credible elections must be respected and must not be sacrificed on the altar of political desperation. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) unambiguously provides for these rights and these must be treated as sacrosanct provisions.

“On an end note, we make a passionate appeal to all youths in Egbema kingdom and Niger Delta at large to be peaceful and law-abiding during the elections. Our youths must be reminded that violence will cause our region more harm than good and as such should employ legal means whenever they are intimidated and deprived of their socio-political rights in the forthcoming elections.”

Source Vanguard


Your Right to Vote – All Africa Youths Platform to Nigerian Youths

By Azugbene Solomon

One of the most critical ways that individuals can influence governmental decision-making is through voting.

Voting is a formal expression of preference for a candidate for office or for a proposed resolution of an issue. Voting generally takes place in the context of a large-scale national or regional election, however, local and small-scale community elections can be just as critical to individual participation in government.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948, recognizes the integral role that transparent and open elections play in ensuring the fundamental right to participatory government. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Article 21 states:

  • Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his/her country, directly or through freely chosen representatives.
  • Everyone has the right of equal access to public service in his country.
  • The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret ballot or by equivalent free voting procedures.

Your Rights is at Stake
Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) is the key international guarantee of voting rights and free elections, but its provisions are strongly related to other articles, specifically Article 2 (see below). The ICCPR also includes guarantees of freedom of expression (Article 19), assembly (Article 21), association (Article 22), and non-discrimination (Article

AFRICAN UNION (Formerly Organization of African Unity)
African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (1981)
Article 13(1) of the African (Banjul) Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights provides that every citizen shall have the right to participate freely in their government.

Protection and Service Agencies
Free and fair elections play a critical role in ensuring voting rights. International and regional governmental groups, along with non-governmental organizations, work around the world to observe and monitor human rights related to elections processes. Several international and regional documents have outlined international standards for elections.

According to the United Nations committee, Article 25’s mandates should be considered in light of the following:

  • Protecting the right of every citizen to take part in the conduct of public affairs, the right to vote and to be elected.
  • The right of peoples to self-determination.
  • Protecting the rights of every citizen.
  • Any restrictions on voting should be based on objective and reasonable criteria
  • The constitution and other laws should establish the allocation of powers and the means by which individual citizensexercise the right to participate in the conduct of public affairs.
  • Political participation is supported by ensuring freedom of expression, assembly and association.
  • The right to vote in elections and referenda must be established by law.
  • Positive measures should be taken by the government to overcome specific difficulties, such as illiteracy, language barriers, poverty, or impediments to freedom of movement that prevent persons entitled to vote from exercising their rights effectively.
  • Persons entitled to vote have a free choice of candidates.
  • Conditions relating to nomination dates, fees or deposits should be reasonable and not discriminatory.
  • Elections must be conducted fairly and freely on a periodic basis within a framework of laws guaranteeing the effective exercise of voting rights.

The United Nations helps to conducts elections and monitors activities around the world, primarily in fragile democracies of in post-war and nation-building contexts. For example, the UN and OSCE were heavily involved in election monitoring in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where they provided training for election monitors and provided police support on election day. UN monitoring activities depend on the needs evident in the particular national context, but can include all of the following:

  • the pre-election preparations and campaign period
  • the electoral administration
  • the registration
  • voter education and information
  • the media
  • the vote
  • the count
  • the results and follow-up.

The Rights to Vote: University of Minnesota Human Rights Center

Sowore Urged Nigerian Youths to Drop Their Devices

Young Nigerians have been asked to go beyond social media when it comes to holding people in positions of authority accountable.

The call was made by Omoyele Sowore, presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), when he spoke on the ‘Holding Government Accountable’ panel at the Social Media Week which held at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.

He urged the youth to drop their devices and get more involved in national affairs.

Sowore, who is also the founder of the Citizen Journalism platform, Sahara Reporters, said: “I can tell you that nothing has worked as much as social media in Nigeria in terms of holding government accountable, because it is beyond their reach; it is accountability beyond borders. However, I have to say that it has its own downside to the extent that if you think social media has all the power and you don’t do what is necessary next, government starts to adjust to social media.

“So, you must move from revealing everything and holding them accountable, and for you to have the best result, you have to drop your devices and get on your feet. That was why social media was powerful in Egypt, but until the Egyptians dropped their devices, they couldn’t have the Arab Spring.”

Sowore called on young people to work hard by ensuring that they get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), vote and monitor the electoral process to ensure that there is an “Equitorial Spring” in Nigeria that will usher in a new era of politics in Sub-Saharan Africa.

He encouraged “a new generation of Nigerians who are children of democracy”.

“They are the secret to defeating the old brigade. The thing that happened with voters is a planned thing; they know there are 22 million students who are voters, and they had to keep you out of your schools, because they know that you are the angriest Nigerians and you are about to punish them with your votes. Regardless of what they have done to you, please find your way to your polling unit and vote these guys out,” he added.

“I can tell you that nothing has worked as much as social media in Nigeria in terms of holding government accountable, because it is beyond their reach; it is accountability beyond borders. However, I have to say that it has its own downside to the extent that if you think social media has all the power and you don’t do what is necessary next, government starts to adjust to social media. So, you must move from revealing everything and holding them accountable, and for you to have the best result, you have to drop your devices and get on your feet. That was why social media was powerful in Egypt, but until the Egyptians dropped their devices, they couldn’t have the Arab Spring,” Sowore said.

Source Saharareporters

First Bank moves to tackle youth unemployment in Nigeria

First Bank of Nigeria Ltd., on last Thursday reiterated its commitment to tackling the nation’s rising unemployment rate with youth empowerment initiatives aimed at wealth creation.

Mr Gbenga Shobo, the bank’s Deputy Managing Director, speaking in Lagos on the sidelines of the youth empowerment initiative with the theme “Goals. Grit. Grind.” said that the bank would remain committed on ways to tackle the nation’s unemployment rate by catching them young.

“We like the youths to start understanding wealth and how to create wealth.

“You also understand that in Nigeria now, it’s a bit of unemployment and we want to start early with the youths to start teaching them how to create wealth, especially outside the formal employment,” Shobo said.

He said that the youth empowerment initiative which started in 2017 was introduced to strengthen financial inclusion and as well make the youths independent, instead of relying on their parents for everything.

“We want to start young and we have two sets of people here today — 9 to 13 years and older ones — we don’t think it’s too young at all to reach out to the youths segment.

“Some of them who were here last year have used what they learnt to be financially independent. A lot of them have started doing things on their own, while waiting for formal employment.

“We will continue to do this series to strengthen economic growth and development,” Shobo said. He said that the bank, through the initiative, had instituted various investment clubs for mentoring of youths to enhance financial freedom.

“Some of them have investment clubs; we are involved in some of these investment clubs, so, within those clubs, we help to mentor them,”the deputy managing director said.

He said the bank had introduced other financial inclusion strategies that make it easier for people to open an account without stress. Dr Aderemi Banjoko, Director & Founder, dbkMarkets, a global online trading company, who was the guest speaker, tasked the youths on wealth creation, money management and investment.

Speaking on the topic “Financial literacy for youths”, Banjoko said that knowledge was key to financial literacy and management.

He said that financial literacy entails ability to make informed judgements and take effective decisions regarding the use and management of money.

Banjoko stressed the need for diversification of investment to minimise risk, noting that investing in different asset classes remained the main thing.

He urged the participants to invest in stocks and shares, money market mutual fund such as commercial papers, treasury bills, among others.

Banjoko enjoined them to invest through financial experts in order not to make mistakes, advising that investing through mutual funds would be safer for them.

This article was first published on Vanguard

Youth New Club trains over 500 in entrepreneurial skills

By Cynthia Alo

A Non- Governmental Organisation, Youth New Club, YNC, recently trained over 500 Nigerians during her six months skills acquisition and empowerment programme which covers catering, computer literacy, bakery, headtie skills, fascinator- making among others in Lagos.

The group, with its training centre in Oshodi area, said it has resolved to eradicate poverty with this measure by covering nooks and crannies of Lagos and beyond. President and Founder of the organisation, Mr. Temiola Ireti-Ayo stated this during the graduating ceremony of the beneficiaries comprising students, single and married men and women. He said:

“We are working on empowering more Nigerians in the state by extending the programme to Alimosho, Orile, Agege and subsequently, Ibadan area. This move will not only encourage youths to be self- employed but also reduce poverty in the society to a minimum.”

Ireti-Ayo also announced a contract deal for the graduating members of the Catering department while assuring all the beneficiaries of continuity in their acquired profession with easy access to loan from LSETF.

“With a soft loan of N250,000 as start-up capital from the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, LSETF, which they are expected to pay in one year, there will be less unemployment in the country.

“However, if they are able to invest the money wisely, five years from now, they should be well established to also engage and train more youths in the country,” he added.

One of the beneficiaries, Mrs. Angela Esekhile, told Vanguard that she plans to extend her acquired catering skills to others as soon as possible.

She said: “I am delighted to be part of this programme, the six months journey was a wonderful one. I plan to also contribute to this foundation laid by training other youths.”

This articles was first published on Vanguard