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Group Protests Rejection Of Bills Seeking Gender Equality In Bauchi

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Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria FOMWAN and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) in Bauchi state have protested over the rejection of bills that take gender equality bill by the National Assembly.

Mrs Comfort Attah, Executive Director Attah Sisters Helping Hand foundation (ASHHF), while addressing Newsmen on behalf of the group on Thursday in Bauchi, urging the lawmakers to revisit the gender bills.

She lamented that the lawmakers choose to deny women the opportunity of inclusion and representation in governance by voting against the bills.

Attah explained that out of the 68 bills being considered by the national assembly, about five bills sought to promote women participation in politics, governance and the society.

“One of the bills sought to grant citizenship to foreign-born husbands of a Nigerian woman. Already, a Nigerian man’s foreign-born wife is automatically a Nigerian citizen.

“Another bill sought to allocate 35 percent of political positions based on appointment to women.

“Another legislation sought to create special seats for women in National and State Assemblies,” Attah said.

Mrs Attah urged all like-minded civil society organizations, women led organizations and women’s right’s organizations to sustain advocacy and intensify demands for Gender equality.

“By occupying the National Assembly until the rejected bills are considered,” she said.

On her part, Hajiya Aisha Kilishi, Amira FOMWAN Bauchi, also lamented that lawmakers are not taking women’s issues seriously.

She said the lawmakers didn’t consider women to be relevant in this country.

Emmanuel said the men of the ninth assembly have reinforced the discrimination and political bias against women

She however demanded that all gender bills be reconsidered as they will benefit not just women but Nigeria as a whole.

Also Speaking Hajiya Maryam Garba of Fahimta women and Youth Development Initiative , Executive Director lamented that unfortunately the bill was rejected by the National Assembly.

The lawmakers are discriminating and making a mockery of women’s rights in the country.

She urged the lawmakers, government and policy makers to always consider the plights of women as well as reconsider amendment of the bill.

Representative of the CBOs Hajiya Binta Adamu, said the advocacy measures taken would enable the National Assembly and the Senate in particular to retract from the patriarchal dispositions towards giving women equal opportunities.

Our correspondent reports that the Senate at the plenary on Tuesday March 1st voted against the following Gender-responsive Bills submitted for its consideration.

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Politics

Hon. Gidado Of ADC, Laud Gov Kefas Over Payments Of Gratuity, Revival Of Festival 

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By Sarah Manya

Hon. Abdulrazaq Gidado (JAWAR), the candidate for the last Jalingo, Yerro, and Zing Federal Constituency by-election under the African Democratic Congress (ADC) platform in Taraba State, has commended Governor Agbu Kefas for reviving the Nwonyo International Fishing Festival in the State. 

In a press statement released on Saturday via his Media Adviser, Sulaiman Sani, Gidado praised the governor’s commitment to promoting cultural heritage and improving the internally generated revenue of the state, exemplified by his recent inspection of the ongoing projects at the festival site.

Gidado also expressed appreciation for the recent approval of N1bn for the payment of gratuity to retired civil servants in the state, as well as a monthly allocation of N200m for its sustainability. 

He lauded Governor Kefas for ending the era of gratuity being owed in the state and pledged to continue ensuring good governance thrives by constructively criticizing where necessary.

Additionally, Hon. Abdulrazaq Gidado thanked Governor Agbu Kefas for the appointment of board chairmen and Special advisers in the state.

Lastly, he congratulated all appointees and wished them success in assisting the governor in achieving his Moving Forward Agenda.

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Dr Bunovolki, The Rising Political Figure Fit To Lead The Masses

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A Coalition of Adamawa Youth Movement under the leadership of Mr. Mohammed has observed that Dr Mourice Bunovolki is no doubt the rising political icon in the state fit to lead in the masses.

Mr Mohammed who revealed this to Sahel Reporter said their group will no doubt rally round Dr Bunovolki in whatever leadership position, he may contest in the future political contest.

He expressed confidence in Bunovolki’s capacity to address some of the obstacles bedeviling the people, considering his vast experience and knowledge in various sectors of human development.

The youth group, according to Mr Mohammed observed Dr Bunovolki’s competence, commitment, and dedication towards positive development of Adamawa State.

He explained that “Bunovolki has immensely contributed towards the development of the old Numan Federation and Adamawa State as a whole” hence the need to give him political office to do more.

He described Dr Bunovolki as a leader with vision and listening ears to all and therefore, getting him leadership position will benefit people tremendously.

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Feasibility Of Elections In Fostering Democracy In SADC

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By Favour Wali Ezra, Victorino De Almeida Gracia

Elections are widely regarded as a fundamental component in promoting democracy in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.

However, the success of elections in advancing this objective is subject to several factors. One of the primary considerations is the level of impartiality and transparency in the electoral process. 

Free, fair, and credible elections must be held to ensure a peaceful transfer of power and reflect the public’s will in the administration.

Several SADC countries have raised concerns about electoral anomalies, such as voter intimidation and the lack of independence in electoral authorities.

These factors have the potential to undermine the integrity of the election results and weaken the public trust in the democratic process. 

Another crucial element in the efficiency of elections in promoting democracy is the level of political rivalry and participation. In some SADC countries, dominant ruling parties have retained power for extended periods, making it difficult for opposition parties to compete on an equal footing.

Additionally, voter turnout in some countries indicates a lack of engagement and trust in the election process.

The media and civil society’s role in monitoring and reporting on the election process is another critical factor to consider. Free and independent media can help hold the government and electoral institutions accountable by informing the public and raising awareness about potential anomalies or abuses during the election. 

Similarly, civil society organizations can play a significant role in increasing voter education, monitoring election results, and advocating for electoral reform.

Socioeconomic gaps and inequality in the SADC area can also limit marginalized groups’ ability to participate in elections and have their voices heard. 

Limited access to knowledge, information, and resources can make it challenging for vulnerable populations, including women, youth, and rural areas, to participate in the political process and make informed decisions.

Despite these limitations, there have been several encouraging examples of SADC elections successfully promoting democratic consolidation. 

For instance, South Africa’s 2019 elections were universally regarded as free and fair, resulting in a peaceful transfer of power and reinforcing the country’s commitment to democratic governance.

While elections can be a powerful tool for fostering democracy in the SADC region, their feasibility and effectiveness depend on several factors. 

These factors include the transparency and fairness of the electoral process, the level of political competition and participation, and the role of the media and civil society in promoting free and fair elections. 

It is also imperative to emphasize that elections alone cannot guarantee democracy. Other critical components include an independent judiciary, a free press, and respect for human rights.

To ensure that elections remain an effective tool for promoting democracy in the SADC region, it is crucial to safeguard democratic values and institutions continually. 

Efforts to reform electoral processes, promote openness and accountability, and empower marginalized people are critical to furthering democratic principles and creating political transformation in the region.

Written by:

Favour Wali Ezra  (ezraf@africau.edu

Africa University –Department of International Relations and Diplomacy, and Victorino De Almeida Garcia (garciav@africau.edu) Africa University-Department of International Relations and Diplomacy. 

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