Wednesday 10 December 2014


The disappointing outing of women in the Primaries of the two major Political Parties in Nigeria - PDP and APC called for sober reflection at a press conference convened by the 100 Women Group (WG) on the 10th of December 2014 in Abuja. Women expressed displeasure at the outcome of the Primaries.

The 100 WG said "women are being tactically edged out and battered emotionally in the Parties' Primary Elections so far due to undue interference of Political Party leaders, intimidation and negative cajoling of women..." The 100 WG further stated that "Political Parties need to demonstrate to Nigerian women that they value their contributions to the sustainability of Political Parties in Nigeria...This is sad 20 years after the Beijing conference."

It is noteworthy that the press conference took place on the last day of the 16 days of activism against GBV worldwide. Women are being "cajoled" out of their political aspirations was termed "emotional violence" on female participants. What then do Nigerian women want? The statement was categorical about what women want:

*Inclusion in governance
*Space in the ballot box
*Where a male is governor, a female should be Deputy Governor and vice versa
*The electorate should support Nigerian women who have scaled through the Primaries in the forthcoming elections
*All Political Parties & IPAC were reminded of their promise to support women during lobby visits by the 100 WG.
GBV should be curtailed in the political arena


On the 10th of December 2014, the AU Commission's Chairperson's Special Envoy on Women Peace & Security - WPS (H.E. Mme Bineta Diop) and her team had an interactive session with CSOs in Abuja on the security challenges in Nigeria. I (Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa) was invited in my capacity as a distinct voice in the WPS sector in Nigeria. I attended the Press Conference as a notable blogger, whose niche is peace and security issues.

The focus of the interactive session was the abducted Chibok girls and the effect of insecurity on the lives of citizens (especially women) in the north-east and Nigeria as a whole. Mme Diop is also the Founder and Chair of the Executive Board of Femmes Africa Solidarite (FAS), a leading global NGO working on WPS.

Mme Diop's team comprised Justice Sophia Akuffo (Ghanaian), Amb. Diallo Amina Djibo (Nigerien Ambassador to Ethiopia) and Harriette Williams Bright (Sierra-Leonean and Acting Executive Director at Femmes Africa Solidarite (FAS). Harriette is also a member of Gender is my Agenda Campaign - GIMAC).

Mme Diop made it abundantly clear that they were not in Nigeria to proffer solutions to the security issues in the country. They were here to listen to the problems first hand and distill "remedies" as prescribed by Nigerian citizens. It was a "solidarity" visit to give Nigerians courage in the midst of  the protracted security challenges. It was quite a lively interactive session with CSOs. There was a press conference afterwards.

The major points made are enunciated below:

*The government has a preponderance of the use of force, and one of the major functions of the state is to protect the territorial integrity and life of the average citizen. How has the Nigerian state fared in this regard?
*Could it have been a better story if there was proactive action even before the Chibok girls were abducted in view of the fact that the level of insecurity was escalating prior to the abduction? Could the early warning signs (EWS) of danger be used to avert the disastrous abduction?
*More women, men, boys and girls have been abducted since the Chibok incident. So we are not just talking about 219? girls. We are talking about girls, boys, women and men abducted in north-east Nigeria on a weekly, nay daily basis. What figures are we talking about exactly? Maybe the Nigerian state could facilitate the process of producing exact figures of missing persons - when, where and how they were abducted.
*Schools remain unsafe in north-east Nigeria. Security needs to be beefed up in all schools.
*Rural banditry thrives because the level of governance in the rural areas is almost nil. The people feel unprotected.
*CSOs have the capacity to mount great pressure for more urgent action to end insecurity and the release of the Chibok girls and other abducted genres.
*Many conflicts tagged "religious conflicts" are indeed "political conflicts" in disguise. We therefore need to interrogate the root causes of conflict in order to transform/resolve them.
*Insecurity on the eve of the general elections is a bad omen. Steps need to be taken to curtail the level of insecurity in order to ensure peaceful elections.
*On a lighter note, the men present at the event were referred to as "honorary women".
*It is noteworthy that the interactive session was held on the last of the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence (GBV),
*There are "conflict entrepreneurs" who profit by conflict and continue to fester the embers of conflict. The should be named, shamed and punished.
*There should be accountability as regards how the security vote of every Governor is spent. At the Federal level, all monies allocated for the purchase of arms and ammunition to fight insurgency should be accounted for.
*The implementation of the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 in Nigeria needs to be sped up and closely monitored.
*A number of tasks were allotted to  Nigerian women at the interactive session viz.,
-Observe elections
-Participate in elections
-Facilitate peace processes
-Be interested in accountability & transparency
-Promote access to human rights & justice
*It was noted that 2016 has been designated as the year of human rights, with special emphasis on Women's Rights


What would the Special Envoy's team do with information gathered in Nigeria on WPS?

1) Gender is my Agenda Campaign (GIMAC), in which a member of the team, Harriette Bright is  very active, has an advocacy outreach for the African continent between the 21st and 23rd of January, 2015 in Addis Ababa. The situation in Nigeria would come up for special mention,.
2) The WPS issues in Nigeria would also be brought up at the WPS Open Forum in Addis on the 16th of December, 2014.
3) GIMAC is a coalition of 55 organizations working to advance gender equality at the AU and in member states. The WPS issues in Nigeria would be widely disseminated within the vast GIMAC network.
4) At the level of the AU, there would be better understanding of WPS issues in Nigeria.
5) On the whole, the solidarity visit by the AU team would further put the plight of Nigeria's security sector, especially as regards WPS on the front burner of the AU and indeed Africa...

Saturday 6 December 2014


On December 1, 2014, I was at a lively debate in Abuja to mark the 60th birthday of Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim, a Political Scientist and activist. The panelists were Prof. Adele Jinadu, Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim and Prof. Okey Ibeanu. The moderator was Dr. Funmi Olonisakin from King's College, London.

Prof. Jinadu was of the view that because of the ambiguous nature of Political Science ab initio, it is fraught with problems as a social science discipline. Indeed, the debate as to whether Political Science is a "science" rages on. This lack of precision looms large over the practice of the profession in Nigeria and other climes. Inspite of the ambiguity, Political Science remains alive!

Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim said Political Science died about 1988 when many "eminent" Political Scientists joined the "transition without end" train of the General Ibrahim Babangida administration. The salaries of lecturers in the Universities were very poor at the time. It was therefore an avenue for those invited by Babangida to amass some wealth, and leave the impoverished University setting for some time at least. In fact, Jibrin delivered a paper at the Nigeria Political Science Association (NPSA) in the late 1980's titled "Political Science in Nigeria: How our Professors are gaining the politics & losing the science". According to Jibrin, Political Science has not recovered from the brain drain from the Universities.

Prof. Okey Ibeanu made a distinction between Political Science in Nigeria and Nigeria's Political Science. He said Nigeria's Political Science should be relevant to society. According to Okey, there is much adversity in the Nigerian society amid incredible prosperity. Prosperity should take care of adversity. However, if prosperity fails to do what it has to do, then Okey foresees adversity swallowing up wealth. Political Science should remain relevant to society, otherwise it will remain comatose.

These were three views of the status of Political Science in Nigeria. How do we weave all these together? The consensus was that the discussion could not be exhausted at the venue. However this important discourse could be a wake up call for the rejuvenation of the NPSA so that younger Political Scientists would at least have a feel of what my humble self (Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa), Prof. Ibrahim Gambari (present at the occasion), Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim (the celebrant), Prof. Okey Ibeanu & Ms. Julie Sanda (Defense College, Abuja & present at the occasion) enjoyed as members of an earlier generation of Political Scientists. The camaraderie enjoyed by us before NPSA became comatose cannot be replaced by pecuniary considerations.

Ms Julie Sanda, are you with me for the nucleus of the Nigeria Association of Female Political Scientists (NAFPS)? The debate continues...

23rd September, 2016

*Is Political Science too pessimistic?
*Behavioural patterns of Conservatives & Democrats
*Why fear is more prevalent & powerful among conservatives
*Why liberal hearts bleed & conservatives don't
*A conservative explains why right-wingers have no compassion
*Moral politics: How Liberals & Conservatives think
*Clinton shows strength over Trump in one history's wierdest, wildest debates
*Naija Marxisms
*Karl Marx: False consciousness
*Karl Marx, yesterday & tomorrow
*Karl Marx was right: 5 surprising ways Karl Marx predicted 2014
*Karl Marx: Greatness & illusion
*The Nordic democratic socialist myth
*Does fear of death lie at the heart of capitalism?


At the "Report Women" Project of WSCIJ held in Abuja on November 17, 2014, Ene Ede (Gender Advisor, Search for Common Ground - SFCG) and I (Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa) presented two papers: *Understanding the fundamentals of women/girls & the gender question. *Relevant laws on girls & women's rights.The aim of the project was to increase the level of reportage of women's issues in the media in Nigeria. It was a training program for reporters from media houses across the country.

The first paper discussed the following issues:
-What do women want?
-Best strategy to collectively address the deprivation and disempowerment of women.
-Towards equality through equitable actions & activities, for example affirmative action.
-Steps for further integration of women & girls into the society
-Chapter 2, section 22 of the 1999 Constitution has empowered the media to hold stakeholder' accountable to women & girls for the gaps in the process of integration.
-The code of ethics of the journalism profession is an additional tool holding relevant stakeholders accountable to women & girls.

As regards the relevant laws on girls & women the fact that CEDAW is yet to be domesticated in Nigeria was a sore point at the workshop. The participants were challenged by the presenters to ask questions at every turn about CEDAW and other laws yet to be "activated" for the promotion of women's rights...

27th August, 2016

*Can war reporting be a feminist project?