Saturday 29 October 2016


It was two days (25th-26th October, 2016) of extensive networking and expansion of knowledge at the European Union - International Republican Institute (EU-IRI) workshop on modalities for strengthening the participation of women and youth in politics. The various aspects of the subject matter discussed are as follows:

*Barriers to participation
*The role of lobbying & advocacy
*Role of Constitutional amendment
*Fund-raising and political mentoring
*Commitment of Political Parties/Leaders/Influencers
*Social justice & participation

Some of the participants are:

*Sentell Barnes - IRI Country Director
*Pauline Torehall - EU Minister Counsellor, Head of Politics, Press & Information section
*Nathalie Ebead - International IDEA, Stockholm, Sweden
*Audra Degesys Lykos - Democracy & Governance Officer, USAID
*Kurt Cornelis - Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Nigeria & ECOWAS
*Olufunke Baruwa - CEO, Nigeria Women Trust Fund (NWTF)
*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Chairperson, Board of Directors, National Peace Summit Group (NPSG)
*Hon. (Barr) Mulikat Adeola-Akande - Fmr. Majority Leader, Federal House of Representatives
*Barr. Ebere Ifendu - President, Women in Politics Forum (WIPF)
*Barr. Ismael Ahmed - APC Youth Forum
*Uju Ogoko - PDP e-Women
*Hon (Amb) Nkoyo Toyo - Lead Special Adviser to Cross River state Governor on SDGs
*Iyom Josephine Anenih - Fmr. Minister, Women Affairs & Founder Women Foundation of Nigeria (WFN)
*Erelu Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi - Former First Lady, Ekiti state/Gender & Development specialist

Some of the recommendations are as follows:

*It is not enough to participate, it is more important to engage the process of politics.
*Mentoring should be a two-way street. There could also be reverse mentoring of the older party members by the younger ones.
*Religion should not be used as a weapon against participation.
*Youth & women can succeed at political participation if they do the following:
-Do a SWOT analysis of yourself.
-Understand your potential terrain & articulate why you are running for office.
-Build social & political capital
-Always have a plan B just in case you lose election.
-Political use of networks & movements (e.g. women/youth wings of Political Parties.
-Make political demands (e.g. maternal mortality, VAW, etc)
-Have your own leadership agenda, which will determine the legacy you leave behind.
-Self care - Undergo comprehensive physical examination yearly
-Document experiences.

-Do not mix business with pleasure
-Do not burn bridges.
-Do not borrow money to participate in politics.
-Be security concious always. Don't live your life on social media.
-Don't join in activities that are inimical to your Party.
-Don't patronise spiritual merchants.

On the whole, it appears the strategies are inexhaustible in a two-day seminar. I only hope this instructive seminar would usher in an era of effective engagement of women and youth in Nigerian politics.

30th October, 2016

*Meet Adeleye-Fayemi, one of the top 100 people in the world in advancing women & girls' rights  #Nigeria #AfricaPride
*My view: Let's talk about Hillary Clinton from a legal, constitutional standpoint by Paul Van Dan
*How to govern like a feminist
*British PM, Theresa May has a style mantra
*I'd like to address this absurd 'Hillary Clinton is the lesser of two evils' nonsense
*From Pakistan to Argentina: These 59 countries had a woman leader before the US
'This team has so uch to be proud about. Whatever happens tonight, thank you for everything
*Women & political representation
*Challenges to women's participation in politics    http://www.genderhub/.../challenges-to-women-active-participation...


Monday 24 October 2016


On the 20th of October, 2016, a new Oba of Benin kingdom, Ewuare II was crowned. The ceremony was  indeed a display of Benin tradition at its best. However, two items on the menu for the coronation caught my fancy because of their value in the field of conflict resolution.

The first is the fact that though the coronation ceremony was labelled the 39th in the programme, the Oba, in his speech corrected this. Oba Ewuare II said he was indeed the 40th Oba of Benin in view of the fact Oba Oranmiyan from Ile-Ife was the first Oba of Benin. Therefore 39 + 1 = 40.

Tracing the ancestry of Binis to Ile-Ife reinforces the fact that conflict in un-necessary, between and among brothers and sisters. The more lineages we can trace across and within the Niger throughout Nigeria/Africa, would make us realise we are all one!

The second, and more spectacular was the Special Durbar, courtesy of the Sultan of Sokoto to mark the Oba of Benin's coronation. The Sultan facilitated the transportation of 300 horses from Sokoto to Benin for the Durbar! This was the very first Durbar outside northern Nigeria since FESTAC 77! This was a 'formidable handshake across the Niger' which portends greater friendship and collaboration between the Sokoto and Benin kingdoms.

I advocate the continuation of similar show of solidarity across the Niger. This would facilitate conflict prevention, management and resolution efforts in Nigeria and Africa...

Related Links

*How we make ourselves stuck when in conflict with someone and what to do about it