Sunday 20 December 2020


 Between the 17th and 18th of December, 2020, the 'Annual Women's Conference' with theme: 'Engendering a formidable force for gender equality' was held at the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Abuja. The parley was convened by Women's Voice & Leadership Nigeria (WVLN) Project,100 Women Lobby Group & Women in Politics Forum (WIPF). It was supported by Global Affairs Canada & Action Aid. Some of the sub-themes are: Women's political participation, Sexual & Gender Based Violence (SGBV), Economic justice, The role of He for She, Peace/Security and Media. The Nigeria Women Aspirants' Website was launched! The first stanza of the 'Women's Anthem' below, sets the tone:

Women's Anthem

All across the nation, all around the world

Women are longing to be free

No longer in the shadows, forced to stay behind

But side by side in true equality...

L-R: Ms. Ene Ede (FCT VAPP - Violence Against Persons Prohibition Coordinator) & Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa

Some of the participants are:

*Dame Pauline Tallen - Minister for Women Affairs
*Dr. Oby Ezekwesili - Chair & Founder, Fix Politics/Former Minister for Education & Solid Minerals
*Iyom Josephine Anenih - Former Minister of Women Affairs
*Barr. Mary Ekpere-Eta - DG NCWD
*Ms. Ene Obi - Country Director, Action Aid
*Mrs. Felicia Onibon - National Coordinator, 100 Women Lobby Group/Founder & President Change Managers International Network
*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Consultant/Conflict Transformation Expert
*Prof Laide Adedokun - LASU
*Barr. Ebere Ifendu - President, Women in Politics Forum (WIPF)
*Mrs. Moji Makanjuola (MFR) - Veteran Broadcaster
*Prof. Joy Ezeilo - UNN
*Prof. Bunmi Ashimolowo - Discussant
*Prof. Yinka Omoregbe - Discussant
*Dr. Lydia Umar - Discussant
*Austin Aigbe - CDD
*Hon. Sarah Ochekpe - Discussant
*Hon. Titilayo Akerele - National Director, NILOWV

Each of the sub-themes was exhaustively discussed. On SGBV, the concensus was that the launching of the website for sex offenders since 2015 is a watershed in the fight against SGBV. See for example: Nigeria launches first national sex offenders register (25th November, 2019)
This online register, which is visible to the whole world, ensures that there is no hiding place for sex offenders! See also: GBV in film: Sandra's Cross; The Gender Hub (GH): A viable tool for networking among stakeholders; Kaduna stste Governor passes castration law for rape; All 36 state Governors declare state of emergency over rape; SGBV during Covid-19

On the role of He4She, it was unanimously agreed that gender friendly males need to support the clamour for equality. Women cannot do it alone, they need the support of the men. On economic justice, the panelists said that women should be given equal access to opportunities/loans/training, etc. Besides, the Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the fact that 'digital marketing' is it. On peace and security, it was said that the WPS agenda should be executed via a viable road map. See for example: UNSCR 1325 @ 20: The role of women in the security sector

Prof. Joy Ezeilo gave a good account of herself and her formidable team when she presented the report of their research on 'Beijing + 25' via Zoom. She revealed a number of shocking data/information from the research viz; 56% of respondents were Christians, 48% were NCE/OND holders, 47% were married, ages of respondents: 18 - 58 years, 81% never heard of FGM/child marriage/mental abuse/incest! Majority of respondents said poverty was a major cause of SGBV. Many alluded to poor response from government to SGBV. Many suggested 'modest dressing' for women. 78% had never heard of Beijing+ 25!

Research methodology: Multi-stage random cluster sampling, Random selection of states for study, Zoom (online) training for data gatherers, Computer analysis - coding/SPSS/% frequency/tables/charts/quantitative data. Challenges: Information consent, Challenges of Covid-19, review of extant literature, Feminist theory, Conflict theory, etc. 

Suggestions: More awareness needs to be created about the signposts of the Beijing conference held 25 years ago! NGOs should use the multi-media approach to disseminate extant information. The SDGs should be continually popularised. Adequate punishment of offenders would mitigate impunity as regards SGBV. For more effective detection, investigation and prosecution of SGBV cases, raw evidence should be conserved, investigation should be diligent, forensic investigation should be carried out by experts, community policing is essential, there should be synergy on effort to curb SGBV, etc. was launched. I look forward to the next edition of the Women's Conference in 2021... 

Related Links

*Here's why Glass Ceiling may remain intact despite female leadership
*After the pandemic, put women first
*Paris City Hall fined for 'putting too many women in senior positions'
*African companies' competitive edge: Women?
*How fearless women lead
*Women-led governments are more likely to deliver on campaign promises: Multi-country study
*The impact of Covid-19 on FGM in Egypt
*Neuro-scientists are ignoring the differences between males & females
*Bill Gates can remove Melinda French Gates from Foundation in 2 years if they can't work together after their divorce
*WPS & Humanitarian Action Compact
*6 Nigerian Banks now have female MDs
*Ms. Reem Alsalem is UN Special Rapporteur on VAW (1st August 2021)
*Why don't we consider VAW&G terrorism?
*Despite recovery efforts, women's unemployment continues to grow
*The unmasking of Biblical womanhood: Challenging day to day Evangelical patriarchy
*The wisdom of women's fury
*We must raise girls to be brave, not perfect
*Know your African feminists
*The origins of the 'Mad woman in the attic' by Jane Eyre: Potrayal of females in Victorian literature
*I gave birth, but mu husband developed post-partum depression
*Rihana is officially a Billionaire and the richest female musician in the world
*Partners'financial support is holding female academics back
*Addressing men & masculinities in GAD
*Sub-Saharan women risk exclusion from digital economy
*Why we don't talk about sexual violence aginst boys - & why we should
*What it's like to be a woman in Yemen: 4 stories of women's strength and heroism
*Can you recognise unconscious gender bias in the workplace?
*The women inspiring others in a male dominated industry
*Dr. Jill Biden says women's achievements must be celebrated 'rather than diminished'
*Influential women discuss how to fearlessly navigate the business world
*Covid-19 explodes the myth that women 'opt out'
*RICOM3 helps Nigerian women take ownership of their pregnancy journey
*From Jackie O to Rihana, the ultimate guide to classic style
*Africa's women & girls: Victims in war & peace
*Erik Erikson's stages of Psychological Development    https://linkedin/dVakYg5
*Women's leadership for peace
*Seeking gender justice & peace? Include men
*Why women should stop worrying about being liked
*10 defining moments for women in 2020
*Gender budgeting for more equitable education, paid work & political representation
*Most prisons are built for men, while women's specific basic needs are ignored
*The Arewa Me Too Movement endures while fighting GBV
*Redistribution of power needed to achieve gender equality
*The CoV is a disaster for feminism
*Covid-19 pandemic highlights the limits of white feminism
*Feminist responses to Covid-19
*A Wench's guide to surviving a 'global' pandemic crisis: Feminist publishing in a time of Covid-19
*The risks of being a woman during the pandemic
*5 reasons why the CoV needs a feminist response
*Covid-19 &feminism in the global south: Challenges, initiatives & dilemmas
*Identity, politics & the pandemic: Why is Covid-19 a disaster for feminism?
*A feminist perspective to Covid-19 & the value of care work globally
*Covid-19 is a feminist issue
*Feminism & the gendered impact of Covid-19: Perspective of a Counselling Psychologist
*Venezuelan women lose access to contraception and control over their bodies
*Feminism in the Corona-Crisis
*Opinion: Covid-19's war on feminism in the US    https;//
*Feminism in pandemic times
*Feminist resources in the pandemic
*Call for a 'Feminist Covid-19 Policy'
*Gender & Covid-19
*Gender-responsive budgeting & the Covid-19 pandemic
*Feminist response to Covid-19    https;//
*Covid-19: Gender & Development Network
*Covid-19's impact on women in Nigeria shows need to go beyond gender-blind response
*The feminist & the post-covid state
*Feminist foreign policy & Covid-19
*African feminism: Post-Covid-19 economic recovery
*'Bridgerton's' Queen Charlotte latest to stir black debate
*The story behind 'Oloture', Nigeria's Netflix sex-trafficking drama
*The idea that gender is a spectrum is a new gender prism by Rebecca Reilly-Cooper
*Fighting FGM in Sierra-Leone
*US Congress passes Malala Yousafzai Scholarship Act for Pakistani women
*5 ways the pandemic affected gender equity in 2020 
*How women can develop & promote their personal brand
*Why empowering female social entrepreneurs is key to economic recovery
*Kamala Harris makes history with her 'big blended' family
*The like-ability dilemma for women leaders
*Why women's voices must be at the centre of re-building after Covid-19
*22 year old female Harvard graduate, Amanda Gorman, is the youngest inaugural poet in the US
*Why Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton & Michelle Obama wore purple on inauguration day
*Unequal burden: How the Covid-19 pandemic is adding to women's workload  #gender  #covid19
*From rhetoric to reality: Advancing women's participation in peace processes
*Estonia, the only country in the world with a female President & female PM
*The politics of fashion & beauty in Africa
*Feminism, sovereignty & the pan-African project: Lessons for today    
*We must raise girls to be brave, not perfect
*The pandemic reminds us of how women show up to lead
*Covid-19 lock-downs in West Africa are avenues for undetected FGM: SDG Target 5:3 disrupted
*Women re-invent themselves during the pandemic via creativity, resilience & determination
*Women's political participation and its predictors in Northern & Southern Nigeria
*WPS & the Digital Ecosystem: 5 emerging trends in the technology of gender policy landscape
*Biden breaks deadlock: Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (NOI) becomes first woman and African DG of WTO
*Female leadership in PB: What we can learn from women in the field    https;//
*Women leaving the workforce because of the pandemic is a 'national emergency' - VP Kamala Harris
*Women in Saudi Arabia can now take up arms and join the Military in latest widening of rights
*Women make less in the gig economy - Study
*Kamala Harris' husband, Doug Emhoff, breaks gender stereotypes by putting her career ahead of his as Second Gentleman
*Merriam-Webster dictionary adds 'Second Gentleman' to describe Doug Emhoff's role
*The invisibility of older women
*US: 50 prominent men join push for direct payments to moms
*Rich woman, Kim Kiyasoki, recreates 'Rich dad, poor dad'
*Time for a female UN Secretary-General?
*Dr. Njide Okonjo-Udoche, MD, MPH, FAAFP (Sister of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala - DG WTO) named Physician of the year 2021 in the US 
*Examining the appropriateness of gender inclusion as a humanitarian response mechanism for conflict-related sexual violence against men by Catherine Akurut
*Women's leadership results in more bipartisanship, equality, social welfare,peace & security: Women making a mark while transforming politics
*Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a Covid-19 world  #IWD
*The power of being single: Why you should own it
*Women in violent zones
*The origins of sexism: How men came to rule 12,000 years ago
*Female empowerment is more than a day, it's a movement
*Men championing women
*Prince Harry opens up: A role mod for emotional availability in men and boys
*Female engagement in governance: Dynamics & new opportunities by Otive Igbuzor
*Hilary Clinton on Meghan & Harry's interview: Young women 'should no longer be forced into a mould that's no longer relevant, not only for them, but for our society'
*The myth?of monogamy    https;//
*Gender inequality in Higher Education persists
*Nigeria's FG working on Special Court for GBV - AGF
*Re-thinking sexual reproductive rights in Nigeria: Why abortion laws need reform
*WTO DG, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her definition of success
*7 men whose wives are making waves
*The obstacles to women's liberation in Africa
*Prostitution & pornography: A historical view
*How polyamourists & polygamists are challenging family norms
*Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, DG WTO, wins WACA International Service Award
*Finland's women-led government targeted by online harassment
*Samia Hassan sworn in as Tanzania's first female President (18/3/2021)
*Nigerian & Ghanaian women working in Brussels' red-light district by Sarah Adeyinka
*Action Aid's ten principles of feministleadership
*The Guinness World Record for most children born toone mother goes to Valentia Vassilyev, the wife of Russian peasant, Feodor Vassilyev. She birthed a total of 69 babies in her lifetime - 16pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets & 4 sets of quadruplets. She died @ 76.
*Women with senior jobs sleep better in countries with gender equality
*First time female protests against abuse gather pace globally
*US: It's 2021 and women still make 82 cents for every Dollar earned by a man
*Businesses looking to strengthen heir company should invest in women
*Flowers against bullets: Belarusian women are turning everyday objects into protest symbols - and face persecution for it
*Women's recruitment into the security sector byCatherine White
*Women not getting the healthcare they need during the pandemic
*Empowered women create a more peaceful world
*Tanzania's new female President, Samia Hassan, brings new hope towomen in East Africa
*The missing piece: Father's role in stemming youth radicalisation
*5 ways to actually help female entrepreneurs
*How VAW & Children is represented in research
*The hidden cost of promotions for women leaders
*How new age spirituality & sensitive masculinity led to QAnon
*Policy Brief Series: WPS & the Generation Equality Action Coalitions
*Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (NOI) as 'Bi-cultural Mediator' @ the WTO  #WomensMonth
*'Women in Leadership' by Julia Gillard & Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
*New Zealand offers bereavement leave for those who miscarry or have still birth
*Making online events more inclusive by UNITAR 
*Covid-19 threatens to slow down women's progression tothe C-Level: What CEOs can do
*Why we mourn girlhood by Mellisa Febos
*Banks with more women on their Boards commit less fraud
*Gender gaps and inequality  costing  economies of countries as much as 15% of GDP
*Where does the women workforce stand one year after Covid-19 struck?
*Women score higher than men in most leadership skills
*Why women do the household worrying and how to get men to do more of it
*Turning point for gender equality
*If Bill and Melinda Gates can't make their marriage work, what hope is there for the rest of us?
*4 financial lessons women can learn from the Bill & Melinda Gates divirce announcement
*25 year old woman unexpectedly gave birth to nine babies
*6 women @ the forefront of West Africa's technology boom
*Sexual assault as a weapon of war: History, effect and prevention
*The women behind the Oxford/Astra Zeneca Covid-19 vaccine
*Facebook launches Global Women's Safety Advisory Board
*Why investing in women is key to attaining the SDGs
*Ms. Katherine Johnson, NASA's human computer who calculated trajectories for Apollo space mission by hand is 100 years old (28th June 2021)
*Accounting giant, PwC, to allow employees period of time off for fertility treatment





Friday 11 December 2020


 On the heels of the massacre of farmers in Zabarmari, the exact number killed is still conjectural because the Nigerian Army puts the figure at 43, insurgents say it is 78, while 110 is it according to some news agencies beyond the shores of Nigeria. See the following relevant links   The Zabarmari massacre of farmers: Should more citizens die in these senseless killings?   Military debunks claim about killing of 78 farmers in Borno   At least 110 farmers dead in Zambarmari, Nigeria, after suspected BH attack   Nigeria is the 3rd most terrorised country in he world - Report    

In the light of the above, NextierSPD (Security, Peace & Development) & the Yar'Adua Foundation convened a team of experts and stakeholders to review the impending food insecurity in Nigeria. It was an 'invitation only' discourse.

Some of the participants are:

*Dr. Nduuisi Nwokolo - Partner & CEO NextierSPD

*Dr. Uche Igwe - Visiting Fellow, Firoz Laiji Centre for Africa, London School of Economics (LSE), UK

*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Consultant/Conflict Transformation Expert, Abuja

*Amara Nwakpa - Director, Public Policy Initiative, Yar'Adua Foundation

*Ms. Bertha Ogbimi - CISLAC

*Ms. Ndidi Anyanwu - Senior Policy & Research Analyst, NextierSPD

                                                     Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa @ the parley

The critical areas x-rayed at the meeting and the recommendations in brief were:

*Insecurity - There should be collaboration between the local Vigilante Groups, communities and the Military to provide security for farmers. The modalities for same should be worked out with each community. One size does not necessarily fit all.

*Climate Change - Trans-border water management that could prevent excessive flooding in Nigeria (on a yearly basis), which in turn negatively affects crop yield should be interrogated. There should be mechanisms put in place to prevent the Lagdo Dam from flooding Adamawa, Benue, Kogi, Anambra states, etc. yearly. The drying of Lake Chad should be halted. In this regard, the effort of the Lake Chad Basin Governors' Forum (LCBGF) should be taken cognisance of to prevent re-invention of the wheel. It is necessary to employ relevant technology, including the deployment of artificial intelligence (AI) for improvement in the agricultural sector. The NLTP needs to be constantly revisited/revised to stem the tide of trust deficit bedeviling it.

                                Photo L-R: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa & Dr. Ndubuisi Nwokolo

*Policy Environment - Policy somersault is the bane of many otherwise successful initiatives/projects in the agricultural and related sectors. Garnering adequate and accurate data should be priority for successful planning. The language of CBN policies in the agricultural sector should be 'democratised', so that the regular small scale farmer at whom they are targeted understand the contents. There should be intensive advocacy in this regard.

*Inflation - Drivers of inflation should be continually deciphered/identified in all spheres. Some of the areas to look at are: the closure of borders, inadequate storage/preservation facilities/techniques for prolonging the life of perishable farm produce.

*Review of the Land Use Act of 1978 to accommodate contemporary concerns. The NLTP needs to be constantly interrogated to eliminate the trust deficit as regards its implementation...

The discourse continues...

                                                                   Group photograph


Related Links

*Maize will be scarce in 2021, Nigerian farmers raise alarm
*Food inflation may be Nigeria's biggest hit from Covid-19
*Food & the struggle for Africa's sovereignty


Thursday 3 December 2020


This Blog post addresses the content of the paper I presented at the Webinar to commemorate the first anniversary of the Nigeria Women Mediators Network (NWMN) titled: 'Strategies for inclusive Mediation in peace processes: Moving from Track 3 to Track 1'. NWMN celebrated the anniversary for two days (2nd - 3rd December, 2020). The Webinar was on the first day, while the launch of the SHE MEDIATES Campaign was on the second day. I congratulate NWMN for this feat.

                  Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa @ the launch of the SHE MEDIATES Campaign

Some of those present at the Webinar are:

*Dame Pauline Tallen (Represented by Jumai Idonije) - Minister of Women Affairs

*Ms. Comfort Lamptey - UN Women Nigeria Country Representative

*Carl Michael Grans - Swedish Ambassador to Nigeria

*Jens-Petter Kjemprud - Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria

*Prof. Gabor Ternek - Hungarian Ambassador to Nigeria

*Prof. Iyom Joy Onyesoh - 1st Coordinator, NWMN

*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Consultant/Conflict Transformation Expert & Speaker

*Dr. Eleanor Nwadinobi - Speaker

*Hajiya Lantana Abdullahi - 2nd/Current Coordinator, NWMN

*Lady Nkiru Celine Okoro - Lead, Communication Team, NWMN

*Barr. Rosemary Chikwendu - Lawyer/Coordinator, ICMC, Abuja

*Adeolu Adewunmi - Speaker

                                    Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa immediately after the Webinar

I wore many hats at the Webinar as:

- A Conflict Transformation & Gender Expert for over 35 years.

- A Chartered Mediator/Conciliator for more than 20 years.

- A Peace-Building practitioner for approximately 35 years.

- A women's rights activist for many decades.

- An Academic/Political Scientist for over 40 years.

Photo L-R: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa & Prof. Iyom Joy Onyesoh (1st Coordinator, NWMN)

In my presentation, I made it abundantly clear at the outset that the inclusive participation of women Mediators in peace processes (PPs) is hinged on mainstreaming women into conflict prevention, management and resolution (CPM&R). The Covid-19 pandemic has further depleted the inadequate stock of women mediators. There are at least 9 equity principles in gender mainstreaming (GM) that could facilitate mainstreaming women into peace processes. These are:

1) Accountability  2) Networking  3) Cultural Values  4) Gender Equity Goal & Framework  5) Gender Focal Persons  6) Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) of Plan  7) Major Activities Required - Gender Situation Analysis (GSA), Consultative Meetings and Expert Working Group Review (EWGR)  8) Curriculum Review at the primary, Secondary and Tertiary levels  9) Project Outcome.

In conclusion, I said that GM enhances participatory management of peace processes. The support of male champions should be sought at every turn. The Presidency, Governors, Local Government Chairmen, Government Officials, Politicians, etc should be incorporated into the afore-mentioned activities in order to facilitate the much desired transition from Track 3 to Track 1, where the required action can be taken to prevent and/or mitigate conflict...

                                                      Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa @ the event

Related Links

*How to mediate with difficult people
*How to fine-tune your attention to achieve harmony. Tips for Mediators   #payattention  #listen  #listenup  #focus  #mindful
*Book: Understanding resistance to inclusive peace processes by Esra Cuhadar
*Mediation & Special Education
*Entrepreneurship to kick-start your Mediation practice
*How great Coaches and Mediators ask, listen & empathise
*The 2020 elections in the US: Mediation & the political divide by Ken Cloke
*Mediation, neutrality & conflicts in the 2020 elections in the US
*How to cultivate a collaborative mindset
*Tools a Mediator can use to diagnose & overcome impasse
*The Pros & Cons of Virtual Mediation by Wendy Kramer
*Mediating high conflict disputes by Bill Eddy>mediating-high-conflict-disputes/
*Effective listening skills
*Elements of good judgement
*Strategic vs Facilitative & Transformative Mediation: A critical analysis
*Mandatory Mediation: A new wave of ADR
*How empathy helped generate a $2trn company
*How to train a Mediator
*Demarcating the Armenia-Azerbaijan border through Mediation,not violence
*Howto manage final offers in Mediation
*Visualising the dynamics of combat & Negotiations in Donbas
*Wills & Probate disputes: Ripe for Mediation?
*The 25th anniversary edition of EI by Daniel Goleman
*Party self-determination in Mediation: A core concept or does the Emperor have no clothes?
*'Glocalisation' of Arbitration    https://commercialarbitration
*What Mediators can do to strengthen democracy by Ken Cloke
*10 best books about Mediation by Tammy Lenski
*The vanishing Jury Trial & other important lessons for Mediators
*Workplace Mediation: 7 tips for better outcomes
*Data protection & Mediation by Richard Kaye
*Implicit Bias: How it affects us, & how we push through - Melanie Funchess/TEDxFlourCity
*Why ego management is key to effective Mediation
*The power of listening in helping people change
*Gas-lighting warps our view of reality. How to spot it & fight back
*The science of reasoning with unreasonable people
*Using empathy & curiosity to overcome differences
*Collaboration: ADR Dispute Resolution Section Mediation 1-12-2021
*Can Mediation transform the experience of illness?    
*The cognitive & perceptual correlates of ideological attitudes: A data-driven expose
*Line in the sand: Setting boundaries can prevent unnecessary conflict
*Dear Negotiation Coach: Breaking bad news in Negotiation
*The Mediator's Toolkit by Gery O'Sullivan
*What is Mediation Advocacy? by Hohn H. Sugiyama
*Could new Mediators resolve the GERD dispute between Sudan & Egypt?
*Confirmation Bias: Centre for action & contemplation
*3 ways to build empathy for others in your life
*On experts, neutrality & protests as powerful tools by Alonzo Emery     Published in the January 2021 edition of Dispute Resolution Magazine
*Launching a new Mediation business
*Preparing for Mediation & Negotiation
*Thoughts on Parallel Track Arbitration - Mediation
*Advantages & disadvantages of being a Mediation Attorney
*Debunking Negotiation myths
*Fairness in Negotiation
*Ethics in Negotiation
*Emotion & the art of business negotiations
*The hidden benefits of mistrust in Ngotiation
*Self-analysis & Negotiation
*Can Negotiation theory help us understand our religious identity?
*Mediation beats adversarial @ resolving workplace disputes
*The role and need for implicit bias training
*10 top cognitive biases and distortions in Mediation
*5 most common misconceptions about about criminal trial
*There's no such thing as a 'failed Mediation'
*The importance of empathy & effective listening in Mediation & Arbitration
*The complex effects of counter-terrorism on Mediation efforts
*Why we suddenly fall out with people
*Ethics & Negotiation
*FBI Negotiation tactics you can use to get what you need
*How to negotiate remotely
*'Healthy Empathy': How 'empaths' can sorely lack empathy because of their own trauma
*How to navigate the role of 'Accidental Mediator'







Tuesday 1 December 2020


The title of this Blog post is the subject matter of the conference I attended at Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Hotels & Towers, Abuja on the 30th of November, 2020. The event was convened by the National Orientation Agency (NOA) in collaboration with HallowMace Communications. It was indeed a partnership between an arm of government, the legislature, and the citizens for whom they 'formulate' laws.

                                 Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa on the red carpet @ the event

'We do not sing our own song, others sing for us' - Senator Sanni Abdullahi, Deputy Chief Whip & Representative of the Senate President at the event. The quote alludes to the fact that both the Upper and Lower Chambers of the Legislature do not have the opportunity to address the citizens directly, it is the media, the Fourth Estate of the Realm, that reports the goings-on in the National Assembly to the people. Sanni said in order to adequately disseminate information to the public, journalists should cross check facts. He said in addition to the investigative powers of the Senate, it also appropriates, legislates and oversights. Because resources are scarce, funds should be utilised expeditiously!

Some of the participants at the parley were:

*Senator Ahmed Lawan (Represented by Senator Sanni Abdullahi) - SenatePresident
*Dr. Garba Abari - DG National Orintation Agency (NOA)
*Sunny Anderson Osiebe - CEO HallowMace Communications Ltd.
*Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, SAN - Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC)
*Senator (Eng.) Adeleke Adeyemi Oriolowo - Chairman, Senate Committe on Legislative Compliance
*Hon Alhassan Ado Doguwa - Leader House of Representatives
*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Consultant/Conflict Transformation Expert, Abuja
*Clement Nwankwo - Executive Director, Policy & Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC)
*Idayat Hasan (Represented by Austin Aigbe) - Director, Centre for Democracy & Dvelopment (CDD)
*Hon. Mulikat Adeola-Akande - Former Leader, House of Representatives
*Dr. Sam Amadi - Director, Centre for Public Policy & Research
*Oche precious Edeh - Executive Director, YES Project Initiative

Photo L-R: Hon. Mulikat Adeola-Akande (Former Majority Leader, House of Representatives) & Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa

Senator Adeyemi Oriolowo, Chairman Senate Committee on Legislative Compliance was worried about trust deficit between the arms of government and the citizenry. For him, the Senate is about equality and equity, while the House of Representatives is more about representation. He cautioned that there could be 'tyranny of the majority'. Compliance to legislative nuances and procedure should be on the front burner. Compliance & Ethics Units should be established in all MDAs.

For Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, there are pitfalls of legislative investigation as stipulated in Sections 88 and 89 of the Constitution. How do you compel Ministers, DGs and CEOs of MDAs to comply with NASS summons? There should be consequences for not appearing before Committees as and when due. Section 4(2)(3) of the Constitution elaborates on the function of the legislature enact laws that engender good governance.

On the whole, a number of recommendations were made:

*The NASS should have subject matter experts to aid Committee work and ensure that laws are enacted from an informed position.

*Once legislators are voted into the NASS, they should automatically become nationalists who serve their fatherland and not only their constituencies.

*Laws should be enacted to check 'executive rascality', so that when members of the executive are summoned by the Senate or House of Representatives, they comply. 

*Investigation is fact-checking and should be carried out with a high sense of responsibility, integrity and transparency.

*Legislatures should always communicate the heart of the people.

*'Constituency projects' are not necessarily in the purview of the NASS, it is more an executive function.

*Women, young persons and other marginalised groups should be included in laws.

*MDAs that do not submit their annual audited accounts should be recommended for sanction. 'No audited report, no new budget allocation' should be the new mantra.

*Performance evaluation for MDAs is vital.

*Eventual restructuring of Nigeria would solve many lingering problems.

*The high turn-over rate at the NASS calls for worry. It erases institutional memory.

*Thorough investigative hearings by the NASS keeps government on its toes.

The discussion continues in less formal settings...


Wednesday 25 November 2020


The very first Annual Forum on Women in the Security Sector was held in Abuja between the 19th and 20th of November 2020 @ the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Conference Centre & Suites. The theme was - 'UNSCR @ 20: Present realities & future opportunities'. I was a stakeholder at the conference jointly sponsored Federal Ministry of Women Affairs (FMWA), the Nigerian Army & UN Women. Some of the participants were:

*Dame Pauline Tallen - Minister of Women Affairs

*Ms. Comfort Lamptey - UN Women Country Representative

*Dr. Ifeoma Anyanwutaku - Permanent Secretary, FMWA

*Brigadier-General Christine Thomas - Gender Advisor, Defense Headquarters, Abuja

*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Consultant/Conflict Transformation & Gender Expert

*Dr. Julie Sanda - National Defense/Keynote Speaker

*Dr. Eleanor Nwadinobi - Consultant

*Ms. Ene Ede - Coordinator, VAPP, FCT

L-R: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa & Brigadier-General Christine Thomas (Gender Advisor, Defense Headquarters, Abuja).

The objectives of the conference, which built on the policy dialogue held with the Reference Group on Gender Responsive Security Sector were:

*To serve as a platform for identifying gaps/issues and strategic opportunities to increase women's meaningful participation in the security sector.

*To exchange experiences, challenges and good practice for designing and implementing GB policies, and identify specific needs across various institutions'

*To provide an opportunity for women in the security sector to share their lived experiences and contribute to a participatory process in advancing gender balance.

*To serve as a platform for advocacy for advancing GB in the security sector, including through developing and presenting policy recommendations to senior-level decision makers... 

Advancing gender balance in Security Sector Institutions (SSIs) was identified as a key strategy for enhancing gender-responsive Security Sector Reform (SSR). A positive consequence of this is gender mainstreaming (GM). GM focuses on ensuring the needs, experiences and perspectives of women,  men, girls and boys are integrated into SSR. Gender balance (GB) focuses on measures to promote the equal participation of women and men in security establishments/forces across functions and at all levels in the hierarchy with the support of women's organisations. Specific interventions include reviewing recruitment policies and employment terms to ensure they are not discriminatory. Networks should also be created to serve as the platform for gender balance.

The importance of implementing measures to advance GB as part of a gender-responsive SSR has been recognised in key global normative frameworks:

*The Peace & Security Agenda's first resolution, UNSCR 1325 (2000) referred to women's participation in the security sector, whilst

*UNSCR 1820 (2008) specifically underlines the need for women's engagement in SSR and associated SSI processes. In addition, the 

*UNSCR 2151 (2014), the first UNSCR on SSR, emphasises the importance of women's equal, effective and full involvement in SSR.

In Nigeria, both the first and second National Action Plans (NAPs)on UNSCR 1325 have emphasised the increased participation (in numbers, roles and seniority) of women  in SSIs. The first NAP indicated that the target for women's participation should be 35%, in line with the National Gender Policy (NGP). It is worthy of note that Nigeria's security sector is engaged in multiple conflict theatres. As a result, violence against women & girls (VAW&G) and other human rights violations against vulnerable persons are pervasive. In this context, the importance of a gender-balanced security sector cannot be overemphasised. 

I look forward to the second edition of the conference next year... 

Related Links

*Women peace-builders essential for sustainable world peace
*VE & gender in Central Sahel: Dodmatism or Pragmatism
*Policy Brief Series: WPS & the Generation Equality Action Coalitions
*Tanzania's new female President, Samia Hassan, brings new hope to women in East Africa
*The missing piece: athers' role in stemming youth radicalisation
*Empowered women create a more peaceful world
*Women's recruitment into the security sector by Catherine White 



Sunday 22 November 2020


 I was a valued stakeholder at the Centre for Democracy & Development (CDD), United States Institute for Peace (USIP) and the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP) Office - The Presidency joint conference on 'Emerging trends and dynamics in the farmer-herder crisis in Nigeria'. The parley was held on the 19th of November at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. Two major papers were presented:

*Farmer-Herder conflicts in Northern Nigeria: Trends, dynamics & Gender perspectives by Dr. Nathaniel Danjibo &

*The implementation of the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP): The journey so far by Dr. Andrew  Kwasari.

Some of the participants at the conference include:

*Ms. Idayat Hassan (represented by Shamsudeen Yusuf) - Director CDD

*Amb. Abdu Zango - Country Manager, USIP for Nigeria, the Middle East & Africa

*Dr. Andrew Kwasari - SSA to the President

*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Non Resident Senior Fellow, CDD & Member of FFARN (Forum on Farmer-Herder Relations in Nigeria)

*Prof. Oshita Oshita - Member of FFARN

*Dr. Nathaniel Danjibo - University of Ibadan

*Dr. Chris Kwaja - Modibo Adama University of Technology,Yola & Member of FFARN

*Tog Gang - Search for Common Ground (SFCG)

*Adagbo Onoja - Media Practitioner

*Kadija Ardido Haruna - Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN)

*Hon Nyam Pam Dareng - Fmr. Member, House of Representatives

*Chrisantus Lapang - SFCG

                                          Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa speaking @ the conference

The objectives of the conference were to:

*Critically review the result of field research to bring stakeholders to speed as regards new trends in the farmer-herder crisis.

*Effectively deliberate on government responses in adapting to the challenging dynamics of the conflict with special emphasis on the NLTP.

*Generate recommendations with practical strategies to be employed by state and non-state actors towards mitigating the conflict. Such suggested solutions should be strategic and measurable.

The research was in Benue, Kaduna, Katsina and Nasarawa states. Locations, not communities were the targets for Focus Group Discussions (FGDs). In Katsina state, farmer-herder crisis has declined and mutated into banditry. In Benue state, the slang is 'It is either you ranch or you ruin your animals'. The conflict has reduced with the activities of Operation Ayem Akpatuma. In Kaduna state, the conflict was intense in 2012 and has abated between 2013 and 2019 for the following reasons:

-The establishment of the Farmer-Herder Relations Committee.

-Mutation of the conflict into banditry.

-Introduction of early maturing seedlings for early harvesting.

-Presence and operations of security agencies.

In Nasarawa and Katsina states the activities of livestock guards sometimes lead to the killing of pastoralists' cows. In Zamfara state, for example, the issue of armed banditry has been complicated by the activities of illegal miners.

According to Dr. Andrew Kwasari, some progress has been made on the implementation of the NLTP. 'Even if Nigeria succeeds in implementing the NLTP, neighbouring countries need to do the same for the impact of the work done by Nigeria to be felt in the West African region'. Gender dis-aggregated data are being compiled at every turn.

The following were my observations, comments & recommendations:

-The NLTP needs continuous advocacy for it to be internalised at the grassroots level. For example, the research finding was that there was no mention of the NLTP in the communities. I suggest that the NLTP should be further 'democratised' by translating the precis version into the major Nigerian languages and indeed pidgin.

-The failed peace meetings by MACBAN in Benue and Nasarawa states should be re-visited.

-The establishment of Dangote Company in Nasarawa has enhanced security in the state, because while the Company is protecting its assets and workers, the citizens are also protected by proxy. More of such Companies should be established in areas ravaged by the farmer-herder conflict.

-Vigilante groups should be further encouraged in their Early Warning and sometimes Early Response role.

-Pastoralists and Religious leaders should reach out more to one another.

-Traditional leaders should be empowered to play their mediatory role in the farmer-herder conflict more effectively.

-Government policies that pertain to the farmer-herder conflict should be more consistent and sustainable.

-Perception is everything. Both farmers and herders should perceive that they are being equally treated by appointed Mediators, Conciliators and indeed government.

-There is a need to move from 'Project-based approaches' to the 'Sustainable development' approach.

-Small Arms & Light Weapons (SALWs) should be aggressively mopped up. They are the 'weapons of mass destruction' in Africa.

-The sponsors of those committing atrocities in the farmer-herder conflict should be unveiled, named, shamed and prosecuted!

-Conflict-sensitive reporting is essential. Reporters should be trained in the art of effective 'conflict reporting'.

-The fact that herders constitute a significant proportion of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) population should be addressed.

-Have the 'Anti-grazing Laws' really engendered peace? If not, should we be eyeing novel strategies for peace?

The conversation, according to the organisers, would continue at the state level and in various communities. We keep our fingers crossed...  

Related Links

*Farmer-herder conflict: 10 states ready to implement NLTP - Presidency

*Implementation of NLTP will address farmer-herder conflicts - CDD    https;// 

*Unsafe land: In many parts of the North-West, especially Zamfara state, bandits levy farmers before they can harvest their crops

*Governance, fragility & insurgency in the Sahel: A hybrid order in the making

*Science combating desertification in the Sahel spearheaded by Barkissa Fofana, a female Microbiologist from Burkina Fasso

*BH blocks Lake Chad routes

*World Bank plans to invest over $5b in Drylands in Africa

*Insecurity & Covid-19: Threats to electoral democracy in Africa

*People and war

*Deradicalising, rehabilitating & reintegrating: Building peace in Nigeria

*Dilemma of the demise of Chad's Idris Deby

*Aid cuts, political impasse and extremism - What next for local communities?




Wednesday 30 September 2020


As a follow up to the Online Policy Analysis (OPA) of contentious Policies, Laws, Bills & Acts in Nigeria, the Face-2-Face Policy Analysis (F2FPA) was facilitated by me in Plateau and Benue states on the 15th and 18th of September respectively under the auspices of Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy & Development (SCDDD); Mercy Corps & Pastoral Resolve (PARE). I was in the field between the 15th and 19th of September, 2020

                                Photo above: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa sitting/relaxed during tea break

            Photo above: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa facilitating @ the F2FPA in Plateau state

Photo above: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa and Covid-19 compliant stakeholders @ the Jos (Plateau state) parley

The documents x-rayed in Plateau were:

1) The Companies & Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020

2) The National Grazing Route & Reserve Commission (NGRRC) Bill, 2016

3) Response by Plateau state government & citizens to the NGRRC Bill, 2016

4) The concept of 'Indigeneity' in Nigeria

5) The Land Use Act (LUA) 1978

6) The Water Resources Amendment (WRA) Act 2020

In Makurdi (Benue state), (4) was not addressed, while (3) was replaced by the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition & Ranching Establishment Law 2017

            Photo above: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa facilitating the F2FPA in Makurdi, Benue state

It was made abundantly clear that government usually has relatively good intentions for Policies, Laws & Acts. However, in the course of actual implementation, the citizenry detect flaws in the documents that may make them challenging to implement. The reaction to the CAMA Act in both states was that it should not entail religious bodies while others felt religious bodies should be guided by the same laws which 'bind' charities.

                                              Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa speaking in Makurdi

In the two states, it was suggested that the LUA should be reviewed in line with modern trends. The popular opinion was that the LUA should be read in conjunction with the NGRRC Bill 2016 & the WRA 2020. It is noteworthy that due to the vehement outcry against the Water Resources (Amendment) Act 2020 has been withdrawn by the sponsor in the House of Representatives! This shows the importance of citizen engagement with Policies, Laws and Acts  that affect their lives, since in the final analysis, the citizens know where the shoe pinches vis-a-vis these pieces of legislation...The dialogue continues...

   Photo above: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa in group photograph with critical stakeholders in Makurdi

Related Links

*Conflict potentials of the 2020 Water Resources Act


Sunday 23 August 2020


Today, 23rd August 2020 is the 70th birthday of  'the wind beneath my wings', my better half, husband for 37 years and still counting, John Olufemi Kusa, popularly known as 'Femi Kusa'. I woke up this morning to the realisation that the news was all over the place (radio, television, newspapers and social media) that my humble, self-effacing, hardworking, loyalty personified, terrific professional, complete gentleman and husband of my youth, Femi, had been recognised by President Muhammadu Buhari for his commendable exploits in his two professions: Journalism & Alternative Medicine! See the relevant links where the President wrote glowingly about my own Femi below! I am sooo... proud of you, dear hubby and hands-on dad of our three adult sons - Dr. Tope Kusa, Seun Kusa and Ayo Kusa.

*Buhari extols Femi Kusa's contributions as he turns 70

*Buhari extols Femi Kusa's contributions as he turns 70

*Buhari felicitates with veteran journalist, Femi Kusa as he turns 70

*Buhari greets veteran journalist, Femi Kusa @ 70

*Buhari rejoices with veteran journalist, Femi Kusa @ 70

                                           Photo above: JOHN OLUFEMI KUSA @ 70

I met Femi, who I affectionately call FK in the Guardian Newspaper newsroom at inception in 1983. We were both pioneer staffers. He was 33 and I was 25 years old. He was the News Editor and I was the first National Assembly Correspondent of the Guardian Newspaper. I 'reported' from the Senate and House of Representatives, then in Lagos. I also wrote a weekly column - 'The Legislature'. Ours was the very first 'Guardian Wedding'! The rest, they say, is history. The same qualities I saw in him that swept me off my feet in 1983 endear him to me even today. FK, though principled, is liberal enough to encourage me to pursue my interests without hindrance. He understands that marriage is a union and not a fusion of the spouses. Each of the two individuals should still own his/her own characteristics while not hurting the desired union in any way. His loving and considerate attitude towards me and the children has sustained us. I celebrate you, my dear!

Some of the other professionals who worked at the Guardian at that initial stage (1983) were: Dr. Stanley Macebuh - Managing Director (deceased). Dr. Macebuh recruited me fresh from my M.Sc Political Science degree (University of Lagos). Lade Bonuola (Ladbone) - Editor; Adigun Agbaje - Politics Desk (now Professor & former DVC, University of Ibadan); Ted Iwere - Features Editor; Eddie Iroh (author of 'Without a Silver Spoon') - Editorial Board Member; Chinweizu (author of 'The Anatomy of Female Power', etc.) - Editorial Board Member...From this line up, it is obvious that this was a team of egg heads assembled in one establishment: The Guardian Newspaper at inception. FK and I were part of this formidable team!

FK has sterling credentials. He is a 1977 graduate of Mass Communication (2nd Class Upper Division) from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He was on leave of absence from his duty post at The Daily Times Newspaper to pursue his dream of becoming a University graduate, during an era when his colleagues were content with remaining on the job, and acquiring experience while earning promotion. By the way, FK paid his fees throughout his course. When he was on holiday, he worked at the Daily Times. He was to return to Daily Times as a graduate Sub-Editor. Besides, FK has under his belt certificates from numerous courses in Nigeria and abroad which constituted on-the-job training. At various times at the Guardian, FK was News Editor, Editor and Director of Publications/Editor-In-Chief. At the Comet Newspaper, he was Director of Publications/Editor-In-Chief. In spite of his busy schedule, he always found time to mentor rookie journalists.  

FK is Fellow, Nigeria Guild of Editors (FNGE); Fellow, Nigeria Association of Physicians of Natural Medicine (FACP) and Fellow, Nigeria Academy of Natural Medicine (FNANM). His seamless transition from mainstream journalism to his niche, Alternative Medicine, for about thirty years, still baffles many people. In Alternative Medicine, he has made a mark as an authority consulted by other Alternative Medicine practitioners and indeed orthodox Medical Doctors! He has maintained a weekly column for about thirty years on Alternative Medicine, first in the Guardian, then the Comet and now the Nation! It is tasking to maintain a weekly column for so long in a serious and ever evolving field like Alternative Medicine. Each time FK became weary, I urged him on by suggesting topics, and sometimes content to him. Up till today, I painstakingly take it upon myself to edit FK's column weekly before it goes to press!

On Femi's professional prowess, the President said:

'I congratulate you for choosing a career that best expresses your talent. The awareness that you bring to Nigerians through your years of working in newsrooms and writing will continue to be appreciated. Your wise counsel on health issues has influenced review of strategies and policies which focus on homegrown options for treatment of infirmities and ailments. Your effort contributed to Alternative Medicine gaining recognition by the Federal Government of Nigeria for inclusion in the Medical & Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN)'.

On FK's training of the most prominent Journalists & those who have metamorphosed into other professions, the President said:

'You are an accomplished media trainer, whose willingness to share knowledge has resulted in your mentees becoming Legislators, Chief Executives, Media Entrepreneurs and indeed Advisers...'

As FK's wife I attest to the fact that what you see is what you get with him. He is a down-to-earth man who detests any form of pretense. My principled and upright FK, I felicitate with you for attaining the Biblical and significant age of three scores and ten. You shall live to see more of your children's children. Happy birthday, my dear!... 

Our wedding: 17th December 1983 - John Olufemi Kusa weds Matilda Adedayo Oluyemi

                 Our wedding: 17th December 1983 - Flanked by my parents-in-law/love



Friday 17 July 2020



I was the facilitator at the inaugural edition of the Online Policy Analysis (OPA) Project on the 16th of July, 2020. The Kaduna OPA (KOPA) was indeed a 'hybrid' meeting, with me at the office of the convener, Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy & Development (SCDDD) while participants joined from Kaduna and other parts of Nigeria. According to SCDDD, the OPA Forum is an online (virtual) 'bridge-the-gap' complementary activity to further aid the on-going policy analysis and policy tracking of contentious Policies, Bills and Laws under the Community Initiative to Promote Peace (CIPP) project which SCDDD is currently implementing. The project is supported by Mercy Corps, Nigeria.

Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa facilitating during the Kaduna Online Policy Analysis (KOPA) meeting. Sir Bola Abimbola (Snr. Programme Manager, SCDDD) & Ms. Tinuola Makinde (Programme Asistant, SCDDD) in the background.

The three rather controversial Bills dissected are:

*The National Grazing Routes & Reserve Commission Bill, 2016
*Kaduna State Policy on Indigeneity
*Kaduna State Religious Preaching Regulation Law, 2019

Some of the participants at the meeting are:

*Amb. Sani Bala -  Executive Director, SCDDD, Abuja
*Sir Bola Abimbola -  Senior Programme Manager, SCDDD, Abuja
*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Conflict Transformation Expert, Abuja
*Ekobay Benard - Programme Officer, SCDDD
*Ms. Tinuola Makinde - Programme Assistant, SCDDD
*Charles Ndukwe -  Programme Manager, IMC
*Oma Roberts - Mercy Corps
*Mohammed Munji Sanusi - Programme Officer, Pastoral Resolve (PARE)
*Dr. Usman Bugaje - Arewa Research Development Project (ARDP)
*Ndi Kato - CSO
*Nathaniel Bagudu - President, National Youth Council, Kaduna Chapter
*Obinna Ukaeje - Researcher, Dept. of Area & Regional Studies, National Defense College
*Ms. Priscilla Ankut - Executive Vice Chairman/CEO Kaduna Peace Commission
*Saudatu Mahdi - Women's Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative (WRAPA)
*Riskat Toyin Mohammed - Women with Disability Self-Reliance Foundation
*Abdujelil Atima Ibrahim - Religious Leader
*Izzatu Anoh - CSO
*Ibrahim Shehu Giwa - Kaduna State House of Assembly

      L-R: Sir Bola Abimbola & Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa listening to an online participant

The National Grazing Routes & Reserve Commission Bill, 2016: Matters arising

*The in-elegant drafting of the Bill needs to be addressed.
*Authorises the compulsory acquisition of land.
*Land is acquired in whose interest?
*What is the nature of animal husbandry to be carried out in the grazing reserve?
*The issue of compensation needs to be properly addressed. See Sec. 44 of the 1999 Constitution.
*Right of affected individuals to seek Court intervention.
*Cost of setting up the Commission rather high - 38 members, etc.
*Commission to determine who enters grazing reserves. What constitutes 'unlawful' entry.
*Modalities for making grazing areas end up as ranches?
*Clause 29 says pastoralists not allowed to graze cattle outside grazing areas, except in 'exceptional circumstances'. This characterisation is nebulous.
*Clause 32 says any Commission member can be removed. Under what circumstances?

Kaduna State Policy on Indigeneity: Matters arising

*The term: 'indigene' is alien to the dictionary. It can pass for 'Nigerian English'.
*On the 6th of August 2015, Governor Nasir El-Rufai abolished indigeneship status in Kaduna state. He said: 'There is nothing like indigene/settlers in Kaduna state under this administration...We have abolished the settler-indigene dichotomy
*Has the abolition of the Indigeneity law engendered peace or conflict in Kaduna state?
*Many of Nigeria's worst conflicts pit the recognised 'original'/indigenous inhabitants against supposedly later settlers.
*States and local governments have a free rein to pick who is an indigene. There's usually abuse of the label.
*The indigene-settler distinction is explosive because it's reinforced by other identity-based divides, e.g. ethnicity, language, religion, culture, etc
*Poor law enforcement responses indicate official complicity.
*There is a 'citizen deficit' in Nigeria.
*There should be a more holistic understanding of justice. Planned interventions are necessary - Securitisation, criminal prosecution, victim compensation, mediation, dialogue, truth commission, public institutional reforms, etc
*National citizenship should not be subjugated to ethnicity and ancestry.
*Are the following necessary, although they are already in place? - Residents' registration agency/State residency card programme.
*What then is the special status of the 'autonomous' people of Kaduna state?
*If indigenes of other states lay claim to Kaduna state,would they then have 'dual indigeneship'?
*The concerns of 'minorities' should be taken into consideration.
*The indigeneity issue should not be politicised.
*A citizen is a person who, by either birth or naturalisation, is a member of apolitical community, owing allegiance to the community and being entitled to enjoy all the civil rights, protection and privileges.
*Citizenship is the legal status of being a citizen or the legal quality of a person's conduct as a member of a community.
*Nationality is conferred by birth.
*Residency refers to a person's visa status, where he/she is allowed to reside permanently in a country of which he's not a citizen.
*Section 25 of the Nigerian Constitution says a person can be a citizen and a national.
*Sections 26 & 27 say that a person can only be a citizen, but not a national. Citizenship for a foreigner can be revoked by the President.
*Citizenship can be changed, while nationality cannot be changed.
*There can be dual citizenship, but not dual nationality. 

Kaduna State Religious Preaching Regulation Law, 2019: Matters arising

*The issuance of 'bi-annual' license to religious organisations. What are the specific criteria for determining who is given a license and whose license is renewed/withdrawn?
*Two years jail for contravening the rules!
*Forfeiture/destruction of any vehicle, equipment, gadget carrying offensive message!
*Many of the participants believe self-regulation by the religious bodies themselves is the way to go,
rather than enforcement of the provisions of legislation. We should stop trying to solve every social problem with laws.

              Some of the participants @ the Online Policy Analysis (OPA) Zoom Meeting

The SCDDD secretariat would galvanise all the issues of concern and make them available to the relevant institutions. It was indeed an exhaustive online session. Lest I forget, I congratulate SCDDD on her brand new edifice in Utako, Abuja. The building has four floors with state of the art fittings in the conference rooms, board rooms, library, offices, kitchen, etc! It was my very first time at SCDDD's new office which was completed early this year, just before the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lock-down. I'm glad the there's now a beehive of activity in the complex to the extent that social distancing and other Covid-19 protocols would permit.

I also congratulate Prof. Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, Founder, SCDDD, fellow Political Scientist and senior colleague, on his recent appointment as Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari. His antecedents as Diplomat extraordinaire at the international level, including the UN, make me very confident that he would excel in his new assignment. On behalf of his numerous mentees all over the world, I wish Prof. Gambari resounding success! Congratulations once more, SCDDD - I actually keep seeing your edifice in my dream because I wish to own a corporate outfit like yours! Please wish me grace to achieve this desirable feat...

Related Links

*Placing Conflict: Religion & Politics in Kaduna State, Nigeria
*Re-thinking Nigeria's indigene-settler conflicts
*Terror, territoriality & the struggle for indigeneity & citizenship in Nigeria
*Nigeria: Indigeneity policies marginalise millions
*The abolition of indigeneship status in Kaduna state: A surreptitious decision 16_issue 2/A0620107.pdf
*Nigeria: El-Rufai's concept of equal citizenship
*The grazing Bill & right to property in Nigeria
*The logic of open grazing in Nigeria: Interrogating the effect on sustainable development
*HB 388: National Grazing Routes & Reserve Commission Bill 2016
*The politics of herdsmen's attacks & the grazing policy
*Facts about Kaduna State Religious Preaching (Regulation) law
*Is the Kaduna State Preaching Regulation Law of 2019 meant to frustrate Christians?
*Kaduna Assembly passes controversial Religious Regulatory Law 
*CAC implements CAMA Act 2020, introduces self-service portal - Registrar-General
*Nigerian teen jailed for blasphemy has sentence quashed
*Barber arrested in Kano for giving customers haircut that 'offended' Islam arrested, arraigned & remanded in custody
*'They were unjust to me' says teenager freed after blasphemy sentence quashed in Nigeria
*Kano Sharia enforcement agency, Hisbah, bans use of dummies/mannequins by tailors, boutiques, etc 

18th August, 2020
2nd Edition of the OPA Project

The second edition of the OPA meeting was held on the 18th of August, 2020. I facilitated at the virtual discourse. As usual, I was at SCDDD office in Abuja, while participants joined us from Kano and other parts of Nigeria. In line with the template for the inaugural session, three contentious documents were x-rayed viz;

*The National Grazing Route & Reserve Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2016
*Kano State Sharia Commission
*The Hisbah Law, 2003

Photo above: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa facilitating. Sir Bola Abimbola (Senior Programme Manager, SCDDD in the background)

    Photo above R-L: Amb. Sani Bala (Executive Director, SCDDD), Sir Bola Abimbola & Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa

I identified the following:

*Amb.Sani Bala - Executive Director, SCDDD
*Sir Bola Abimbola - Senior Programme Manager, SCDDD
*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Facilitator
*Oma Roberts - Senior Programme Officer, Mercy Corps
*Charles Ndukwe - Programme Manager, International Mediation Centre (IMC)
*Jite Phido - Programme Director, Africa Radio Drama Association (ARDA)
*Muhammad Sanusi - Programme Officer, Pastoral Resolve (PARE)
*Pastor James Wuye - Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC)
*Dr. Ruqayyah Yusuf Aliyu - Lecturer, Bayero University, Kano
*Abba Yunusa Kyari - CSO Chairman, Kano
*Rev. Mikailu Artemas Atiku - CAN Member
*Nura Sani Abdullahi - Youth for Human Rights
*Babangida Saidu Aminu - Secretary General, MSSN
*Barr.Nura Ahmad Mohammed - CSO
*Prof. Muhammad Babangida - Department of Islamic Studies, BUK
*Rev. Adeyemo Samuel - CAN

Executive Director, SCDDD, Amb Sani Bala welcomed participants while commending the achievements of the OPA Project so far. He identified with the work being done to prevent, mitigate and positively transform conflicts in Nigeria. Mercy Corps handles the field work, while SCDDD manages the policy aspect of the project. 

                                        Covid-19 era compliant Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa

Ms. Tinu Makinde (Programme Assistant, SCDDD) sitting opposite Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa

The National Grazing Route & Reserve Bill 2016

The participants suggested that for the Bill to have the desired impact, a higher level of grassroots negotiation is required. This would foster mutual understanding. Besides, a more deliberate bottom-up approach would be more beneficial. There should be more public hearings in order to 'democratise' the contents of the Bill. Ethnic and religious undertone should be toned down. A review of the Bill should take cognisance of the following: desert encroachment, demographic movement, population explosion, etc.

There is some opposition to the Bill from Governors, who say the Bill is ascribing to them powers they already have under the Land Use Act to allocate Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) and by extension, grazing routes reserves. The Gender dimension of the contents of the Bill needs to be reviewed so that both men and women are adequately provided for...

Kano State Sharia Commission

About 95% of the inhabitants of Kano are Muslims. The Sharia law is to make the inhabitants of Kano respect the tenets of their religion. Sharia law is for Muslims only. Every Muslim who errs deserves the requisite punishment. There was a note of caution, however, from participants: While sanctioning Muslims, it is necessary to take note of the context.

The Kano Sharia Court sentenced a Musician to death over his song which was allegedly against Prophet Mohammed ( Musician, Yahaya Sharif Aminu, a member of the Islamic Tijjaniya sect and Faidha group, was sentenced to death by hanging by the presiding Judge, Khadi Aliyu Mohammed Kani. Youths had earlier set Aminu's house ablaze.

Three weeks earlier, humanist, Mubarak Bala, was arrested in Kano and issued death threats over a Facebook post said to be blasphemous against Prophet Mohammed. Bala's whereabouts remain unknown, despite a court order mandating his release. 

Does the Sharia law infringe on fundamental human rights? Sharia law & the Constitution: Are they strange bed fellows? Sharia is in force in 12 out of the 19 northern states. Section 275 of the Constitution allows for the creation of the State Sharia Court of Appeals. There is discretion to the states to create their own Sharia Courts in the first instance. Is it constitutional to extend Sharia to the purview of criminal justice? Is constitutional amendment of Sharia law possible under the constitution? Sections 262(2) of The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria still restricts the jurisdiction of Sharia Court of Appeals to issues of Islamic Personal Law - Islamic marriage, family relationships, inheritance, guardianship and maintenance of infants/persons of unsound mind/physically and mentally infirm Muslims...

Hisba Law (Kano) 2003

Hisba is an Arabic word meaning any act performed for the good of the society. It's an Islamic religious concept that calls for 'enjoining' what is right and forbidding what is wrong for every Muslim. Hisba Corps is a religious Police Force in Kano state responsible for the enforcement of Sharia. Hisba Corps operates under the jurisdiction of a Hisba Board which comprises the following: government officials, secular Police Officers and religious leaders. The Hisba Board is decentralised with local units supervised by Committees composed of officials and citizens in the communities.

The Hisba Corps reports to the national Police, but the relationship has been acrimonious.Members of the Hisba Corps cannot arrest. But they perform the vital function of Mediation and Arbitration of disputes, verbal chastising, maintaining order at religious ceremonies and assisting with disaster response. Compared with Vigilante Groups and Civilian JTF, the Hisba Corps has no record of extra-judicial killings.

A question kept popping up during the online meeting: Is there gender bias in the Hisba Corps? The participants were of the opinion that there's no gender bias in the Corps. Both men and women are free to apply to join. The consensus at the meeting was that the Hisba Corps is doing a good job also in the care of Almajiri children and they need more material (funding) and human (personnel) capital to continue and indeed expand their reach.

It was suggested that more women should be trained as Mediators and encouraged to join the Hisba Corps. The Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC), which has expertise in 'Islamic Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)', volunteered to train members of the Hisba Corps. Section 4, Sub-section 10 of Hisba Law on Mediation needs to be strengthened. A section should be added to the Hisba Law, which would empower the Hisba Corps to check the excesses of Sharia Court Judges...

The conversation continues on the corridors, in formal and indeed informal settings. The OPA meetings are for two hours only (11am-1pm), and we kept strictly to time. In view of the time constraint, so much ground was covered, analysing three controversial documents. Many thanks to the mature and knowledgeable participants and indefatigable organisers. SCDDD and Mercy Corps...keep up the good work!

                                     Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa @ work

Related Links

*Kano Sharia Court sentences Musician to death over song
*Hisba & Sharia enforcement in Metropolitan Kano
*Gender, Hisba & enforcement of morality in northern Nigeria
*Human Rights & Islamic Law in Northern Nigeria
*The case of Hisba brief 2.pdf
*Kano State Sharia Penal Code Law 2000
*Sharia Criminal Law in Northern Nigeria
*Sharia implementation in Kano

13th October, 2020

I facilitated at the BOPA meeting. The documents examined were:

*Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition & Ranching (Establishment) Law 2017
*Indigeneity Policy
*Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPP) 2019

                    Photo above: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa facilitating @ the BOPA meeting

The consensus at the meeting was that the Benue State Open Grazing Prohibition & Ranching Establishment Law de-escalated the wave of killings due to farmer-herder clashes in Benue state. However it was noted that herders remain unhappy about the law. There were two schools of thought at the parley. Some felt the law was the result of extensive consultation, while others said in the review of the law, a more democratic, bottom-up approach should be adopted. It was also suggested that public enlightenment should be stepped up so that more citizens would understand the contents of the law. Besides, participants said the law should be translated to local languages for easier access. The major area of discontent was abuse during the implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition Law. There was also concern about the exorbitant bail out fees for trespassers/offenders. Participants said the indigenous population has an edge in this regard.

The setting @ the Abuja office of SCDDD during the meeting. L-R: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa, Sir Bola Abimbola, SCDDD Intern, Ms. Tinuola Makinde

The unwritten Indigeneity Policy was not seen as a major threat to peace stability in Benue state. Participants were of the view that indigenes and non-indigenes cohabit peacefully.

Many of the participants were not familiar with the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPP) 2015. I therefore had to highlight major provisions of the law as it affects the citizens:

*VAPP prohibits all forms of violence against persons in private and public life. It provides protection and remedies for victims. VAPP also states punishment for offenders.

*The Bill was delayed for 12 years in the National Assembly (NASS).

*The VAPP Act is an amalgam of 9 different Bills at the NASS.

*Section 52 of the VAPP Act is about the VAPP Commission  and the provision for the Special Trust Fund for victims.

*There is emphsis on definition of offences and punishment for same.
-Rape attracts life imprisonment without option of fine.
-A rapist under 14 years of age is sentenced to 14 years imprisonment
-4 years imprisonment for or maximum fine of N200,000 or both for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
-Aiding & abetting of FGM attractsa 2-year jail term or N100,000 fine
-Forceful ejection of a spouse from marital home attracts 1-3 years imprisonment or option of fine.

                                              Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa speaking @ the parley

*6 ways the VAPP Law has changed the offense of rape in Nigeria:
-Who can be raped? Men and boys too can be raped.
-What qualifies as rape? Unlawful anal/oral sex can be rape, not just sexual assault.
-What can be used to rape? Not only the penis. It could be dildo, pens, pencils, candles, etc.
-What if there's more than one rapist? - Gang rape. Minimum of 20 years jail for each rapist when convicted.
-Minimum penalty for rape is 12 years imprisonment.

*Where is the VAPP Law applicable? Only in the FCT. But 17 states incliding the FCT have adopted the VAPP Law. To be sure, they are FCT, Kaduna, Anambra, Oyo, Benue, Ebonyin, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Osun, Ogun, Cross River, Lagos, Plateau, Bauchi, Akwa Ibom & Abia

*Marital Rape as rape
-Forced financial dependence: Economic abuse
-Forced isolation
-Emotional, Verbal & Psychological abuse
-Harmful widowhood practices
-Spousal battery: Domestic Violence (DV)

*Physical Injury (PI)
-PI on any person attracts maximum of 5 years imprisonment &/or N100,000 fine.
-False statement against any person: 12 months imprisonment &/or N200,000 fine.
-Inciting/Intimidation/Political Violence attracts 4 years imprisonment &/or N500,000 fine.

*Other provisions of the VAPP Law
-Financial compensation for victims.
-Details of reports in a 'Sex Offenders' Register (SOR) - In 2019, McArthur Foundation launched an SOR Online, which is still functional.

Many of the participants said the VAPP Law, though adopted in Benue state, remains ineffective. A participant gave an example of about 30 suspected rapists in the state. Only four had been brought to trial, devoid of diligent prosecution! She said because of the stigma attached to rape, many of the victims are reluctant to openly say they have been raped. Advocacy about the contents of the VAPP Law is key in this respect. 

Photo above: Some of the participants who joined us online from Benue state & other parts of Nigeria

There was a special feeling for me as facilitator at the online event for Benue state, because I had met many of the participants in person at the face-to-face Policy Analysis Forum held earlier in Makurdi, Benue state. The conversation continues off line...

Related Links

*The VAPP Act 2015
*5 ways the VAPP has changed the offense of rape in Nigeria
*5 years after VAPP Law, FGM  perpetrators still walk free
*VAPP Tracker
*Nigeria takes a stand against Sexual & GBV