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... 

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*Opinion: Covid-19's war on feminism in the US    https;//
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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
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*How great Coaches and Mediators ask, listen & empathise
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*How to cultivate a collaborative mindset
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*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
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*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
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*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...