Friday 28 October 2022


Between the 26th and 27th of October 2022, 'Multidimensional security threats in Nigeria: Challenges, options & opportunities for the 2023 general elections' was the subject matter of intensive discourse under the auspices of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES). The parley was held at the De Silver Green Hotel, Abuja. Some of the sub-themes were:

*Gender, youth, cyber threats & managing narratives: A build up to the 2023 general elections.

*Security sector oversight of the electoral process and the inter-agency consultative committee on election security (ICCES): An agenda for a new strategy

*Cyber threats & managing narratives around elections.

*ICCES: Agenda for a new strategy.

Photo L-R: Matthias Dold (First Secretary, Political Affairs, German Embassy & Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa

Some of the participants are:

*Dr. Daniel Mann - Resident Representative, FES-Nigeria

*Matthias Dold - First Secretary, Political Affairs, German Embassy

*Oseloka Obaze - Keynote Speaker         *Dr. Hakeem Tijani

*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa                         *Dr. Freedom Onuoha 

*Salaudeen Hashim                                  *Dr. Chris Kwaja

*Florence Kayemba                                  *Dr. Pauline Igbokwe                                

*Dr. Sunday Adejoh                                  *Dr. Olajumoke Jenyo

*Dr. Babatunde Gbolahan                         *Dr. Pauline Igbokwe

*Mrs. Ayesha Yesufu

             Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa on the first day of the conference @ the Experts' meeting...

Some highlights of the deliberations are as follows:

*The role of social (new) media would be germane in teasing out narratives before, during and after elections.

*Hate speech, fake news, misinformation and disinformation, deep face, cyber bullying, etc. need to be tackled headlong.

*Victory via the ballot box vs victory via Court pronouncement needs to be interrogated.

*The role of non-state violent actors, and their capacity to derail the electoral process needs to be monitored. The privatisation of security outfits is a case in point.

*Prebendalism and the transactional nature of the electoral process is a danger signal.

*The youth bulge, the critical mass of which are illiterate/unemployed youth needs to be burst in order to prevent/mitigate violence.

*There is a lacuna in the composition of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES). Academics, CSOs and relevant individuals need to be coopted.

*Mandate protection is essential during elections.

*Violence against women in elections and indeed politics (VAWiP) needs to be given special attention, beyond tackling violence against persons.

                                                Dayo on the first day of the conference

*Rivalry among security agencies needs to give way to effective cooperation for peaceful elections.

*There are real and imagined threats to the realisation of peaceful elections.

*The increasing role of technology in improving the integrity of elections is welcome. There is a caveat, however: Ethics and protection of data stored in the 'cloud' is necessary.

*Surveillance of the physical space by the security forces should extend to cyberspace in order to capture online and off-line engagement on the electoral process and societal peace in general.

On the whole, we had useful conversation. If the recommendations are taken seriously by the relevant authorities, we may see peaceful, relatively free, fair and credible elections in the horizon in 2023...


Tuesday 25 October 2022


On the 25th of October 2022 in Abuja, the 6th edition of the Voice of Women (VoW) Conference & Awards was held in Abuja with theme - 'Towards rebuilding Nigeria: Agenda setting for inclusivity & accountability'.Six Presidential candidates were there live to reel out their 'plans' for women viz; Ado Ibrahim Abdulmalik (YPP), Peter Obi (LP), Adebayo Adewole (SDP), Bola Tinubu represented by Shettima (APC), Dumebi Kachiku (ADP) & Al Mustapha (AA).

Photo L-R: Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa & Toun Okewale-Sonaiya (CEO Women Radio 91.7 & Conference Convener)

The thrust of the commitment to improving the lot of the female gender according to the Presidential candidates present follows:

*Effective institutional framework to tackle bender based violence (GBV).

*Implementation of Affirmative Action (@ least 35%)

*Review of legislation that promotes the rights of women. This would include re-visiting the five women-friendly Bills thrown out by the National Assembly.

*Economic empowerment of women, including wealth creation.

*Education parity and development for women.

*Agriculture and technological innovation for women.

*prevention and mitigation of political violence against women.

Photo L-R: Tosin Dokpesi (MD AIT), Dr. Biola Akiyode-Afolabi (Chair, Organising Committee), Dr. Tunde Okewale (Chairman St. Ives Communications), Toun Okewale-Sonaiya (CEO Womwn Radio & Conference Convener), Seun Olagunju (Broadcat Journalist & Member Organising Committee), Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa & Princess Jumai Idonije (SSA Technical to Minister for Women Affairs)

The Chair of the Conference was Hajia Saudatu Mahdi (Secretary General, Women's Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative - WRAPA). Ms. Beatrice Eyong, UN Women Country Representative Nigeria/ECOWAS made some remarks. First Lady, Dr. Aisha Buhari was represented.

It was indeed a successful outing for a critical mass of Nigerian women. They heard encouraging speeches from the six Presidential candidates. I join Dame Paulen Tallen to say that Nigerian women implore whoever wins the Presidential election in 2023 to walk the talk. Congrats to Toun for hosting the successful conference. I look forwaed to VoW 2023... 


Sunday 9 October 2022


The 2022 Nigeria Social Cohesion Survey Report was launched in Abuja by the Africa Polling Institute (API) on the 6th of October, 2022. I was a stakeholder at the event. The launching of the report was preceded by a Keynote speech titled: 'Bridging the fault-lines in the quest for social cohesion', ably delivered by Prof. Kingsley Moghalu. This was followed by a robust panel discussion on the subject matter of social cohesion.

Some of the participants are:

*Prof. Kingsley Moghalu - Keynote Speaker/Founder & President, Institute of Governance & Economic Transformation (IGET)/Former Presidential Candidate/Former Deputy Governor, CNN

*Prof. Bell Ihua - ED, API/Professor of Practice in Opinion Research, Coal City University, Enugu

*Dr. Olugbenga Ogunmefun - Director of Research & Institutional Strengthening, API

*Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa - Independent Conflict Transformation Strategist/Gender Specialist & Former Director, Institute for Peace & Conflict Resolution (IPCR), Abuja

*Hajia Saudatu Mahdi, MFR - Secretary-General, Women's Rights Advancement & Protection Alternative (WRAPA)

*Dr. Omoniyi Ibietan - Head, Media Relations, Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC)

*Mrs. Aisha Yesufu - President, Citizens Hub

*Ms. Yemi Adamolekun - ED Enough is Enough (EiE)

*Soji Adeniyi - Board Member, API

*Prof. Hauwa Yusuf - Researcher, API/Sociologist & Director, Centre for Gender Studies, Kaduna State University   

                                                      Dr. Dayo Oluyemi-Kusa @ the event

In my intervention, I reiterated the fact that gender equity should be a prelude to desired gender equality in Nigeria. Therefore, affirmative action is a prerequisite for gender equity in a patriarchal society like Nigeria. I also congratulated API for being the viable answer to US based 'fact-tanks' like the 'Pew Research Centre' (PRC). PRC describes itself as a 'non-partisan fact-tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. PRC conducts research, media content analysis and other empirical social research,...' (PRC's website). It's heart-warming that API's vision is 'to become a leading opinion research think-tank in Africa, championing good governance by promoting access to credible data to support state and non-state actors.' (Source API's website). With three published surveys so far, since 2018, the sky is just their beginning.

Pof. Moghalu identified the following as some of the pre-requisites for sustainable social cohesion: Rotational presidency, economic competence of leaders at all levels, solution to youth unemployment via public-private partnership (PPP), reform of the education sector in order to retain 'brain capital' and make education more skill oriented, health sector reform, etc.

The panel discussion was a bit of an inter-generational dialogue, where the younger elements were advised to channel their youthful energy 'positively' in order to produce 'tangible results'. Activism should be managed for positive outcomes. The citizens should always hold their leaders accountable in order to keep them on their toes. There should be a bottom-up approach to governance. The dignity of the human person needs to be preserved via various government interventions...

There were 13 parameters employed for the assessment of social cohesion by the researchers: Identity, Trust, Social justice, Participation & patriotism, Natural resource governance, Gender equity, Impunity, Corruption, Peace-building, Polarisation, Coping strategies (resilience), Self worth & Future expectations...The social cohesion index for 2022 is 39.6%, which remains below the average SC index of 50%. This implies a weakening state of social cohesion in Nigeria, occasioned by the deepening fault-lines and increasing polarisation along ethnic, religious, economic and political lines. A number of recommendations were made to make things right in the country (See pp. 22-24 of the #NSCS2022 Report - Executive Summary).

A high point of the event was the investiture of Prof. Bell Ihua, ED API, as an Ambassador of the National Population Commission (NPC). Kudos to the API team for this report. I look forward to an update next year...