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ICPC Seeks NGO’s Collaboration In Addressing Workplace Sexual Harassment

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has called for the support of  HEIR Women Development, a Non-Governmental Organisation, to  tackle workplace sexual harassment.
Team leader, Constituency Project Tracking Group at the ICPC, Mr Akibu Garba, made the call during a one-day workshop  on “Career Barriers and Workplace Sexual Harassment Against Young Women in Nigeria”.
The workshop was  organised by HEIR Women Development with the support of Ford Foundation recently in Abuja.
“The ICPC regards sexual harassment as a corrupt practice. There is need for victims to know their rights, as well as how to seek justice to put an end to the menace.
“The commission’s sexual harassment policy signed by our Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye has zero tolerance for any form of sexual harassment in ICPC offices nationwide,” he said.
Garba said the commission’s policy on sexual harassment, clearly spells out disciplinary actions that should be melted out on perpetrators of such acts.
“The conversation about sexual harassment is apt, we have so many investigations and recommendations on how to address the menace in our  handbook on sexual harassment.
“We have a process where we make new staff go through it, sexual harassment is becoming worrisome based on its high rate, we are collaborating with agencies and NGO’s towards curbing it.
“We regard sexual harassment as corrupt practice and encourage victims to know their rights and how to seek justice when they experienced such social ill.
“We would like to collaborate with HEIR Women Development in this advocacy because this act has to be completely eradicated,” he said.
In the same vein, the Desk Officer, FCT Sexual and Gender Based Violence  (SGBV) Response Team, Ngozi Ike, expressed concerns over the alarming rate of sexual harassment particularly on women.
She regretted that most citizens do not understand what it means to sexually harass a woman.
“It happens everywhere in our society today and this comes with unwelcomed comments from the opposite sex, as well as the same sex.
“Some people do not understand what it means to sexually harass a woman. That is why we need  advocacy. It is a crime under the sexual assault in the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act,” she stressed.
Ike however lauded the move by HEIR Women Development in curbing the crime, saying that more advocacy is needed in this direction.
She recommended the need for every organisaion to have sexual harassment policies as a requirement which an employees must pass through before they start work in any organisaion.
She added that the move would discourage the act, and would make perpetrators to face the wrath of the law if they are found guilty in such act.

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NDLEA Destroys 21 Tonnes Of Drugs In Niger

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has destroyed drugs weighing 21 tonnes in Maikunkule village of Bosso Local Government Area of Niger State.
The NDLEA claimed that the destroyed drugs street value was worth more than N1 billion.
The Commander of NDLEA in the Niger State, Mr Haruna Kwetishe, said that the destruction was symbolic and in line with the NDLEA Act.
“NDLEA Act mandates us to arrest drug traffickers and dealers, seize illicit drugs and prosecute all drugs related offenders who contravene the Act and destroy seized drugs publicly, in fulfilment of this mandate.
“NDLEA Niger Command obtained court orders from Federal High Court, Minna, for the public destruction of the 21 tonnes of various types of illicit substances.
“Public destruction of drugs is therefore a continuous exercise in our quest to have a drug-free and secured society in the country and the world at large”, he said.
He said that the destroyed drugs included Cannabis Sativa, psychotropic substances and various grammes of other banned stimulants such as cocaine and methamphetamine.
“Nigeria used to be a transit port because of the activities of drug cartels that import drugs from drug producing countries to the country before smuggling same to Europe, Asia and America”, he noted.
The state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, represented by the state Commissioner for Internal Security, Emmanuel Umaru, said that the security of lives and property was a cardinal focus of his administration.

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FG Trains CSOs, NGOs To Monitor School Feeding Programme

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The Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (MHADMSD) has trained members of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) on school feeding programme monitoring.
Speaking at the capacity building programme in Abuja, Monday, the facilitator, Dr Grace Dafiel, said that the aim of the training was to ensure effective accountability and sustainability of school feeding programme.
“The essence of the training is to ensure that CSO/NGO capacity is built to be able to monitor the National Home-Grown School Feeding programme.
“This is to help us understand how we can institutionalise the programme which is one of the four clusters of the social protections programme under the ministry.
“The CSOs involvement means that a lot of advocacy work is going to go into it, especially at the community level for the community participation ownership.
“As well as ensuring sustainability even if all odds are there, you know the government cannot do it alone, there is a need for the CSOs to come on board’, Dafiel said.
She said that after the training, they would come up with strategies that would ensure sustainability.
“Give life to the programme as well as ensure that the programme is executed in a transparent, open and accountable manner”.
One of the participants, Mr Salaudeen Hashim, stated that building the capacity of the CSOs was very crucial as they were the ones closest to the communities.
While noting that one of the key gap noticed in the programme was stakeholders’ coordination, Hashim said the training would go a long way in breaching the gap.
“This is actually a stepping stone as it will encourage stakeholders’ participation.
“It is also important to remove the issue of politicisation of the programme”, he said.
He also expressed concern over the number of out-of-school children in some parts of the country, saying that currently 9.8 million children were already benefiting from the programme.
“While there are still about 10.5 million out-of-school children in the North East, it is very necessary to get more people to enrol and participate in school feeding programme”, he said.
On her part, the Executive Director, Youth Child Support Initiative, Enugu, Mrs Ijeoma Nnaji, described the programme as a good innovation.
She said that partnering with the CSOs would aid effective monitoring of the programme at the community level and ensure accountability.
It was gathered that the capacity building workshop under the National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme was organised for the CSOs and NGOs across 34 states.

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Insecurity: NHRC, UNDP, Adamawa Govt Advocate People-Oriented Approach

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Adamawa State Government have advised that initiatives aimed at addressing the nation’s security challenge should be people-centred.
They argued that the success of any peace building and conflict resolution initiative requires the buy-in of the people.
The Executive Secretary, NHRC, Tony Ojukwu; Solicitor General of Adamawa State, Samuel Yaumande and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Reintegration and Humanitarian Services, Aishatu Bibi Umar Rilwanu, also suggested the adoption of transitional justice at securing peace in troubled parts of the country.
This was the submission at a training workshop on ‘Transitional Justice and Reconciliation in North-East Nigeria’, organised by the NHRC with support from UNDP and the European Union (EU) in Yola, on Monday.
Represented by his Special Human Rights Adviser, Hilary Ogbonna, Ojukwu stressed the relevance of transitional justice in the country at ensuring peace and reconciliation among inhabitants of the crisis-ridden parts of the country like the North-East.
He noted that the desire for transitional justice was no longer limited to the North-East, because other parts of the country, including the North-West, South-East are equally battling insecurity.
Ojukwu added that it was gradually becoming important to develop a national framework for promoting peace, reconciliation and reintegration.
He said the two-day training was aimed, among others, at exposing the media to the concept of transitional justice, and its application to addressing causes of conflicts and ensuring accountability.
Yaumande and Rilwanu hailed the NHRC for the initiative and pledged Adamawa State Government’s support towards engendering peace, reconciliation and reintegration of its people.
In his paper titled: “Framing speech: Roles of Media in Peace Building, Reconciliation and Transitional Justice in Conflicts Societies in West African,” Dr. Chukwuemeka Eze said the media is an important tool in conflict management.
He urged the media to refrain from emphasising issues that would escalate conflicts and avoid sensational reportage.

 

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