Click Naija Online Radio is the youth-oriented channel dedicated to empowering young minds with useful and entertaining information. We introduce to you Click Naija’s special online campaign tagged ‘Click Naija Heroes Challenge,’ coming up from 16th to 19th November 2020.
The aim of this campaign is to celebrate young Nigerians who have contributed to selfless service and made an impact on society in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic Lockdown and after the lockdown. The lockdown was a trying time for many Nigerians and people all over the world. It posed new challenges that many people did not see coming or plan for.
Families found it difficult to feed, many children and women were locked down with their abusers, babies were abandoned by mothers who could not feed themselves, schools faced a new challenge of quickly adopting new online skills, increasing reported cases of coronavirus infection overwhelming the health facilities with few doctors to attend to cases, fear of being infected by the virus for frontline medical practitioners, media risking their safety to report the pandemic, control of traffic rush during the first phase of ease of lockdown and so many other challenges.
However, some persons went out of their way to try to make life easier for others. Click Naija is recognizing the efforts of these young Nigerians who have contributes in their own ways to affecting people positively with the Chow tagged, Click Naija Heroes Challenge. It is a challenge because it is an opportunity for members of the society to vote for those they choose as their heroes. It is also a challenge because it is an avenue to challenge others to do more for the good of society.
Six nominees have emerged from the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) Abuja, and the include:
Jeremiah Oseni. Frontline Empowerment of Teachers and Children on Modern Learning Skills during COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
Sgt. Saka Umar. Frontline Traffic Police during COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
Wanda Ebe. Founder Wanda Adu Foundation. Frontline Community Service and Rescue for Vulnerable Children and Women during COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
Maryam Okesanjo. Frontline Journalist and Network News Reader during COVID-19 LOCKDOWN
Disability is a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movement, sense, and activities. These include conditions like deafness. According to the United Nation Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and its Optional Protocol (CRPD) 2006, disabilities “include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”.
Deafness or hard of hearing is one of the 6 general types of disabilities. Sign language is a required skill to communicate effectively with them. With the appropriate care and support from society, when given a chance, persons with deafness have the capacity to contribute to national development. Persons living with disabilities need all the help they can get with their daily activities.
Social development workers are a group of people who help other people develop their skills and their ability to use their resources and those of the community to resolve problems. In Nigeria, social work is growing within communities, as much as social problems and the need for professionals in this field are increasing. This profession is mainly concerned with promoting the well being of individuals by helping them live optimally. This is because the Nigerian society is becoming more diverse, and it is important that social workers develop competence in working with a diverse population. Social work can generally mediate the process of development by enabling individuals and society to reach out to other people.
The Director of Gender Department, SDS, FCT, Mrs. Agnes Utah-Hart said persons with disabilities have become soft targets of sexual violence. She advised the social workers from different hospitals in the FCT to take advantage of the training to improve themselves and strive to improve service delivery for a person’ with disabilities. This brings the need for a safe house that can be used to protect persons with disabilities who have been violated. She said social workers play a very important role as they become go-between and in many cases the first contacts for survivors.
The founder, Cider Seed Foundation, Mrs. Lois Auta-Udonkanta, who was a facilitator at the event, explained that it was inappropriate to use some terminologies to refer to persons with disabilities to avoid discrimination against them. This is so because if people fixate on how they think people with disabilities inhibited then the emphasis will shift to their obstacles rather than their achievements. People should be sensitive to the feelings of individuals with disabilities and their right to be respected in order to allow them to feel accepted in society.
Another facilitator, with Save the Deaf and Endangered Language Initiative, Miss Blessing Ini who presented a paper titled Total communication says communications is a very important tool in relating to persons with disabilities. Especially the deaf and blind, and as such social workers should be able to communicate with these individuals. It is important to learn the basics of finger spellings which will enable them to understand to an extent the needs of persons with living disabilities. Being deaf comes with difficulties of communication and it is advised to enroll deaf children from an early stage in specials schools to develop their communication skills because gestures vary from sign language. Gestures developed by a deaf child may vary from another deaf child in another location due to culture and language differences, so there is a need to learn the central accepted mode of communication.
To address the issues of and creating an enabling environment for social workers to do their jobs, some of the participants talked about the need for the Government to mainstream access for people with disabilities in government facilities and structures to aid movement. They said there is a need for policies and services to adopt a national disability strategy, to plan and to invest in social protection and social inclusion program for persons with disabilities. They called for the improvement of human resource capacity on disabilities inclusion and reserve budget that will attend to the needs of persons with disabilities.
Mrs. Lois Auta-Udonkanta made an appeal to the Government to engage people with disabilities and make available facilities that are work-friendly for them.
Multiple award-winning Rapper and Actor Folarin Falana aka FalztheBadGuy and Falz for short, turns 30 amidst the #EndSARS protests events in Nigeria.
The entertainer, lawyer and activist has been at the forefront of the #EndSars protest against #policebrutality in Nigeria. In October 2020, alongside other music artistes, Falz hit the streets and began the EndSARS protests that spread across Nigeria.
Falz has used his music to critique the government in Nigeria and he also uses his social media handles to educate young Nigerians on their rights. His first educational video focused on holding public servants to account. He said, “They are in office to serve us and not the other way round.”
In a tweet, Falz said he is marking his birthday with mixed feelings and he is presently serving as an observer at the Lagos Judicial Panel of Enquiry, alongside journalists and other neutral observers. He also said in a video via his Instagram handle, that his spirit cannot be broken.
The celebrity chef who is engaged to David Adedeji Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, shared a photo of their son’s name tattooed on her hand over the weekend, as their son , Ifeanyi, clocked 1.
Davido and Chioma became an item back in 2018. Rumours then hit social media about his involvement with an ordinary girl, a 300 levels Student of Babcock University, after having series of high profile relationships that resulted in two babies by two seperate women. Davido initially neither confirmed nor denied the rumours, but as their love grew showed off his new girlfriend to the whole world and even went ahead to profess his love for Chioma on his “Assurance” song. There seem to be positive reactions on social media for her gesture.
Rosemary Kpadoo Akure is a 34-year-old mother of 5 girls, who has been a victim of domestic violence for several years, and whose husband refused to cater to his family financially due to the fact that she had no son for him. The violent outbursts by Mr. Akure all came to a climax during the covid-19 lockdown when Rosemary almost lost her life after being beaten to a state of unconsciousness by her husband.
Inequality in the financial state of women has continued to rise in Nigeria especially since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Perhaps some experts may say the power of the financial difference has had a greater impact on the lives of women during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is evident in the rise of domestic violence against women. Intra-household tensions have risen since the lockdown and led to subsequent economic crises, increasing the likelihood and severity of Intimate Partner Violence. According to the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Helpdesk Research Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on women and girls in Nigeria, some husbands took out their aggression by using coercive and controlling behavior as a way of seeking to escape their breadwinner responsibilities and by threatening divorce.
Apart from violence, the report also shows that women and girls who were subjected to violence face increased barriers to reporting violence during the pandemic. In the case of Rosemary, it was her neighbors who came to her rescue and sought help from the nearest medical facility and alerted the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP who waded into the matter immediately. One of the reasons many women remain in abusive relationships and put their lives at risk is their inability to support themselves financially due to their poor financial state. Gender experts have identified this as one of the tools of control used by perpetrators to keep their victims under their control. Women are faced with hard choices of feeding their children, sending their children to school, finding funds for rent and other daily utility bills. If women were financially stable, what kind of decisions would they make concerning their lives?
What are the dynamics that have made men more violent to their spouses in this era of the pandemic? What is it about our systems that make men more likely to get formal financial support than women? Jacinta Ngozi Ike, Desk Officer, FCT Gender-Based Response Team says that many men in Nigeria are presently out of job and this has put pressure on their relationships with their wives at home.
The role of government can be seen to be either directly encouraging the increase in gender based violence of helping to reduce it and improve the financial state of women and further reduce their risk of being abused? Agnes Utahad, the Director Gender Social and Development Secretariat, FCT, says the government has set up referral centers where women can go to report cases of violence and can get training on their chosen skills. However, only few states in Nigeria have set up such facilities where women get help or begin the process of being rehabilitated.
It is difficult for women to contribute to the financial growth of the country when they struggle daily with domestic violence that mostly comes as a result of their financial inequalities? Domestic violence does not only affect women but also directly affects the entire welfare and well-being of their children. When those children are girls, the negative impact is even greater. UNESCO Institute for Statistics holds that forty percent of girls are out of school in Nigeria. Rosemary’s five daughters could have potentially added to that number if not for her determination to struggle and send her girls to school at all costs.
Research in different parts of Nigeria shows that poverty is a key factor contributing to the number of out of schoolgirls in Nigeria. The British Council Girls Education in Nigeria Report 2014 shows that poverty and employment simultaneously limit parents’ demand for education, and increase the tendency of pulling children out of school and into various forms of work. With over 60% of Nigerians, almost 100 million people, living in poverty, girls are often on the list of items to reduce family costs. When a woman is abused and thrown out of her home, like Rosemary Pkadoo Akure and her 5 daughters, such girls are directly thrown out of school. This leads to the reinforcement of the vicious cycle of uneducated girls growing up to become uneducated women, which affects their life decisions and financial state and which has the potential of exposing them to more gender-based violence.
The weak provision or total absence of social protection policy is therefore a critical barrier to the education of these groups of children classified as vulnerable children who are victims of parental quarrels, broken homes, family instability, and who are victims of domestic violence. There is a need to systematically implemented government policies on social and educational security.
Education, finances, and social stability of women are pieces adding up to the same puzzle. Nigeria women are some of the most resilient women in the world as many who have survived abusive relationships still struggle to meet up with their financial demands. A BBC report states that 40% of Nigerian women are entrepreneurs, which is the highest ratio of female business owners in the world describing them as driven, innovative, and passionate about uplifting themselves and others around them.
The need for the financial stability and equality of women and the fight against domestic violence as a gender bias is not only keeping women down but also restraining the country from reaching its massive economic potential. A McKinsey Global Institute report states that Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) could grow by 23% or could be increased by $229bn by 2025 if women participated in the economy to the same extent as men. What would liberating factors enable women to attain financial equality? Ene Ede, a gender rights activist, explains that many financial institutions will prepare to give financial support to a woman’s husband than give it to her directly which has the capacity to expand the business opportunities of other women.
Perhaps what the Nigerian woman needs, is a society that is less discriminatory and more supportive in how it treats and caters to the wellbeing of women in achieving their goals and aspirations. Cherie Blair a British Barrister, Writer, and wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, once said, “The woman that has financial independence can make choices, they will also change the lives of those around them and ultimately shape the society for the better.”
This Story/Research/Investigation was Supported by the US Embassy via the ATUPA Fellowship by Civic Hive.