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ACT supports media, CSOs to form a coalition in Kano

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A Cross section of participants at the event

Nasiru Yusuf

The Agents for citizens-driven transformation (ACT) programme has kicked started a new initiative aimed at bringing Civil Society Organisations and media practitioners under one proof.

KANO FOCUS reports that a one day roundtable between Civil Society Organisations and journalists was conducted on Monday to chart ways forward on sustainable relationship.

Speaking at the occasion the ACT program State Focal Person, Hajiya Rabi Adamu said the meeting is to strengthen the relationship between media and CSOs to influence government on its responsibilities.

She also said the gathering will create synergy between CSOs and the media for sustainable development.

“That is to set Agenda setting for the media and CSOs for better partnerships. Facilitate a constructive dialogue on how to improve CSO-Media relationships. To discuss EU-ACT support to CSOs in the State. To engage the high level media personnel and compliment their effort in nation building as drivers of change,” Mrs Adamu said.

Turning to ACT, Mrs Adamu said the objectives of the program is to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development in Nigeria through improving the credibility of CSOs and enhancing their role as independent development actors and drivers of change.

According to her, to achieve this objective, the programme will focus on strengthened selected CSOs, Networks and Coalitions working in EU focal areas in 10 States, across the country.

She said,’’The Agents for citizens-driven transformation (ACT) programme works with civil society  organisations to enable their effectiveness, and credibility to become drivers of change in Nigeria.’’

‘’ACT is implemented nationwide, with work in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, FCT, Adamawa, Edo, Enugu, Rivers, Sokoto, Borno and Plateau states.’’

In a paper titled ‘The Role and Impact of Civil Society in Strengthening Civic Space’ the Executive Director, Organization for Community Civic Engagement (OCCEN) Nigeria, Abdulrazaq Alkali said robust civic space is essential for good governance, the rule of law and for enabling citizens to shape their societies.

He said that civic space refers to an enabling environment that empowers members of the society to communicate and interact freely, address issues of concern, air grievances without hindrance, engage in dialogue as well as influence various delicate public processes affecting them.

He said it is undoubtedly true that open and pluralistic civic space that guarantees freedom of expression and opinion as well as freedom of assembly and association is a prerequisite for democratic consolidation and sustainability.

‘’Unfortunately, today civic space is under pressure due to politics, repressive laws with increased restrictions on the freedom of civil societies to express, participate, assemble and associate in a civic space.

‘’Though new technologies have helped civil society networks to grow, but they’ve also given governments excuses to control civil society movements and media freedoms, often under security pretexts.

‘’The civil society operating environment is getting titter with regulations, civic activists and journalists are being repressed and some are forced into exile,” the activist said.

Alkali lamented that civil society movements, political activism and political advocacy in Nigeria have been largely held back due to antecedents in the country’s political history’ and rivalry among the geopolitical regions.

‘’Negative politics of ethnicity and regionalism have created apathy and lack of trust, resulting in many civil societies to fold hands in moments that require collective actions. As a result, civil societies have failed to distinguish their affiliation from the government in a manner that can affirm and promote their autonomous and independent growth.

“Ultimately, such a posture has undermined the civil society’ cause and has confined them to issues that do not fundamentally challenge or affect the status quo,” he observed.

On her part, the chairperson of Nigerian Women Journalists (NAWOJ) Kano state chapter Bilikisu Ado Zango said media collaboration with the CSOs would enhance good governance, transparency and respect for rule of law in the society.

In her paper titled ‘’Finding common grounds in addressing negative perception between Media and CSOs’’, Zango said civil society organisations and the media can play key oversight role in the different sectors and build public support for more accountable democratic governance

‘’Efforts are needed to promote an enabling environment for civil society and the media. Initiatives should include ongoing dialogue to foster cooperation and trust between the government, civil society (broadly defined) and the media, ‘’ Mrs Zango said.

Also speaking Khadija Abdullahi Yahaya said the media is part and parcel of civil society. Adding that having access to the media is critical to actors involved in pursuing transparency and fairness to the voiceless.

The one day round table resolved to ensure more synergy between the media and CSOs to achieve the set goals and encourage periodic meetings with the two actors.

The meeting also observed the need to create a common platform for CSOs journalists where they will exchange information.

The program, Agents for Citizens-driven Transformation (ACT) is a four-year programme (2019 – 2023) funded by the European Union and implemented by the British Council.

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2023: Tanko Yakasai raises alarm over plot to rig presidential election

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Tanko Yakasai

Aminu Abdullahi

An elder statesman Alhaji Tanko Yakasai has raised an alarm over a plot by some undemocratic elements to manipulate the results of the forthcoming presidential election with its attendant consequences.

KANO FOCUS reports that the politician raised the alarm in a press statement titled “Reflections of a 98-Year-Old Patriot: A Message to Those Planning to Rig the Elections” issued to journalists on Sunday.

He explained that his fear was rooted in the fact that “when people are consumed by their inordinate desires, they become blind to the bigger picture.”

The former Special Adviser to late President Shehu Shagari said, “My concern is not for myself, but for Nigeria and its people. I believe that for Nigeria to properly care for its teeming God-given population everyone in the country must live in peace and harmony”.

Yakasai in the signed statement said “Those who prioritize winning the upcoming elections at all cost may not understand my concern for the survival of Nigeria and its people, which only stems from my patriotism”

He lamented that “Unfortunately, there are unpatriotic individuals who are solely focused on their own selfish and narrow interests and do not care about the future of the country and its people. “

Yakasai’s strong-worded statement reads in parts: “I have been pondering on what motivates those who plan to rig or scuttle the upcoming elections in Nigeria and particularly the presidential election. Do they believe they can do so without consequences?

“In 1966 when the first attempted military coup was made. I was at that time the national publicity secretary of the Northern Elements Progressive Union (NEPU), secretary of the Northern Progressives Front, and deputy national president of the Nigerian Youth Congress, during which I witnessed the tragic events of the 1966 coup attempt, in which late Chukuma Nzeogwo and his other misguided associates assassinated Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa our first and so far the only prime minister for Nigeria.

“Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna of Sokoto also the only premier of northern Nigeria, Brigadier General Zakariya Maimalari, Colonel Yakubu Pam, Colonel Kur Muhammad and other military officers were murdered by the coup plotters.

“I was also present during the Kano riot, which was a response to the murders of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and others I mentioned earlier. That tragic event resulted in the loss of many innocent lives and took place in various parts of northern Nigeria. The exact number of casualties, both military and civilian, has yet to be determined.

“From this tragedy, I learned that when people are consumed by their inordinate desires, they become blind to the bigger picture. This is why I want to advise those considering manipulating the results of coming presidential elections not to take any actions that could plunge our nation into catastrophe.

“At 98 years old and as the only surviving child of my parents, with only a few relatives, all I have are my children and grandchildren. I am a billionaire, not even a businessman. My concern is not for myself, but for Nigeria and its people.

“I believe that for Nigeria to properly care for its teeming God-given population everyone in the country must live in peace and harmony. While some may not share this patriotic concern, it is born from my patriotism and desire for the survival of Nigeria and the well-being of its people.

“There are those who are only concerned with their own selfish interests and unconcerned about the country and its people. Such people are carloads and unpatriotic.

“Furthermore, it is crucial that Nigeria develops in order to properly care for its burgeoning population. This can only be achieved if the country remains United, peaceful and harmonious. Those who prioritize winning the upcoming elections at all costs may not understand my concern for the survival of Nigeria and its people, which only stems from my patriotism. I can assure all that this concern is genuine.

“I am in politics for patriotic reasons, not personal gain. Unfortunately, there are unpatriotic individuals who are solely focused on their own selfish and narrow interests and do not care about the future of the country and its people.

“But there are many Nigerians who are only concerned about the country’s prosperity and of its people but who are concerned about peace and harmony as well as the peaceful coexistence of the over 200 million of its people and humanity.

“I, therefore, urge patriotic citizens to rise in defence of our motherland and its future not to allow the tiny misguided minority among Nigerians who are not looking at the greater picture of the country.

“We should together engage in a cooperative understanding of doing our utmost endeavours and synergy to save the country and protect its future.”

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Organisation trains youth leaders on peace, mediation

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Aminu Abdullahi

 

 

 

A Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Youth Action for Peace, says it has trained youth leaders in Kano on peace and conflict mediation to promote peaceful co-existence.

KANO FOCUS reports that the Lead Trainer, Barrister Comfort Usman, said that the training was organised in collaboration with MacArthur and Ford foundation and was aimed at training youth leaders on how to prevent conflicts.

According to her, the training is to increase the capacity of young peace builders to be able to mediate and promote peace in Kano and the country as a whole.

Usman, who emphasised the role of youths in nation building, said that with the training, youth leaders would be equipped with skills of mediation and conflict resolution.

“Youths are agents of peace, if properly trained, they will lead peace efforts successfully,” she explained.

Barrister Usman said that the training was strategically placed on dates close to general elections.

She urged youths to be agents of peace rather than destruction.

Cross Section of Participants

The lead trainer called on youths to shun violence and be their brothers keepers.

Earlier, the coordinator, Youth Peace Security Network, Kano, Barrister Nura Ahmad, said the exercise would go a long way to teach young people what conflict was all about and how they could live together as one.

He urged the participants to pass down the knowledge to young persons in their communities.

Cross Section of Participants

Ahmad also called on Nigerian youths to shun any form of violence and all manners of electoral malpractices in the 2023 General Elections and beyond.

A participant, Aisha Abubakar, said the training had helped her to understand the importance of peace and how to be a peace mediator.

Presentation of certificates to Participants

Another participant, Ismail Auwal, said knowledge gained from the training would help them to mediate or handle crisis when the need arose.

He also called for peaceful co-existence among Nigerians.

Barrister Comfort Usman

KANO FOCUS reports that after the training, Kano Youth Mediators Network was inaugurated.

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Late Emir of Dutse: An embodiment of national unity – NRO

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Aminu Abdullahi

The Northern Reform Organisation (NRO) says the late Emir of Dutse, Dr Nuhu Muhammad Sanusi led the Dutse Emirate Council for 30 years exhibiting the attributes of selflessness, accommodation and peace throughout his domain. 

KANO FOCUS reports that the NRO Director of Publicity, Malam Mahmud Adnan Audi made these declarations in a condolence message to the Dutse Emirate Council, the government and people of Jigawa State following the demise of the respected monarch yesterday.

Adnan said the monarch also treated indigenes of other states in the Jigawa State Capital as sons and daughters of the state.

He noted that the late Chancellor of the Sokoto State University also provided good counsel to the successive regimes in the state resulting in the effective maintenance of peace and the provision of infrastructure.

Adnan prayed Allah  to forgive the monarch’s infractions and provide him a space in Aljannah.

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