Thursday 29 September 2016

Stop The Cowardly Act Of Killing Children!

It beats the imagination of any right thinking individual why an act, as spiritless as the killing of innocents, be it in seemingly orderly and organized societies, war torn Syria, or anywhere else the world over, can ever amount to the unraveling of any crisis. Children have over time, being used as shields in conflict zones, or as baits by mischievous individuals or groups who impose on their vulnerability. 

A wounded Syrian Child being rescued

This brings us to a recent occurrence in the United states of America, where an 8 year-old girl was brutally murdered in Miami Florida. To fish out the perpetrator(s), the Miami Police, Florida, Uited States, offered a $25,000 to anyone who could come up with meaningful information on the murder of the girl, identified as Jada. 

8-year-old Jada

Information revealed that Jada was shot dead in NW 101, street, and NW 25 Avenue, Miami Florida, on August 28, 2016, at about 4:58pm.

Roving Informant is adding its voice to the a clarion call to Stop The Cowardly Act Of Killing Children.

Photo credits: Hossam ElShazly published article on Aleppo and Miami Herald 

What Nigeria's Gender And Equal Bill Entails!

See below, everything you need to know about Nigeria's Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill:

Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill, 2016 (GEO Bill) can be analysed as follows: 

The Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill's objective is to give effect to the second and fourth of the Nigerian Constitution; the international Covenant on Human Rights; the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women and the protocol to the African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa.

Content of the 25 Clauses bill, including citation, interpretation and miscellaneous includes:
  1. Reaffirms the prohibition of discrimination in all forms such as words actions, inactions, laws, regulations, guidelines, customs or practice against any person on grounds of gender, race, or disability.
  2. Seeks to promote equality, full development and advancement of all persons which include taking all measures to ensure full development, advancement, human rights and fundamental freedoms of all persons, especially women and children
  3. The affirmative action requiring reserving at least 35% of positions for women in both public and private sectors
  4. Modification of socio-cultural practices that bar widows from re-marrying anyone of their choice
  5. Free health care for pregnant women, new mothers up to 2 years after delivery and children under the age of 12.
  6. Empowering the National Human Rights Commission to enforce and implement the provisions of the Bill
  7. Failure to appear willfully on the invitation of the Commission to provide evidence or mislead the Commission is considered an offence. The offence is punishable by a sentence of not more than one month or N50,000 or both
  8. The High Court of the FCT shall have original jurisdiction to look into applications arising from any breach of the provisions of the Bill
  9. The procedure shall be in accordance to the Fundamental Rights Rules 2009.

GOE Bill's deduction: 
  • Domestication of the CEDAW: - The passage of the GEO Bill will be a concrete step towards making the international Convention part of the Law in Nigeria. This implies that relevant provisions of the CEDAW can be cited in Nigerian Courts and as Nigerian Law. 
  • Giving effect to the 1999 Constitution: -  Given that the Constitution has already provided for these rights, a repetition in the Bill is not required. However, an additional clause may provide that in a situation of conflict, the provision of the Constitution will override that of the Bill. 
  • Restricted Practices: - Clause 3(b)(iv) of the GEO Bill prohibits practices that limit or restrict the legal capacity of women to undertake surety or recognizance on behalf of any person. This is a blanket provision that could have been broken into specific tasks like posting bail, providing a guarantee/referee, signatory, etc. This Bill seeks to make it an offence for the prohibition of a woman to carry out any of these functions.   Clause 11(b) provides for the equal access to loans, credit and capital for both men and women. Securing loans or credit for micro, small and medium business owners may not be any less difficult under the Bill; however, it might imply that where all the loan terms are met, a woman can access a credit facility just as easily as a man without additional conditions. 
  • Free Health Care under the Law: - The GEO Bill requires that new mothers and pregnant women, as well as children below the age of 12 get free medical care. Access to free healthcare by these vulnerable groups would help in the reduction of infant/maternal mortality in Nigeria; however, in the light of the current economic downturn, funding would be a challenge. The Bill is silent on how funds can be sourced for this venture. Clause 10 also requires private enterprises to provide free healthcare for new mothers, pregnant women who are employees as well as their children below the age of 12; how can this be achieved in small businesses that cannot afford health insurance for employees? 
  • Widows’ Right to a “Fair share”: - Clause 5(iv) of the GEO Bill provides that a widow shall have the right to a ‘fair share’ of the husband’s property. The interpretation of the term ‘fair share’ is relative depending on the ethnic (or religious) setting. The Bill is silent on how this practice can be enforced in certain parts of the country where different cultural practices prevail. Nevertheless, where a man dies testate, is his will going to be voided by this Bill, if he completely disinherits his wife? 
  • Affirmative Action: - Clause 4(b)(i) provides for a minimum of 35% of all offices or positions to be reserved for women both in the public and political sphere. This Clause seeks to encourage more women in positions and decision-making circles in the public sector, which will aide growth and development in Nigeria. Clause 4(b)(ii) also provides for a minimum of 35% of employment to go to women even in private establishments. The Bill is silent on how this provision can be enforced in the private sector. Will there be penalties for firms that do not comply? Would this not constitute government interference in private businesses? If the nature of the business involves heavy lifting or operating heavy machineries, would the 35% rule be feasible? 
  • Expanding the Powers of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC): - The Bill under Clause 15 empowers the NHRC to enforce and implement the provisions of the Bill. As the NHRC was established under the National Human Rights Commission Act, an amendment would be required to increase the powers of the NHRC. 

Human Rights Implication of  GEO Bill: 

Eliminating all forms of discrimination against persons, especially women, is a step to curbing human rights abuses in Nigeria. Reserving up to 35% of public and political offices for women is a near equitable gender inclusion mechanism in Nigeria. It can also lead to the economic empowerment of more women, and in turn reduce poverty. ANY SIMILAR EXISTING LAW The Bill shares similarities with certain parts of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), especially chapters II and IV. 

Concluding Issues: 

It is pertinent that Nigeria advances in its pursuit to uphold human rights at all standards and improve the country’s image globally. Domesticating international covenants that have already been ratified is one way of achieving this. The Gender and Equal Opportunities Bill, 2016 seeks to domesticate relevant parts of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and also prohibit certain practices on women that may be interpreted as unfair. Finally, though the Bill seeks to achieve the right to equal opportunities for both genders, it also raises the need for Constitutional amendment to give force to some of the issues raised by the GEO Bill, for instance, the right to free health care for new mothers and children; and reserving up to 35% of positions in the public sector for women.

Information on GEO Bill obtained from: PLAC BILL TRACKING.

96 Children Killed, 223 Children Injured...Stop The Murder Of Innocents In Aleppo, UNICEF Cries Out!

A recent UNICEF's report in New York, United States, states that 96 children have been killed and 223 other children wounded "in merciless attacks this week alone", in the Syrian city of Aleppo. 

Discretion Advised on Photo below:

Viral photo of a wounded Syrian child
According to the report: “Doctors (are) forced to let some children die while saving others with scarce medical supplies, tens of thousands of children drink dirty water because a pumping station was bombed and another switched off. Also, “Brave aid and rescue workers killed, while “Aid convoys are destroyed. “The world is watching these horrors unfold.  Every day, they continue ... and get worse. 

“UNICEF and its partners delivered supplies to the besieged areas of Madaya, Fouah, Kefraya and Zabadani.  In addition to continuing operations in western Aleppo, UNICEF stated that it is doing what it can to provide trucked water supplies throughout the city. “But it is far from enough.
“The only real answer for Aleppo is an end to its descent into further horror.”

Nigeria And The State of Israel To Tightens Security Ties, As Netanyahu Plans To Visit!

Arrangements are in top gear to strengthen security ties between Nigeria and the State of Israel. This is coming as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disclosed his intention to visit Nigeria soon. 

This was made known as Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria and Permanent Representative of Israel to ECOWAS, Guy Feldman paid a courtesy visit to Nigeria's Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau (Lt Gen. rtd) recently in Abuja.

Guy Feldman, said his visit to the Interior Minister "was to boost Israel’s existing relations with Nigeria and to convey Israeli’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s intention to visit Nigeria".

Delivering his vote of thanks, Muhammad Maccido, stated that "the partnership would greatly help to build the capacity of the nation’s security personnel; and that the Ministry of Interior would be ready to receive Benjamin Netanyahu whenever he visits the country"

Obaseki Declared Winner Of Edo Polls Amidst Tight Security!

Security was said to be stiffened across Edo state, south Nigeria, as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) party flag bearer, Godwin Obaseki, winner of the just concluded election tagged "Edo Decides".

The All progressives Congress (APC) lead with a total number of 319, 483 votes. The People's Democratic Party (PDP) came second with a total number of 253,173 votes, All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) has a total of  876 votes and the Labour Party (LP) has 182 votes.

People's Democratic Party (PDP) supporters are reportedly engaged in mass protests against the outcome of the election.

Sunday 25 September 2016

Right Of Way, RoW, Property Demolition: Some Lagos Landlords Snub Order!

Despite warnings and demolition of properties constructed on the Right of Way, RoW, of high tension power cables, by the Lagos state government, in western Nigeria....

Recently demolished properties at Jakande, along Lekki express way

Some landlords seem unperturbed as they continued constructing building directly under electricity poles. The shop below, under construction at Ajah market, in the Lekki Peninsula area of Lagos state, is clearly not only under high tension power cables...

But seems to be sitting on what is supposed to be a major walk-way.... as seen in the picture below.

Did same government demolishing "illegal properties" grant the permit for this patently 'illegal construction'? Wondering....

Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planing And Urban Development take note.

Friday 23 September 2016

Ghana's Campaign Manifesto War, Its Implication On African Politics!

The campaign for December 7, 2016, Ghana's elections is swaddled with interesting developments that reveals a shift from Africa's prevalent political  milieu. Pivotal is a recent accusation brought against the National Democratic Congress (NDC) one of Ghana's Political parties, of "stealing ideas from political opponents.

At John Mahama's highlight presentation of NDC's 2016 manifesto recently, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) came hard on the NDC's flag bearer and current president accusing him and his party of "stealing ideas from other political parties only to be found wanting when its time" for implementationThe said manifesto includes: creation of five regions establishment of some development authorities; election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives. 

'Manifesto war' became a topic of particular interest as Ghana's political analysts, all through penultimate week debated the basis upon which ideas should be contested.  According to a school of thought, originality of implementation of ideas should be of concern, not who originated the ideas. They asserted that there are no original ideas in the first place as most ideas have been floating over the years. Ideas such as housing, job creation, good transportation network, quality education at minimal cost, constant electricity supply, better remuneration for workers, building facilities and its maintenance are some of the basic needs of developing countries from where manifestos emerge. Political parties go the length of crafting manifestos without consulting experts in respective fields to deduce their practicality, thereby presenting un-quantifiable ideas to the public. 

Such developments pose an unfolding trend of electing individuals and political parties based on their abilities to initiate strategies for implementing practical ideas, capable of effecting desired change(s) in the lives of people; far from the normal charisma/ eloquence, physical attributes et'al considerations. From the look of things, African may not only be interested in political freedom, but also in economic freedom. 

Wednesday 7 September 2016

Biggest Shopping Mall Yet, Opens In Lagos!

Photos of the recently opened Novare Shopping Mall, Sangotedo, Lekki Peninsula, Lagos, Nigeria.

Reported to be the biggest shopping mall yet in Lagos state, south-western Nigeria.

It boasts of a soon-to -be- opened Cinema... 

Ample parking space.... 

Playground for children among others...

Monday 5 September 2016

Ikota - Ogombo By-Pass Route Needs Urgent Attention!

Pictures below shows the current flooded state of the Ogombo - Road end of  the by-pass route at Lekki Peninsula area, Lagos state. 

Flooded By-Pass route at Lekki Scheme 2

The route was 'partially' constructed to aid commuters escape the exhausting traffic which often starts from Chevron tollgate, through to Ajah round-about, particularly now that the fly-over bridge is under construction; runs through Ikota, Lekki Scheme 2 area, and links to Ogombo Road.

Ikota end of the by-pass route

Some commuters take advantage of the constant flood, evidently caused by a nearby overflowing stream or lake, to wash their vehicles.

Ogombo Road end of the bypass

The fact that commuters risk plying this route despite the heavy constant flood and lack of street lights at nights is alarming. 

We hereby appeal to the Lagos state government to remedy this situation. 

Saturday 3 September 2016

Operation Clean - Out Our Drainage Systems!

Roving Informant brings to the public, from time to time, commendable developmental projects embarked upon by the government towards enhancing the lives of its people. Likewise, we bring to the fore, situations that needs to be redressed in order to avert inevitable disaster. 

Operation "Clean out the drainage around our cities" is our campaign against the dilapidated state of the drainage system, as seen in these pictures from, around LagosNigeria.

Using this medium, we add our voice to this campaign, with the intention to reach out to stake holders at all levels of governance across the country. 

The gutters are there alright, but they are either blocked by weed or debris.

Evidently, the problem is not the absence of drainage systems across the states, but our lack of maintenance culture and poor hygiene.

What do we really utilize the sanitation hours every Thursday between the hours of 7 - 10am in market places in Lagos state, and every first, second or last Saturdays of the month on????

There is therefore the urgent need to check flood and diseases by maintaining good hygiene.  Not taking good care of what we have equals to 'abuse' of that very thing.

Photos Speaks: Development Projects Around Lagos!

In pictures, on-going construction of Ajah fly-over, Ajah, Lekki Peninsula, Lagos - Nigeria.

When completed, Ajah fly-over is expected to look like the picture in the sign post below.