Front line Civil Rights Advocacy Group-: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has named the Senate Minority Leader of the Ninth Session of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Distinguished Senator Enyinnaya Harcourt Abaribe and the minister of State for Federal Capital Territory Mrs. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu as the HUMAN RIGHTS MAN/WOMAN OF THE YEAR 2021 who are worthy of emulation by both the private and public sectors.
Making the disclosure on behalf of the GOVERNING BOARD and the over ten thousand registered MEMBERS of the leading Civil society organisation in a media statement, the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko stated that the duo were unanimously selected based on merits, competences, avowed commitments to selfless public services and for their distinctive and charismatic leadership qualities they have brought to bear in the discharge of their legislative and ministerial duties to the generality of Nigerians.
Senator Abaribe, HURIWA said has carved a niche for himself as the significant voice of the people in the National Assembly and as a servant of constitutional democracy who has consistently stood his ground and galvanised the political opposition to render qualitative and structured opposition to some attempts at gagging the Press and passing draconian Legislations to attack fundamental human rights of the citizens particularly the attempt to muzzle access to social media.
The Minister of State for FCT, says HURIWA is one of the finest and committed believers in humanitarian services to the poorest of the poor and she brought her charismatic leadership skills to bear in the handling of distribution of relief materials at the onset of the Pandemic of COVID-19 just as she demonstrated the uncommon passion for combating poverty and unemployment amongst rural dwellers. The FCT Minister of State is known not to interfere with the democratic governance of Area Councils in the Federal Capital Territory therefore entering the pantheon of one of the most beloved iconic promoters of Democracy.
The Nigerian Senator, Enyinnaya Harcourt Abaribe was born on March 1, 1955, in Aba, Abia state just as Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe got his WASSCE from Government College Umuahia in 1974. He went on to the University of Benin, where he received a bachelor’s degree economics in 1979 and a master’s degree in economics in 1982.
Abaribe was elected to the Senate in 2007 and has been representing Abia South Senatorial District till date.
He is the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Inter-Parliamentary Affairs. He is also a member of the Committees on the Independent National Electoral Commission, Senate Services, and Works. And, currently the chairman Senate Committee on Media and Publicity.
Before 2007, Senator Abaribe was Abia State’s Deputy Governor from May 29, 1999, after Orji Uzor Kalu’s 1999 election to the Governorship until he resigned in March 7, 2003 – before the third attempt to impeach him became a reality. He holds the title Nwadiohanma Ngwa.
HURIWA’s MAN/WOMAN OF the year 2021 in every sense have manifested rich rapporteur of the distinctive leadership style with a focus toward taking the citizens to their better selves economically and socially.
Charismatic leadership is defined by a leader who uses his or her communication skills, persuasiveness, and charm to influence others. Charismatic leaders, given their ability to connect with people on a deep level, are especially valuable within organizations that are facing a crisis or are struggling to move forward.
Conversely, every charismatic leader looks a little bit different. However, there are many key characteristics that most charismatic leaders share:
• Strong communicator
• Empathetic and relatable
• Engaging and charming
Charismatic leadership shares many traits with transformational leadership. While similar, there’s one important difference: charismatic leaders rely on their own personality and skillset to move their followers to action, while transformational leaders rely on a shared vision to create change. So while most transformational leaders tend to be charismatic, not all charismatic leaders are necessarily transformational.
In the current political dispensation Senator Abaribe has severally galvanised opposition senators to remain on the side of the oppressed citizens of Nigeria and one of their major push is their consistent refusal to be bribed to back the ‘National Commission for the Prohibition of Hate Speeches’ currently in the works at the Senate.
As the Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, the Senate Minority Caucus of the Senate is made up of parties like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with the second highest number of lawmakers (next to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC), All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) and Accord Party (AP). Abaribe, in one of his Prominent media appearances described the controversial bill as an attempt to abrogate the rights of Nigerians, saying “we will not be part” of it.
Abaribe the Senator that speaks truth to power told the media at the onset of the massive attacks against freedom of speech that the bill against access to social media has just been tabled before the Senate and until it gets to second reading, we won’t be able to discuss the general principles.
He admitted that this bill seeks to abrogate the rights of Nigerians. They cited Chapter Four of the Constitution, I think Sections 34 to 39, which gives you different rights that you have as a citizen of Nigeria. I think Section 39 talks about the right to hold opinion, freedom to disseminate information and to receive information, and the Leadership and Accountability Initiative members feel that, that right is going to be abrogated. I told them that, as far as I know, we won’t be part of the moves to abrogate the rights of Nigerians.
Senator Abaribe believes that Democracy implies freedoms. If you are a democrat, then you should allow people to hold their views and let their views be espoused. It is the contestation of ideas that makes democracy to thrive. A democracy in which you try to whip the people into a single line of thought isn’t democracy, it is autocracy. I don’t think we would go through what we went through and now return to authoritarian rule. I am an Igbo person and in my place we say “when you pass through the evil forest, you don’t expect that the demon will catch you anymore”. In essence, it is only when you are in the evil forest that the demon catches you and not when you have passed. We could not have done 20 years of democracy after the troubles we went through under military rule and we get to this point and somebody wants to circumscribe your rights, that should not happen.
Free speech, Senator Abaribe admitted has been under threat and it came from the fact that all of a sudden, people are being arrested for airing their opinions. The Minister of Information now said that they are going to amend the laws to circumscribe opinions aired on the social media. If we are not very careful, we may slip back into dark days of authoritarianism. And we are not going to allow that to happen. We couldn’t have passed the evil forest and the demon will catch us thereafter. So HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA is hereby naming DISTINGUISHED SENATOR ENYINNAYA HARCOURT ABARIBE as our MAN OF THE YEAR 2021.
ACHIEVEMENTS OF FCT MINISTER OF STATE, DR. RAMATU TIJJANI ALIYU, who is today named by HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) as the HUMAN RIGHTS WOMAN OF THE YEAR 2021.
On August 21, 2020, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, Minister of State, FCT alongside other 42 cabinet ministers appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, assumed office. Over one year in office, the FCT Minister of State, has contributed her quota to the growth and development of the territory. Below are some of the areas she has impacted positively to FCT Administration in particular and Nigeria in general.
ON PRESIDENTIAL DELIVERABLES: In line with the 13 Presidential deliverables assigned to the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), by Mr. President, the FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, committed herself to handwork, loyalty and commitment to duty in ensuring that those targets were achieved within stipulated timeframes. At the outset, it was realized that the achievement of the deliverables was going to require the buy-in of the civil servants. The deliverables were therefore cascaded and made the basis for activity work plans for the rest of 2019, and for the preparation of the 2020 budget. Though progress has been hampered by the outbreak of Corona Virus Pandemic in March 2020, but notwithstanding major achievements have been recorded, with potential to build upon them once the pandemic abates.
As part of efforts towards achieving Mr. President’s agenda of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, the FCT Administration inaugurated an aquaculture Centre valued for women and youths in Kwali Area Council of the Territory under the supervision of the FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu.
The project which was to mark her 100 days in office is aimed at building a strong economic base for rural dwellers who constitute larger proportion of the FCT population, and to engage them in productive ventures that will enhance their capacities to earn meaningful income thereby improving their socio-economic status. Other agriculture-centric rural interventions include; more effective farm input distribution system, provision of high-yield seedlings, fertilizers and pesticides, in a timely manner and at subsidized rates. These initiatives have started yielding positive results as the minister flagged off the sales of products by beneficiaries and sales of buffer stock grains to FCT residents held recently.
On the other hand, the AfDB-promoted Special Agro-industrial Processing Zone in livestock and dairy production. The site has been designated and arrangements have commenced to formally process it for handover to potential investors. In addition, the CBN supported investors (Nestle, Friesland CampinaWamco, L and Z) are to set up livestock and dairy production facilities in the Territory. An appropriate site has also been identified and their land applications are being processed.
ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING: In recognition of the housing deficit in the nation’s capital, especially among civil servants, a review of previous attempts at providing 500 units of Affordable Housing has been completed, Modalities have been put in place to guarantee accessibility and affordability to deserving beneficiaries, including funding arrangements with potential funders such as the Family Homes Fund Limited and the Federal Mortgage Bank. It is pertinent to stress that layouts have been identified for affordable housing provision in all the six (6) Area Councils, development plans have been prepared for the layouts, and prototype designs have been produced for housing types and 3D models have been completed for the Muhammadu Buhari Housing Estate in Karshi, for the FCTA and FCDA staff.
ON PRIMARY HEALTHCARE:
In an effort to deliver key health interventions and in line with Primary healthcare being one of the presidential deliverables, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, ensure the establishment of a mandatory Universal Community-Based Health Insurance Scheme. To this end, she has flagged off the FCT health Insurance scheme in Kwali Area Council by ensuring the enrolment of staff of Area Councils The second round of the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health MNCH) scheme aimed at reducing maternal death, child mortality and morbidity in the FCT was also inaugurated to reaffirm the commitment of the Buhari administration to achieving universal health coverage. The ongoing review of Primary Healthcare services in the territory with emphasis on level of access and quality of services. Provisions have been made in the 2020 budget to address documented gaps.
ON RESETTLEMENT AND COMPENSATION: The administration with relevant stakeholders implement a comprehensive plan to resolve all resettlement issues in the FCT. It is heart-warming to note that four plans have been developed for resolving resettlement issues namely; Gidan Daya Relocation layout to resolve the conflict between the Nigeria Military and Kpadnayi community at Kugbo district and the relocation of the community to Gidan Daya at cadastral zone E11, about to commence. Gude Resettlement Layout is to accommodate six communities namely; Waru, Kabusa, Pigba 1, Pigba 2, Chafuyi and Apo Tafyi, the process is ongoing. Wasa Resettlement is to accommodate three communities for the first phase, the communities are Alieta, Chika and Piyakasa. Houses built and presently undergoing renovations. Shere Galuyi Resettlement is to accommodate 17 communities mostly in phase 2 of the FCC and few communities in the phase 3 of FCC. The area earmarked for Jabi Yakubu Community has been renovated awaiting basic facilities such as light, water, construction of internal road and majorly the link road between Mpape and Shere Galuyi. A number of compensation issues have been resolved in respect of crops and economic trees as well as relocation, namely; Kwali compensation has been issue resolved and payment is ongoing. Waru compensation issue has been resolved and payment is ongoing. Apo community compensation issue has been resolved and payment is ongoing. Kpadnayi Community relocating to Gidan Daya. The issue has been resolved and relocation is about to commence. Bwari compensation issue has been resolved and payment completed early this year (2020). Karshi compensation issue has been resolved and payment completed early this year (2020) Gaduwa compensation issue has been resolved and payment completed early this year (2020), and Dakwo compensation issue has been resolved and payment is about to commence among others.
YOUTH EMPOWERMENT/JOB CREATION:
The administration has embarked on the implementation of a strategy towards the realisation of Mr. President’s June 12 promise to take 100,000,000 Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years. The administration has also committed to the creation of a minimum of 240,000 jobs to lift at least 500,000 out of poverty by the mid-2023. To achieve this, the following strategies are being implemented: Provision of training programmes to create 150,000 entrepreneurs; provision of Business Advisory to support enterprises; provision of Skill Acquisition Centres to support entrepreneurship; provision of Rural Enterprise Support to create Cooperatives/Entrepreneurs; implement Special Projects to boost 43,000 Entrepreneurs; access to Business Finance of N1.8bn to 240,000 Businesses/People, and empowerment of youths via distribution of Inputs such as (Feeds, DOCs, Snails etc.).
COVID 19 PANDEMIC:
Upon the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the FCT, the administration quickly activated appropriate strategies by establishing isolation and treatment centres leading to the opening of the Idu, Asokoro and THISDAY Dome centres, thereby giving the FCT bed space capacity of about 1000 bed spaces to cater for COVID-19 patients. The administration also embarked on training of health workers to build more capacity, procurement of large consignments of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), surgical face masks, infra-red thermometers, hand sanitizers as well as assorted drugs, ventilators and other medical consumables to all treatment/isolation centres and hospitals.
ON COVID 19 PANDEMIC (Provision of Palliative Food Items and Fumigation of premises).
The FCTA’s provision of 2 separate packs of palliative food items reached about a million vulnerable residents of the FCT, in the course of the first round of the exercise in the Six Area Councils, that lasted between April 18th and May 3rd 2020. The items in the provided packs included the following: i. Rice ii. Beans iii. Semovita iv. Maggi v. Salt vi. Vegetable oil vii. Sugar viii. Garri ix. Tomato Paste. Breakdown of distribution across the area councils during the first round is as follows. Abaji 50,000, AMAC 72,000, Bwari 50,000, Gwagwalada 50,000, Kuje 50,000, while Kwali 50,000, totaling 322,000. However, the 2nd Round of the Distribution Exercise took place between 3rd May to 20th May, 2020. In addition to vulnerable households reached, other second phase beneficiaries included thousands of internally displaced persons, people living with disability, orphanages (56 in number), vulnerable and homeless youth groups, traditional institutions, civil society organisations working as outreach partners, the League of Imams, Christian Association of Nigeria, the Nigerian Union of Journalists, and students in the Territory’s higher education institutions who got trapped in their respective schools following what they thought was going to be a brief shutdown. Preparatory to the commencement of the exercise, the Honourable Minister of State, who chairs the Palliative Distribution Committee, held several meetings with stakeholders including the traditional and tribal leaders, civil society organisations, religious leaders, and youth and women groups. These meetings agreed to the modalities to be adopted in identifying the most vulnerable members of society across ethnic, tribal, religious and political lines, who are to benefit from the provision of palliative food items. The meetings also agreed that the distribution was going to be done on a house-to-house basis to ensure the exercise was conducted in line with the extant guidelines on preventing the spread of the Novel Corona Virus. The FCTA Monitoring Committee was supported by several religious leaders, members of civil society organisations, and the Code of Conduct Bureau, provided oversight on the distribution process to ensure strict compliance with agreed modalities. By and large, the exercise was a very huge success, despite the initial logistic hitches.
ON FUMIGATION AND DECONTAMINATION:
The FCT Administration has also ensured the ongoing decontamination/fumigation of homes, (MDA) offices within and around the FCT, public spaces (including markets) and hotels, to contain the spread of the virus in the Territory. The exercise has enjoyed wide acclaim in the light of the range of chemicals used to effectively decontaminate the targeted spaces.
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, had in different fora acknowledged the potential of the tourism sector in the area of job creation and lifting millions out of poverty in line with the presidential deliverables. The tourism sector is one sector that the administration is absolutely interested in investing, given the fact that the nation’s projected population by 2050 would be about 450 million people, and with a projected huge population, it is important that all sectors are active in order to avoid crisis. To this end, the ministerial performance reports presented to the Federal Executive Council on February 5, 2020. the administration has secured the nod and go ahead for the design to commence activities on Jabi Lake to enhance the tourism and recreational potential of the Lake. Also, the Mpape Crushed site will be fully developed to a tourism destination.
COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO: NATIONAL COORDINATOR;
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA)
DECEMBER 30TH 2021.