PHR VISITS JDPMC OSOGBO, TO PARTNERS ON ELECTION OBSERVATION AMONGST OTHER KEY ISSUES
The Politics and Human Rights Department of the Justice, Development Peace Movement (JDPM) Oyo, visited the office of the Justice, Development, and Peace Maker's Centre (JDPMC), Osogbo on 4th July 2018. The purpose of the visit was to enable the two bodies to collaborate on various issues that have continued to engulf our national lives, particularly, election observation, budget monitoring, Child Rights amongst others.
The leader of JDPM team, Mr. Rasaq Olasunkanmi, appreciated the organization for putting up such arrangement which he believed would bring more cordial relationship between the two faith-based NGO's. He said that the duo could work together on how to train Adhoc officials such as Corp members, Public Officers amongst others on election observation for proper transparency and accountability on good governance with a bit of digression on the Osun Governorship election that is expected to come up in September 2018 as well the 2019 general election.
While welcoming the JDPM team, the Head, Democracy, and Good Governance programme Department, JDPMC Osogbo, Mr. Festus, extolled the past and present efforts of the two organizations on series of projects which ensued subsequent relationship. He added that he would like to know more about the outcome of the recently concluded 2-day lecture titled "STOMACH INFRASTRUCTURE" which JDPM team attended on 29-30th June, 2018 at Lagos organized by BudgiT to allow cross-fertilization of ideas from all and sundry about the popular aphorism trending on the political landscape of Nigeria which is now causing a serious threat to the sustainability of the electorates. He said the issue needs holistic approach by the two NGO's in liaising with the relevant bodies such as accredited donors, BudgiT and other stakeholders on how to sensitize the electorates about the repercussion of the ugly scenario.
Responding to the discussion, Mr. Rasaq, corroborated the first speaker's assertion that our society suffers serious setback because of increasing rate of poverty, citing cases of the recent rating of the global index where Nigeria have overthrown India as the nation with the highest number of poverty per families throughout the world and condemning how insensitive our political leaders have become to the affliction of the masses. Also, the groups agreed to work on drug abuse and crime among young people that is on rising in our society in recent time as a result of depression, bad companies, and poverty.
It was also agreed to collaborate on fighting off the prevalence of female genital mutilation in some part of Osun and Oyo State respectively as a result of continuous negligence by the government due to weak legislation in prosecuting offenders. It was agreed to strike out the balance between cases of Child Rights challenges in both States. It was believed that the project has been suffering a serious setback because of uncooperative attitude of some law enforcement agencies, especially the Police who have often been accused of compromising outcomes or results of rape, physical abuses amongst others. The police who are fond of wangled in many cases involving juvenile and under-age children are usually labeled by many people as a villain because of bribery
In a society where cases of sexual assaults on people, young and old, jungle justice are wielded arbitrarily on children for simple mistakes, the sword of justice is far from cutting the right set of offenders and as such, justice will be compromised. And as the general saying, justice delayed is justice denied. Therefore, it wouldn't be a cold in the hell if the two organization can work together to ensure a smooth free and egalitarian society being the mouth-piece of the vulnerable in the society. At the end of the visit, the groups exchanged Instructive Educational Materials (IET) with each other in solidarity while a group photograph was taken.
JDPM EMPOWERS AN UNPRODUCTIVE WOMAN IN ILORA
As an apostle of Child's Rights and dignity of person in the society, the JDPM Oyo came to the rescue of a helpless daughter of a woman who has been unproductive for a while in Ilora, Afijio local government area of Oyo State. The teenager was said to have been subjected to a series of hard labor for a long time because of her parent's negligence. She has been the sole breadwinner of the family for a while, she peeled cassava and fried gaari at the local factory, sometimes after the school hours and on weekends in order to get some money. Esther has been so productive and in fact, striving hard to keep the fate of her vision to be an achiever for so long.
Her shocking state of financial problem and obvious penury came to our notice through the Child�s Rights facilitator and the members of staff in LA Primary School, Aro Ilora, who became more worried about the physical injuries the girl sustained while frying gaari one afternoon. Her navel mistakenly smashed with the hot plate and as such, she started suffering severe stomach upset and excruciating pains on her navel.
As concerned mothers compassionately touched by her ordeal, they (the school management) quickly seek to find her parent to know why she has been facing such a hash Child Abuse from a tender age. Hence, we were contacted to intervene in order to save the family from its impending danger and more importantly, the fate of the innocent child who has been physically and emotionally abused by parental negligence.JDPM facilitator posed with the daughter of the beneficiary
Poised with serious indignation and galvanized with how dastardly a parent could be so daft to forgone their parental duties, we swing into action and during the findings, it was gathered that mother of seven children, Mrs. Olusegun. has been unproductive for a long time while her husband was claimed to be a truck driver in Lagos State. He was said to have been helpful in terms of sending money to the family every month, even though it was not enough to offset the bulkiness of the family's bills. However, when she was contacted to know what she could do to feed the family afterward, she said that she would love to venture into itinerary trading and was advised to get closer to people who have been on the business for so long in order to get acquainted with the business tactics.
On the 24th July 2018, the Politics and Human Rights Department (PHR) OF JDPM visited LA Primary School, Aro Ilora, Afijio LGA of Oyo State to empowered Mrs. Olusegun in order to assist her to commence her micro business. While appreciating JDPM and the School Management for the laudable efforts in sustaining human dignity and Child's Rights, she maintained that no one took notice of her plight for so long and promised to utilize the facilitated materials in order to feed her family and continuously re-invest to make the business a productive one.
In her own word, Child Rights facilitator in the school, Mrs. Ajayi. Urged the JDPM to keep the good work in order to continue educating the public on Child�s Rights. The lead facilitator of the team, Mr. Taiwo Dominic. assured the school and other observers of subsequent follow up on her business in order to monitor her progress.
JDPM FACILITATED PERMANENT RELOCATION OF FREED INMATES FROM OYO PRISON
Following the prerogative order by the Oyo State Judiciary system on the 24th July, 2018 that inmates should be released from various prisons across the state in order to address the issue of congestion amongst others, the JDPM team swung into action as the body facilitated the relocation of 38 out of 44 freed inmates from the Abolongo Medium Prison, Ori-Awo, Oyo town. This is in consonance with one of the core mission of the Oyo Catholic Diocesan Congress of Prison Pastoral Care (OCDCPPC). The body which comprises of independent units, each with a specific function has been on the forefront of humanitarian and civil causes for more than a decade in the Catholic Diocese of Oyo. The (OCDCPPC)'s body is made up of the following: Pro Labore Dei which deals with the Health Care (notably primary health care), Catholic Charismatic Renewal of Nigeria sees into the Counseling and Prayer of the inmates in order to save their souls from perilous end and provide rehabilitation, St Rita, and St Vincent provides welfare, such as clothing, foods, toiletries, footwear to mention but a few. While JDPM is responsible for free Legal aid, payment of fines in court and logistics, part of which was the relocation of the freed inmates to their respective destinations within and outside Oyo State.
Speaking to the 44 freed inmates at the Abolongo Medium Prison, Oyo, the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Munta Abimbola charged them to be more law-abiding, respectful of the law and be good ambassadors of their families as they go back to the society. He added that they should count themselves lucky because there are many of their peers who were not as privileged as they were. "I think you all don't need a soothsayer to tell you that you are among the luckiest people on earth because since you have been here, majorities have died, some were not freed nor given a proper hearing. So, whatever brought you here, I don't want to know, all I want is that you must change for good as you are going back to the society again”.
"Maybe you don't know our laws still functions well and no crime is small in the eyes of the law. The sword of justice is still sharp and will forever be. So, if I were you, I will desist from old ways and embrace good things. I am saying this because I know the majority of you will still go back to the crime but I tell you, what you did and scale through now might not repeat itself, you may not have this type of privilege again. Nobody wants you here again and it will be a great joy if you could all stop from being a black sheep” he said.
The freed inmates who were in prison for various offenses ranging from pilfering, the wrong accusation, burgling, car snatching and much more expressed their appreciation to the Oyo State government and JDPM for coming to their aid at the right time. While addressing the inmates, the JDPM lead facilitator, Mr. Taiwo Dominic said the inmates should embrace peace with the society and desist from retaliating on whatever could have brought them to prison. He assured them of justice and prompt intervention on human rights causes anytime. Some of them were released as a result of the expiration of their jail term, lack of circumstantial evidence, awaiting trials, minor offenses, admission to count charges and health-related issues. The 38 inmates who were mostly youths in their late twenties and early thirties were conveyed by the JDPM team vehicles to different motor parks in the Oyo metropolis as they headed to different locations, six to Lagos, four to Ibadan, one to Ore, Ondo State while the rest are from Oke-Ogun area, comprising of Saki, Ilero Igbeti, and Okeho. In order to ensure justice and complete evacuation, JDPM team gave transport fares to the drivers of each buses going to respective destinations and paid for the feeding of each of the inmates onboard. The freed inmates who could not hide their joy vowed to desist from crimes forthwith and promised to be more responsive and much wary of the law, describing their ordeal in the prison as short while in hell which a responsible person must not face in his/her lifetime.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IS VIABLE FOR A SUCCESSFUL BUDGET IMPLEMENTATION- Oyo Development Hive
Democratic governance sustenance remains a viable system not just for its operation ability but also o for its fairness, equity, and peaceful co-existence among the people. It is a system that allows a strong interactive interface between all and sundry unlike other types of government. Hence, the “Development Hive”, which was held on 9-10 August 2018 at the JDP office, Mabolaje Oyo was the first of its kind in Oyo State. The theme of the program was "Citizen Advancing Budget Performance in Social Infrastructure in Oyo and its Environs". It featured members of Civil Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG) Oyo zone, delegates from Kisi, Igbeti, Igboho and Saki, lawmakers from the State House of Assembly and the House of Representative, representative of the Department for International Development (DFID) In attendance.
The forum affords members of the public and the elected representatives a greater opportunity to discuss important issues that are pertinent to the corporate existence of the state since there is virtually no public forum where elected leaders and the electorates could interact better than this. Speaking to the participants, Hon Muideen Olagunju representing Oyo East, West, Atiba in the Oyo House of Assembly, said democratic government is never an easy task contrary to majority’s view, adding that our society condones sharp practices because of political apathy, inequalities between the rich and the poor who have become subservient of the greedy leaders.
He bemoaned the substandard nature of the dualized road in Oyo town where the thickness and layers of the asphalt have made the project to be in a shambolic state in recent time. He further stated that the principle of accountability and transparency in governance works better on paper than in the real sense citing cases of various abandoned projects such as the proposed Atiba FM, the deplorable state of most local road due to unused grading machines during all seasons and usual extortion of the intending communities by most Local government who used to justifies their irrational action on fuel consumption and a need to maintain effective workability of the grader. He, however, condemned the unfair treatment of nursing students by the Oyo State Nursing School Board who have cultivated the habit of expelling students after a few months on campus on flimsy excuses. "I think we need to be sincere with ourselves here because I see no way the school continue to exploit students and parents. They knew the school admission capacity, yet, they find unnecessary excuses to expunge some of these students home after a while. They are just using them to make money, it's not fair. We have Oyo State School of Advanced Nursing here in Oyo, why can't it start functioning like before. Although the incumbent administration has promised to re-awaken the glory of the institution in order to continue to satisfy the purpose of its establishment. I can assure you that solid networking is ongoing to reposition the institute in due course" he said.
Highlighting his achievement since his election in 2015, he said he has successfully launched a viable free school shuttle system for the secondary school students in his constituency in order to address the problem of movement and ameliorate long distance trekking, empowered artisans, provides sixteen passengers canoe for the rural dwellers at Aba Olori in order to convey people since the burden of reconstructing their old bridge has proved very unbearable despite meeting with the Ogun-Osun River Basin Authority in Abeokuta. He further stated that he has successfully resuscitated a couple of abandoned boreholes by past politicians in order to address the issue of inadequate water supply to mention but a few.
In his own word, Hon Akeem Adeyemi representing Oyo East, West, Atiba, and Afijio in the House of Representatives, represented by his special aid, Mr. Ishola Abdullahi, said that the Honorable remains committed to the actualization of his mission and has since been working to get the job done. Stating his achievement, he maintained that Hon Akeem Adeyemi has successfully; constructed blocks of classrooms in Anglican Methodist Grammar School, Alaafin High School, Oke Olola Grammar School Oyo, distribution of eighty-five iPad to all outstanding secondary schools students in the Oyo Federal Constituency, Cash empowerment for forty outstanding students. On job creation, he said four people were employed by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corp, five were absorbed into the Nigerian Army, ten into the Nigerian Police Force, one by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Six to the Nigerian Navy with two currently on rigorous training, one was employed by the General Hospital Abuja, one to the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to mention but a few.
During the question time and reflection on the talk, a vast majority of participants charged the lawmakers and other stakeholders to come up with a legislation that will involve community members in the formulation and implementation of projects in their communities in order to aids feedback and monitoring. They implored them to embrace the idea rather than employing the pure service of the technocrats who do not have sufficient idea on the felt needs of the people like themselves. Mr. Segun Olujimi, said it is time government at all level makes agriculture more attractive to the youths who have started to indulge in all sorts of immoral activities in recent time. Dr. Supo Iyiola implored the lawmakers to come up with a law that will compel all elected officials in government to complete any abandoned projects by their predecessors in order to put an end to the problem of project discontinuity by the new government as well as a reduction in the economic wastage of resources. Mrs. Olabode, asserts that the government should address the poor living condition of teachers and workers in general.
In the spirit of democracy and egalitarian society, accountability and transparency must be taken into consideration because citizen’s reflection on advancing budget performance in social infrastructures relies on the sustainable recognition of the public voices. Hence, at the end of the program, participants suggested that there should be a Community Whistle Blowing approach through citizen’s, religious and community leaders in order to track projects implementation, legislative engagement, Community Management Committee, partnering with media for publicity, Parliamentary system of government for restructuring while Hon Muideen Olagunju, vowed to come up with a bill that will inform members of a community to be acquainted with the nature of the projects before it is brought to the community for commencement. He charged JDPM and the Echelon of Catholic in the Diocese to always liaise with the government officials on most projects in order to fast-track quick implementation, adding that he will make the budget document available for public perusal in due course. Hon Akeem Adeyemi charged CCGG to intensify efforts in terms of influencing government policies especially on policymaking, budget, advocacy, and education as part of key actors in the socio-political transformation.
Responding to the discussion, representative of Department for International Development (DFID) who is on mission for Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (NERL), Mr. Agbojo Adewale, charged the participants to take the bull by the horn in addressing various issues about government, ranging from budget tracking on projects implementation, community engagement on projects to active participation. He said the mandate of sustaining government is a concerted effort and until the people realize their rights to challenge their elected representatives on their stewardship, they can never get what they deserved.
EXPERT EDUCATES JDPM STAFFS ON BASIC HELPING SKILLS TO MANAGE TRAUMA SENSITIVITY IN PEOPLE
Human beings are products of time wash away with time whose hustling could be as a result of the dire need to satisfy their innumerable wants. And as such, pressure sets in to meet up with the expectation from psychological, emotional and physiological angles. Whether we like it or not, trauma is part of human existence, but when it becomes unbearable causing series of inconveniences, it becomes a traumatic experience which could cut human lives short on the long run. In view of this, an expert per excellence who knows the nitty-gritty of human sociology, Dr Matthew Ojo, from the Rural Development Programme (RUDEP) Department, JDPM Oyo, delivered a powerful lecture on HELPFUL TIPS TO MANAGE TRAUMA SENSITIVITY in people at workplace or the society on 2nd July, 2018 at the JDP office in Mabolaje Oyo.
While delivering his lecture, Dr. Matthew Ojo, said our society suffers series of problems arising from traumatic pains of most people which are unknown to counselors. He went further that the only difference between traumatic experience and traumatic pains is that the former is usually temporal while the latter lasts for a long time or even till death involving mental and deep emotional turbulence. He maintained that the first step to take in helping people passing through trauma is Active Listening, describing it as a state of listening to the inner feelings, plights, and ordeals of the victims, putting oneself in their shoe by giving them undivided attention after introducing oneself as an expert who is willing to help. He said one should nod head to give empathy, not curiously but willingly, ask for personal resources in order to know where they(clients) requires one's help in details, bearing in mind not to be engrossed in the person's problem to the extent of allowing one's personal sentiment to influence decision outcome.
He added that one should be careful in assessing dangers and needs of the client’s, especially by putting the safety of the client's into consideration, citing cases of how wrongly the Politics and Human Rights (PHR) department of the organization is laid out and why it should be restructured to give privacy to client's personal issues who might visit on consultation. According to him, as a counselor whom a client can confide in to ameliorate their challenges, one must be able to quickly devise a proper mechanism to identify the most pressing needs, design practical ways of addressing these pressing needs, gives information that is relevant to helping peoples out with the adequate knowledge the counselor has acquired.
In addition, the facilitator said that where possible, the counselor should suggest contact persons who could help if needs are with a digression on citing past cases where success has been recorded in order to renew the client’s hope.Responding to series of question from the attendee, the facilitator maintained that, the counselor should make Action Plan by summarizing all problems and seek client’s consent to know the most pressing needs to be attended to promptly. Explore at least three potential options, assessing the pros and cons of the selected option before determining the next step.lecture in progress
On the final note, Dr Matthew asserts that, a responsible counselor is expected to be an expert filled with discretionary ability to conceptualize and analyze issues painstakingly without mixing reality with spiritual context, adding that the most important aspect of ascertaining level of progress in managing traumatic stress and its excruciating burdens in people is the periodic follow-up on clients. He said ‘' when you are attending to a client's problem, particularly, traumatic related one, you need to book an appointment with him/her based on the agreed timeline to brainstorm and assess the level of progress made so far and to know where to intensify efforts for good result”. He concluded that nothing is more important than giving a greater sense of confidence in clients whenever a counselor is approached to let them know that one is able to solve the problem without fear and prejudice.