Gubernatorial Encounter: JDPC, Civil Societies Engages Governorship Candidates on Citizen's Charter in Ibadan
Over the years, Nigeria have been bereaved of good leadership as a result of bad political will, unfulfilled campaign promises and continuous insensitivity to the plight of the masses by the political office holders who often forget that public mandate and welfare should be their priority. In view of this, the society has wake from their slumber and this led to the germination of ideas of "Social Contract" by civil societies and the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC), Ibadan just as it was previously adopted in Osun State where the incumbent Governor signed the Citizens Charter and Social Contract Pact.
Unequivocally, Oyo State always set a space in national and international development; this is further justified by the initiative put in place through the Citizen groups in Oyo State as facilitated by the Justice Development and Peace Commission, Ibadan where some governorship candidates of different political parties in the state are engaged on February 7, 2019 at JDPC Ibadan event center to dialogue on pertinent issues, sign Citizen Charter and Social Contract Pact and to present their manifestoes to the people. Some representatives of the following Citizens Groups were present at the venue: Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Oyo State Council, Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Oyo State Wing, Justice of Peace (JP), Muslim Community of Oyo State (MUSCOYS), Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Nigeria Bar Association (NBA),Ibadan Branch, National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Oyo State, Justice Development and Peace Movement (JDPM) Oyo, Civil Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG), Educare Trust Nigeria, National Association of Women Journalist (NAWOJ), Oyo State Council, National Initiative for Social Development (NISD), Women Advocating for Women (WAW), Nigeria Youth Council (NYC), Oyo State wing and Justice Development and Peace Commission, Ibadan.
Welcoming the participants to the event, the Director of JDPC Ibadan, Rev Father Ezekiel Ade Owoeye, appreciated the guests, Press, civil society's representatives and Committee for the effort put in place. He said that Nigerians are coming up to fight off bad governance by holding their leaders ransom for some lackluster attitude whenever they are in public Office with the idea of social contract. He saluted the courage of the few gubernatorial aspirants who came out of their tight schedules for the event, adding that it shows they are telling the people that public wishes and welfare is their concern.
Rev Father Owoye charged all parents to be watchful of their children especially the youths who are often been used by politicians as thugs during electioneering period. He urged the people to exercise their civic right through voting rather than sitting on the fence in order to achieve a great Nigeria.
While moderating the programme, Prof Francis Egbokhare from the University of Ibadan, galvanized participants thought by citing cases of developmental journey of different countries where it was said that the problem with Africa is that those who have the idea lacks power and those who have the power somehow lacks the idea. He reminded the participants that the purpose of the gathering should be seen as a legacy which should continue beyond election time.
During the presentation of manifestoes by candidates of different political parties, National Interest Party (NIP) gubernatorial candidate, Bolanle Ashabi Sarumi, stormed the house with an unusual political oratory using her humble background to illustrate her understanding of the society and the plight of the people, born and bred in Bashorun, Ibadan, to a Nigerian father and British woman, she explored arrays of what galvanized her interest in politics which focuses on emancipation of the people from poverty, oppression, create massive employment through skill acquisition centers, improve quality of health care for children, pregnant women and the elderly ones while also aiming at increasing Oyo State industrial development among other.
In his word, Providence People's Congress (PPC) candidate, Pastor Taiwo Ibiyemi Otegbeye, who was a former Commissioner for Information in Oyo State said his government will focus on: holistic Agricultural development through conversion of bio wastes of animals on farms to generate power, promote goat milk production, fabrication of farm implements to save our local manufacturers from business collapse, create massive employment opportunities, revitalize dead waste management system in the state. He also promised a good health system through an improved Social Insurance Health Scheme.
Responding to the discussion, Democratic People's Party (DPP), candidate, Engineer Omobosola Owolabi Golohor, a native of Otu in Itesiwaju Local Government Area of Oyo State who has spent much years in Europe and North America said if she is elected Governor of Oyo State, she will ensure that the pace setter state remains progressive destination for investors in Technology, Innovation, Education, Research and Development with a special focus on poverty alleviation through Welfare programs for the elderly, Disabled and Unemployed youths. She added ,"I want to ensure constant power supply for the state through resuscitation of Ikere Gorge Dam in Iseyin in order to boost industrial development, digitized our school record system against constant loss of important data. In addition, I wish to ensure holistic capacity development of men and women to take self-reliant actions so that they can meet their own basic needs"
The event was rounded off by the projection of a Case study of Osun State signing of Citizen Charter by the incumbent Governor of the State of Osun before assumption of office. However, only the few governorship candidates on seat signed the Social Contract Pact in the present of all representative of Citizen Groups, Press and religious bodies with the hope that other aspirants from Action Democratic Party (ADP), Otunba Adebayo Alao Akala, All Peoples Congress (APC), Adebayo Adelabu, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),Engineer Seyi Makinde and African Democratic Party (ADP), Olufemi Lanlehin would make it up to sign theirs next week 12th February, 2019 having sent their letters earlier which clarifies reasons for their absence.
With this development, it is hoped many political office holder will now consider their campaign promises bearing in mind that they have signed an important document which the electorate can use to challenge their activities which will improve the quality of governance and service delivery to the electorate and also engender unprecedented development in Oyo State
Politics should be a Selfless Service to Humanity not to be Commercialized- Taiwo Dominic
If leadership is a burden and positional authority is a privilege, then, it should never have been a major source of tussles. Elections are complex undertakings with explicit and implicit risks before, during and after the exercise. Yet, the truth is that there will be no positive change in governance if all and sundry continue to "sit on the fence". This summarizes the submission of a thought-provoking lecture: Election in Nigeria: The Role of Priests and Laity delivered by the Head of Department (HOD), Politics and Human Rights, JDPM Oyo, Mr. Taiwo Dominic on 1st February, 2019 at the St John the Baptist Catholic Church, Iseyin Deanery.
Addressing the congregation, Mr. Taiwo Dominic, said politics should be a call to serve humanity not an avenue to enrich one's pocket. He added, commercialization of politics in Nigeria should be a thought-provoking issue for all especially as the sanctity in the system gets worse on daily basis and as a result of the 2019 General Election that is around the corner, yet the church fold their hands, no one is raising the alarm about the political comatose.
"All eyes are on Nigeria more than ever because of the general election that is coming up this month. When you look around many issues demands thorough analysis. The recent suspension of Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen and the swearing-in of the new Inspector General of Police (IG) Adamu Hassan who on assumption of duty relieved six Deputy Inspector General (DIG) who were his senior colleagues has raised the tempo of uncertainty that the coming election will be free, fair and credible. All the circumstances do not favor a productive Nigeria that you and I projected".
According to him, Nigerians especially Christians should be very careful and watchful during the election, adding that politicians are usually violent during the electioneering time because of fears of defeat, insatiable quest for power by crook and hook and for the sake of recovering the campaign expenses. He maintained that the power of the Catholic Church in shaping the society, molding public opinion and setting agenda for value orientation is long standing and legendary.
He charged the Catholic faithful to be law abiding before, during and after the elections. He cautioned the church that on election days, common interest should supersede personal interest to make peace to reign by adjusting to the situation, reconcile themselves with God and their neighbors for common good rather than joining those who destroy public properties and perpetrated other civil disobedience.
"It is a common knowledge that Catholic Church is the best institution for enlightening the mind of the people spiritually, socially and morally. So, I am very sure that Catholic Church through the Priests constitutes the guardian angels for society's sanity, survival and advancement."
Mr Taiwo further stated that as the repository of values and a fulfilled life, Priests should continue to lead Catholics to pray for stable Nigeria, encourage Catholics to stand up and speak the truth with peaceful disposition in all issues before, during and after the elections.
"I expected the Laity to be politically enlightened, preach political messages diplomatically without partiality. They must be able to change their mindset and others on stereotyping politics as a "dirty game". If we don't stand up and correct this bad system on time, we will continue to remain in the same spot."
The facilitator also cautioned the congregation to be security conscious, avoid involving themselves in unnecessary public political arguments, bragging of intended candidate of choice, walking around late in the night, carrying huge cash and mobile phones around, visiting popular joint for a drink among other before, during and immediately after the election.
He encouraged the congregation to use their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) wisely on election days, be wary of power hungry politicians who will want to buy their votes, avoid spreading fake news in public and on social media. He charged the Church to play politics and seek appointment and elected posts, deviate from running away from politics which has often been labeled as a "Foul Engagement" stressing out that virtually all the society's activities feeds on politics. This he pointed out with a biblical allusion from Isaiah 61; 1-2.
While rounding off his lecture, Mr. Taiwo Dominic, urged all Catholics and other Christians to be ready to pay the full price because nothing under the world is free, even our salvation was paid for by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. He said Laity should be determined to be active politicians by playing politics of justice and development for a better and stable Nigeria.
JDPM OYO ATTENDS CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP IN LOKOJA
The Politics and Human Rights Department of the Justice, Development and Peace Movement (JDPM), an offshoot of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo attended a Two Day Workshop on Campaign Finance Monitoring for State Coordinators and Field Monitors at Reverton Hotels, GRA, Lokoja, Kogi State between 20th and 21st December 2018. The programme was facilitated by JDPMC Osogbo in partnership with the International Foundation for Electoral System (IFES) the USA. The programme was held in the entire geopolitical zone nationwide. JDPM Oyo was grouped alongside Southwest and South-South region.
The training became necessary because of the previous achievement of JDPMC Osogbo on successful monitoring and observation of the recent Osun governorship election where field officers were deployed to the different area of the state to track campaign finance before and during the poll. In view of this, there is urgent need to organize such capacity building to train other volunteers in other states nationwide in order to checkmate the excesses of many political office holders who are fond of abusing offices through wrong usage of State Administrative resources during campaign activities and to train State Coordinators and Field Monitors on the strategies of tracking campaign finances by incumbent or aspiring political office holders especially as the 2019 general election draws near in order to save our democracy and the whole national politics from comatose.
Participants were taught seven different modules within two days in order to equip them with the necessary skills to carry out the mandate as they returned to their respective states. Each module addressed different issues in a pragmatic and analytical way with a view of galvanizing participant's thought on the best way to handle the mission. The modules ranged from Introduction to Campaign Finance and the use of state admin resources (SAR), Political Finance Regulation in Nigeria, Principles of Political Finance oversight (INEC’s roles), Campaign Monitoring and its approaches, Project structure, roles and responsibilities, working with reporting forms to Project Monitoring and Evaluation and a few others.
The programme also featured pre and post-tests for participants to evaluate the knowledge acquired during the workshop while they were also split into different groups for brainstorming and to demonstrate practical skills on how to go about the mission as they prepared to return to their respective states.
The expectations of the organizers are high because the 2019 election must reflect public wishes while efforts have also been intensified to educate the public on why it is ethical to question abuse of public resources to influence election outcomes by political office holders during campaign activities. At the end of the programme, participants later took a group photograph with JDPMC Osogbo team and IFES officers.
JDPM Assists a brilliant Indigent Pupil in Oyo Town
The Politics and Human Rights Department of JDPM Oyo has assisted an indigent pupil on 7th November 2018 in Oyo town. The ordeal of the brilliant pupil who was born to the family of multitude came to our notice through a Child right Volunteer in one of the selected schools in Oyo because he was on the brink of dropping out of school just like his other siblings who could not further their education beyond primary six.
The grandmother of the boy who came to JDP office said� Abdulqudus is a brilliant boy who could not afford to miss out on furthering his education. He has been dreaming of a glorious future where he could become an important figure in society. We wished we could help him but we do not have enough financial resources but thanks to this teacher. He realized our ordeal and volunteered to assist us�
"I have observed something about our society for years. Majority of people believed success has a lineage without knowing that it is a friend of those who never gave up. A vast majority of brilliant people in the society has nothing to offer than courage to prove devil wrong because they felt they are helpless. In the case of this boy, he is very sound and tenacious with a clear demonstration of intelligence on countless occasions. When the parent became worried because of his hopelessness on education after primary school, I was touched and felt that I could contribute my own quota to his life by networking with JDPM" The teacher said.
Addressing the parent and his teacher, the Head of Department, Politics and Human Rights department, Mr Taiwo Dominic, said every� child has rights to education regardless of how vulnerable they are. In fact, we have a programme on child rights in Oyo State at present which has been taken to schools to educate teachers, parents and guardian on why they should not deny these children their rights. I am glad we are touching the lives of many families and we will continue to do more.
Presenting education materials; textbooks, exercise books, school bag, broomsticks, waste bin, a brand new uniform, school sander etc to the grandmother and teacher who brought the boy, the Coordinator, JDPM, Rev Father Gabriel Adeleke, noted that it is one of the missions of the Catholic church to assist the active poor in the society, stressing that social welfare of young and old is much cherished. He, however, charged the brilliant boy to face his study squarely as he resumes to secondary school that day." I can assure you that in the Catholic Church. We don't discriminate to make an impact in the society; we are always touched by the mission to empower and chase poverty from the society. I want you to be more serious with your studies. Do not follow a bad company. If you do well, you will make your parent, teachers and even JDPM more happy and proud. May the Lord be with you." He concluded
While appreciating JDPM, the grandmother of the boy said �We are greatly indebted to you for this kind gesture. I sincerely appreciated your humanitarian assistance on my son, especially by reigniting his passion for education and rebranded his vision. God will continue to bless you and the organization shall continue to experience development in all area.�The boy has since resumed to Community High School, Ajagba Oyo for his Junior Secondary education. He left with a smile in the company of his teacher and unarguably, with a deep sense of hope and renewed commitment to achieve his vision in life.
PHR facilitates Entrepreneurship Education for Core Parents in Iseyin, Iwere Ile and Afijio LG
Following the unpredictable nature of our national economy as a result of dynamism and the grappling reality of time, the Politics and Human Rights department of JDPM organized a programme on Entrepreneurship for Child Rights animators in the above-named towns between 7-9th, November 2019.
The programme aimed at educating participants on why they need to embrace numerous sources of income in order to save the families from unforeseen contingencies.
Addressing the participants, the lead Facilitator who is also the Head Of Department, Politics and Human Rights, JDPM, Oyo, Mr Taiwo Dominic, said "Nigeria is not a country where a responsible parent must rely on a single source of income, either salary or whatever way because there is hardship everywhere. Hence, parents must devise a means of finding at least two or three sources of income to sustain their families”
“To be honest with you, you all need to agree with me that our society is passing through a lot of difficulties in recent time because of there inflation while the so-called analyst are only saying another thing on the media that our economy has bounced back from the recessed stage. To me, I could hardly feel the impact. So, as parents, you need to have a micro business that can bring money from various sources before your bills piling up"
Majority of the participants at the venues described the initiative as a good gesture that could go a long way in alleviating poverty from the society. They promised to consider embracing the ideas in order to bail their families out from a series of unforeseen contingencies. Each family is represented by husband and wife and was asked series of questions by the facilitator on their next business ideas. The turn out was impressive and the programme is expected to hit other selected towns subsequently.
CCGG Inaugurates New Members in Fiditi
The Civil Coalition for Good Governance (CCGG) Oyo, inaugurated new members in Fiditi, Afijio LGA of Oyo State on 31st October, 2018. The event which took place in St Patrick Catholic Church's compound, Fiditi, had in attendance; religious leaders, traditional rulers, women, elders, youths and other members of the community.
The group which exists as a watch dog and pressure group for sustaining dignity of the masses has been in the frontier of championing sanity on governance through constructive dialogue on pertinent issues that concerns community and national development has recorded some achievement in the time past till date. Between the reality of governance and assumption of truth, the forum stands as the mouthpiece of the voiceless and powerless masses without any political inclination.
The new members were charged by all key speakers, notably the facilitators for the zone, the parish priest and JDPM officials to imbibe unity, maintain focus, and eschew all forms of political jingoism as well as religious bigotry. However, it is believed that the inauguration will mark the genesis of restoring all the lost glory of the town through cooperative effort and networking with all stakeholders.
Pro Bono: JDPM doyen facilitator sensitize Corp members in Awe
In an effort towards balancing the lacuna between the youths and politics in recent time, the Head of Department, Politics and Human Rights (PHR) Hon Taiwo Dominic, facilitated a thought-provoking programme at the St Paul Pastoral Centre, Awe, Oyo State on the 13th of October, 2018.
The lecture was organized by the National Association of Catholic Corp members (NACC) for the Oyo State Convention 2018 with the theme "Youth as a Church of Today and the Future ". While Delivering his lecture titled "Youths and the Church in the Dynamics of Nigeria Situation ", Hon Taiwo said Nigerian youths need to be active in politics and national development because the country needs fresh people who can take after the old ones. He further stated that Nigeria's political history is bedevilled with lack of faith in the impartiality and transparency of the electoral system due to the widespread of political corruption.
The former Honorable said "as a graduate, you must be able to realize that heaven helps those who help themselves. So, I am sure you don't need a soothsayer to tell you that the Nigeria labour market is saturated. You need to know that there is no productive employment fresh graduates can tap into but opportunities abound. You only need to covert those core and soft skills into a productive means of generating wealth. The government can never provide employment for all the citizens, that's not possible!. So, if I were you, I will try something new or improve on what I have been doing in order to make some money during this service year. By so doing, such things might be what you will develop as a business in the nearest future".
He, however, corrected the usual stereotypical assumptions of many youths that politics is meant for dirty people which often make many Christians to compromise their faith. "When Christian youths refrain themselves completely from democratic practices, they leave carelessly leave their lives in the hands of wicked and immoral men. By abstaining from the public square, Christians are compromising on one of the most fundamental teachings to the Christian faith."
He maintained that sitting on the fence cannot solve our national problems except the youths take the bull by the horns, citing "Not Too Young to Rule bill "that was recently signed into law. "it is very important for Christian youths to see the advantages and possibilities which come with democracy regardless of your level of education. You must be ready to play an active role to solidify democracy and make the process efficient. You need to stop from sitting on the fence. Act now!"
He, however, charged the Corp members to be more careful as 2019 general election draws nearer, adding that this time usually attracts price tags because politicians and their cronies will use their fame and influence to get anything done using corp members who as Adhoc staffs. He added that Corp members should be good ambassadors of their families wherever they find themselves " Be reasonable, cautious, humble, but firm as specified by the electoral rule, do not carry your political preference to the voting centre. Do not compromise the teachings that are fundamental to Christian faith, stressing that they should create a meaningful time for prayer because of its importance to man's survival on earth and beyond. "Make intercession for your families, friends and yourselves. As recorded in Ephesians 1:16, Paul prays for a Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation".
The organizer appreciated the facilitators for their presence and pledged to keep in touch for other programmes of like mind in the future.
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.