COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF ONE DAY CIVIL SOCIETY CAPACITY BUILDING WORKSHOP ON PUBLIC HEARING IN THE KATSINA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ORGANIZED BY CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC) WITH SUPPORT FROM MAC ARTHUR FOUNDATION HELD KATSINA MOTEL, KATSINA STATE ON 22ND APRIL, 2015.

PREAMBLE:

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organized One Day Civil Society Capacity Building Workshop on Public Hearing in the Katsina State House of Assembly. The meeting aimed at enhancing the capacity of Civil Society groups in Katsina State with required practical skills and experience to independently engage policy and legislative process, especially on issues relating to Public Hearing in the State House of Assembly. The meeting drew over 20 participants from various Civil Society Organisations. The meeting featured Mallam Nura Maaji and Chioma Blessing Kanu as the lead presenters and other discussants. After exhaustive deliberations on various thematic issues, the following observations and recommendations were made:

OBSERVATIONS:
1. Public Hearing is organized to seek the inputs of relevant stakeholders including civil society into a proposed legislation on topical issues affecting the state or the citizens in general; or investigate suspicious offensive actions by an authority.
2. Presently, there exists an enabling platform for Civil Society participation in legislative process through collaboration with civil society officer in the Katsina State House of Assembly.
3. Large turnover of legislators in the Katsina State House of Assembly necessitated by the ongoing change in political atmosphere remains an anticipated major challenge to civil society legislative advocacy in the State.
4. Diverse political party between the past and present administrator; and absence of legislation to mandate the present government on continuity of programmes and policies initiated by past administration, threaten efforts by civil society to effectively engage legislative process.
5. Inadequate synergy between civil society and the media to advance course on civil society inclusiveness in legislative process.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Participants recommended the following:
1. Prompt capacity building training by CISLAC for incoming legislative committees in the Katsina State House of Assembly to familiarize them with importance of civil society involvement/participation in the State’s legislative process.
2. Well-informed and evidence-based advocacy by civil society groups in Katsina State to constructively engage and contribute to the State’s legislative process.
3. Advocacy visit by civil society group to the relevant committees in the State House of Assembly prior to the Public Hearing to familiarise the legislators with the views of civil society on proposed issues seeking legislation.
4. Mobilising, training and seeking the inputs of civil society groups to enrich a proposed memorandum or position to be submitted to relevant Committee at Public Hearing.
5. Canvassing for policy transformation into legislation to ensure sustainability; and maintaining high level of objectivity engaging policy and legislative process.
6. Partnering the media in galvanizing course for the inclusion of civil society views in proposed legislation.

CONCLUSION
The participants expressed their appreciation to CISLAC for embarking on the training and Mac Arthur Foundation for providing the support to the all-important training organized to enhancing the capacity of Civil Society groups in Katsina State with required practical skills and experience to independently engage policy and legislative process. Participants further expressed gratitude to the organizers, noting that the engagement was revealing and indeed an opportunity to begin to properly engage legislative process and advocate for effective legislation in the State.

Signed
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Executive Director, CISLAC

Binta Maikudi
Community Initiative

Muhammad Bashir Usman
Chairman, Katsina State Coalition of CSOs

Shola Babadiya
Pan African Development Education and Advocacy Programme

Press Statement Issued by the State of the Union Nigeria Campaign Platform (SOTU-N-CAMP) on the Xenophobic Attacks by South Africans on Foreign Nationals within its Borders.

Dated 20th April 2015

Preamble

The State of the Union Nigeria Campaign Platform (SOTU-N-CAMP) is the Nigerian national platform of State of the Union (SOTU), which is an Africa continental campaign that demands and strengthens Nigerian Citizen’s participation in policy development, implementation and monitoring within the African Union (AU). SOTU-N-CAMP comprises 29 Civil Society Organizations working extensively across all governance thematic areas.

Following the barbarous, erratic and most inhumane xenophobic attacks meted out by South Africans in what they world has commonly renounced and lambasted, the State of the Union Nigeria Campaign Platform deems it fit to issue this statement.
Text

The State of the Union Nigeria Campaign Platform is deeply saddened by the current spate of gross misconduct, astonishing cruelty and brutal attacks being perpetuated by certain unscrupulous elements of the South African populace which has led to the loss of lives and properties of non nationals carrying on legitimate businesses and living peacefully within stipulated confines and provisions of the Laws of the South African State.

SOTU-N-CAMP notes with profound regret the conduct of these sets of criminals and calls on the South
African government to as a matter of scurried urgency institute all duly recognized government mechanisms and willpower to nip in the bud all manner of xenophobic attacks and every trace similar to racial intolerance that is fast becoming a trend within South African.

While the attacks which for the want of a better word within the English lexicon is best described as gruesome have continued in the last couple of days without any meaningful end in sight, the South African people have mostly looked-on with the governments’ condemnation and deployment of security personnel on the streets clearly lacking the much needed deterrent to halt the attacks.

SOTU-N-CAMP calls on the government and people of South Africa to at this extreme and critical moment adorn the strength of character and its entire semblance that such challenging situations demand in ensuring that these attacks are brought to an immediate stop.

This platform recalls with severe depression the enormous contributions Nigeria and other well meaning
African countries made to South Africa during the perfidious apartheid regime that lasted several decades. We note that this was done in the spirit of solidarity and brotherhood and are deeply concerned of the insistence of South Africans to carry on such crimes that shock the very existence of humanity in the name of xenophobia.
Conclusion

In conclusion, we call on the South African Government in particular and the international community as a whole to be constantly reminded of the Responsibility to Protect under International Law and several global, continental and regional instruments. The South African government must go beyond mere condemnation to institute every necessary deterrent measure that any disciplined government must have as a monopoly.

While we also call on the African Union to begin all necessary inquiries into these continued attacks as a number of such attacks have been both reported and unreported in time past, we must also pass the message to these sets of common criminals trying to place the good people of South Africa in bad light of the dangers they put their countrymen/women across the globe due to reprisal attacks.

Signed

Barr. Ken Ukaoha Augustine Erameh
Chairman, SOTU-N-CAMP Secretary, SOTU-N-CAMP

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF ONE DAY CIVIL SOCIETY WORKSHOP ON LEGISLATIVE AND POLICY ADVOCACY ON AGRICULTURE, NUTRITION AND HEALTH IN NIGERIA ORGANIZED BY THE CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC) HELD AT BOLTON WHITE HOTEL, ABUJA ON 16TH APRIL, 2015.

PREAMBLE:
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) organized a one day Civil Society Workshop on Legislative and Policy Advocacy on Agriculture, Nutrition and Health in Nigeria. The meeting aimed at training civil society groups to understand and effectively demand accountability on Nigeria’s legislative and policy process in the areas of agriculture, nutrition and health. The meeting drew about 30 participants from civil society, farmer associations and the media. The meeting featured Dr. David Olayemi, Mallam Y.Z Ya’u and Dr. Babatunde Bello as the lead presenters. After exhaustive deliberations on various thematic issues, the following observations and recommendations were made:

1. Adequate food and optimal nutritional status are foundation blocks for the building of healthy, secure lives, and thus form the basis for development in any nation. Nigeria is one of 20% of countries responsible for 80% of global burden of child malnutrition.
2. In a survey conducted by UNICEF and NBS in 2014, the prevalence of malnutrition has geographical variation as revealed in the rates of stunting and wasting across Nigeria: North West, 53% and 20%; North East, 49% and 20%; North Central 44% and 9%; South West, 31% and 9%; South South, 31% and 7.5%; and South East, 22% and 8.6%.
3. Rising poverty, failure in governance, institutional weaknesses, existing socio-cultural attitudes, gender inequality, food insecurity, inadequate breast feeding, inadequate care and access to health services, inappropriate food intake, and diseases continue to be major drivers of malnutrition in Nigeria.
4. As long as Nigerians remain food insecure, malnutrition is likely to continue thus slowing down Nigeria’s economy by at least 8%.
5. It is noted that a draft National Food and Nutrition policy is pending approval by government and there is no coordinated and fully resourced plan to respond to this silent scourge.
6. In spite various innovative efforts such as the introduced programme and policies to boost agriculture sector, resources from the sector remain largely untapped to enhance growth and development.
7. Lack of curiosity to adopt and transform existing national and international programmes and policies on agriculture into law sabotages efforts at achieving timely growth and policy sustainability in the sector.
8. Inadequate monitoring and delay in approval and release of budgetary allocation to agriculture sector hamper effective implementation of programmes and policies on agriculture.
9. Inadequate empowerment for especially youth population and access to arable land to engage agricultural sector contributes largely to food insecurity in Nigeria.
10. Wide policy advocacy gap to hold legislative and executive arms of government accountable to their commitments, roles and responsibilities on agriculture in Nigeria.
11. So far, various introduced national and international programmes and policies on health have witnessed inadequate implementation resulting in poor access to healthcare facility across the country.
12. Inadequate infrastructural facilities and over-concentration of healthcare facility in urban areas at the expense of rural counterparts has hampered access to adequate health care in the grassroots.
13. Inadequate budgetary allocation to health sector, poor monitoring and lack of judicious utilisation of the existing ones has distorted accountability and effective provision and distribution of health facilities across the country.
14. The recent introduced National Health Act provides opportunity to coordinate, guide, harmonise issues and resolve challenges to health sector.

Recommendations
Participants at the meeting made the following recommendations:
1. National Planning commission to initiate a constructive innovative and bottom-up approach by relevant stakeholders including civil society in addressing malnutrition level in Nigeria.
2. Government to expedite action on the draft National Food and Nutrition Policy and come up with a well-resourced plan to implement the policy.
3. National and state planning commissions to initiate campaigns for early Initiation of Breastfeeding and Exclusive Breastfeeding (EBF) to raise EBF to 50% by 2018 from the current 25% found in the survey.
4. Government should improve access to food and water supply, especially at grassroots levels to drastically reduce cases of malnutrition and childhood illnesses.
5. Immediate legislation of existing national and international programmes and policies on agriculture to ensure their effective implementation and sustainability.
6. Timely approval and release of budgetary allocation to agricultural sector to effectively implement policies and programmes including international commitments on agriculture.
7. Intensifying and coordinate agricultural financing through Bank of Agricultural to enhance financial support to Small and Medium Scale Agriculture; and effective implementation of farmland reform programmes to build new farming communities.
8. Continuous advocacy by civil society and relevant stakeholders for pro-poor agricultural legislation and policy through consultative and constructive engagement of the legislative and Policy Formulating arms of Government.
9. Adequate empowerment for youth population to effectively engage agricultural sector and promote food security; and encouraged land clearing system to provide accessibility to farmland.
10. Effective implementation of various national and international programmes and policies to enhance adequate access to healthcare facilities.
11. Increased priority for rural development and access to healthcare facility; and well-motived healthcare workers in the rural areas.
12. Immediate domestication and implementation of National Health Act by all levels of governments to enhance healthcare coordination and resolves challenges in the health sectors.
13. Effective tracking and monitoring of resources allocation to health to promote transparency and accountability in the sector.
14. Persistent and evidence-based advocacy to relevant stakeholders by civil society for transparency and accountability in the health sector, using key provisions from the National Health Act.
Conclusion
The participants expressed their appreciation to CISLAC for embarking on the training channeled towards capacity building for civil society capacity to understand and effectively demand accountability on Nigeria’s legislative and policy process in the areas of agriculture, nutrition and health. The participant demonstrated willingness to continue partnering with CISLAC on the initiative. Participants expressed gratitude to the organizers noting that the engagement was revealing and indeed an opportunity to begin to engage legislative process on health, nutrition and agriculture.
Signed:

Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Executive Director, CISLAC

Dr. David Olayemi
Head of Advocacy & Campaign, Safe the Children

Justina Eze
21st Century Community Empowerment for Youth & Women Initiative (CCEYWI)

Dr. Oluwadamilola O. Olaogun
Project Manager , White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood

Odunayo Adegbite
G-to-W Foundation

AU commends Nigerian women for full participation in polling process

By Okeke Anya

African Union has lauded the people of Nigeria for peaceful elections, stating that the 28 March 2015 Presidential and National Assembly elections in the Federal Republic of Nigeria constituted an important opportunity for deepening democracy in the country.

It would be recalled that the African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) deployed 84 long and short term observers in the Federal Capital Territory and 20 of the 36 States of Nigeria.

A statement signed by Head of the Mission, His Excellency Prof. Amos Sawyer, noted: “The AUEOM assessed the 28 March 2015 elections in Nigeria in conformity with the 2007 African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance; the 2002 AU/OAU Declaration on Principles Governing Democratic Elections in Africa; the 2002 AU Guidelines for Elections Observation and Monitoring Missions; and the legal framework governing the conduct of elections in Nigeria. This statement presents the Mission’s preliminary findings up until the closing and counting processes on 28 March, 2015. A final report will be released upon the conclusion of the electoral process.

“The people of Nigeria demonstrated patience and resolve to have a peaceful democratic process in spite of uncertainties that characterised the 2015 elections. These included security concerns, postponement of the initial date of 14 February by six weeks, and introduction of Permanent Voter Cards.”

The AUEOM said it observed the polling process in 319 polling units of which 69% were in urban and 31% rural areas, noting that the two-step polling process comprising accreditation and voting was found to be a challenge as voters had to wait for long in order to eventually cast their vote.

“In the polling units visited by AU observers, only 23% opened on time. Out of the 77% of polling units that opened late, 57% opened beyond an hour due late arrival of polling personnel and election material. There were long queues of voters waiting patiently to be accredited, thus manifesting the resolve to exercise their franchise.

“The AUEOM witnessed only 42% of cases in which the PVCs and fingerprints of voters were verified and authenticated. However, INEC provided for measures to ensure that voters whose PVCs were verified but the fingerprints not authenticated were still accredited, thereby guaranteeing their enfranchisement. The AUEOM noted that polling was extended to 29 March 2015 in 350 polling units where the accreditation was not possible due to malfunctioning of the Smart Card Readers,” it lamented.

The Mission however, reported that “the polling process was generally peaceful during the accreditation as well as voting and counting processes, despite isolated incidence of violence reported in Bayelsa and Enugu. The AUEOM commends the security agencies for their professional conduct in upholding a peaceful atmosphere throughout the Election Day.

“The polling personnel in most polling units observed managed the polling operations in a professional manner, amidst operational challenges such as failure of the Smart Card Readers. Whilst they adhered to election procedures, there were certain instances where they did not follow the procedures. For instance, in some polling units observed, the polling personnel recorded names on plain papers rather than duly recognised incident forms for voters who were not authenticated by the Smart Card Readers.”

It continued: “In exercising the right to choose their leaders, the AUEOM commends women for participation in the polling process in various capacities. In all polling units visited, 38.9% of polling personnel and of 39.5% citizen observers were women. However, the AUEOM noted that only 18% of party agents of polling units visited were women, thus manifesting limited consideration for their representation.

“The accreditation, voting and counting processes were generally transparent and took place in the presence of international and citizen observers as well as political party agents. The location of polling units in open spaces naturally subjected the process to open scrutiny by voters throughout the day. The AUEOM, however, noted that not all political parties and citizen observers were represented in all polling units visited, thereby diminishing their ability to effectively observe the polling process.”

AUEOM added that the elections had been conducted in a peaceful atmosphere within the framework that satisfactorily meets the continental and regional principles of democratic elections.

SOTU, DCI advance “My African Union Campaign”

The Directorate of Communication and Information (DCI) collaborated with the State of the Union Coalition (SOTU) in holding the launch of the My African Union Campaign (www.myafricanunion.org).

The landmark event took place Tuesday 17 March 2015 at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in the presence of some African Union Commission officers, Ambassadors of African countries, representatives of diplomatic missions, international and national civil society organizations and African citizens.

Holding within the strategy for popularizing the African Union (AU) and broadening public awareness and interaction with the AU, the My African Union Campaign encourages more involvement by citizens themselves to act, do, speak out and take action on matters being decided on their behalf by their governments at the level of the AU in the form of legal instruments and policy standards.

In the Keynote remarks, Head of the AGA (African Governance Architecture), Dr. George Mukundi representing the Director of the Department of Political Affairs (DPA), Dr. Khabele Matlosa, described the My African Union Campaign as ‘an innovative initiative to give African governments reason high enough to ask their citizens to participate in processes that involve them’. Highlighting the work of the AGA and the DPA in tracking the implementation of key AU instruments especially the ACDEG (African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance) which SOTU is also monitoring, the My African Union Campaign provides a platform for interaction between the AU, member states and African citizens.

Speaking earlier, the Chair of the Coalition Governance Team for SOTU, Mr. Yves Niyiragira, explained that although SOTU is implementing programs in 10 African countries – Cameroon, Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Tunisia, Kenya, Rwanda, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa, the vision is to expand to cover the whole of Africa.

Emphasising the need to progress from ratification of AU instruments to implementation that offers citizens practical benefits that improves their lives, Mr. Desire Assogbavi, Head of Oxfam International Liaison Office with the African Union, stated that AU’s efforts will only be fruitful with popular support from the citizens themselves. He explained that although the AU makes an average of 50 decisions at every summit less than 20% of its decisions are being implemented. In order to strengthen member states’ implementation, Ms. Rizzan Nassuna, a governance analyst showcased how the AUC through the DPA has developed draft State Reporting Guidelines that are intended to provide a framework for monitoring member states compliance to the commitments in the ACDEG as well as guide their reporting process on measures undertaken to give effect to those commitments.

Speaking at the event, Mrs. Habiba El Mejri Scheikh, the AUC Director, Information and Communications, noted that it is important to strengthen collaborations that enable joint opportunities and practical ways on how to position AU in the minds of public audiences and how to raise more awareness among all stakeholders, particularly the youth and the women. “The AUC/DIC is resolved to narrow the bridge between the African population and the Continental Organisation and to effectively encourage a sense of ownership among African citizens,” Mrs Scheikh stated.

The AUC/DIC is already promoting a campaign titled “I am African, I am the African Union” campaign that promotes African citizens sense of belonging to the AU and vice versa. My African Union campaign is also based on the fact that African citizens are mobilized to actively seek the AU to act on matters that affect them. Both campaigns complement each other because they both create an avenue for African citizens to be a part of the AU. And both present a good sign of the collaborative efforts to ensure engaged and sustained interactions between African citizens, member states and the African Union.

Giving an overview of the Agenda 2063, Mrs. Mejri-Cheikh stressed on the importance of consolidating efforts and resources and enhancing the credibility of the AU by raising awareness, exposing its work, as well as actively involving citizens in the promotion and implementation of the Organisation’s strategies. She reiterated full support of the leadership of the AU Commission through the Directorate of Communication and Information to the My African Union Campaign process so that “together we can build a strong Africa”.

The State of the Union Coalition (SOTU), is a coalition of civil society organizations working together to hold African Governments accountable for the ratification and implementation of African Union decisions. SOTU together with its partners are carrying out the “My African Union” Campaign to support citizens’ actions in ensuring that compliance on AU instruments and policy standards are done.

Specifically, SOTU is monitoring the implementation of 14 AU legal instruments and policy standards and publishing reports and doing advocacy work on the status of implementation in 10 countries across the five regions of the continent and at the continental level.

Source: African Union

DECLARATION OF ACTION AFTER THE NATIONAL CIVIL SOCIETY CONSULTATIVE FORUM ON PEACE AND SECURITY ORGANIZED BY THE CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC) WITH SUPPORT FROM NIGERIA STABILITY AND RECONCILIATION PROGRAM HELD IN TOP RANK GALAXY HOTEL, UTAKO DISTRICT, ABUJA ON THE 24th DAY OF MARCH, 2015

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with support from Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program ((NSRP) held its monthly National Civil Society Consultative Forum on Peace and Security. The Forum’s meeting was attended by Security Chiefs, Para-military agencies, Civil Society Groups, Faith Based Organization, Clergy Men, Youth Groups and Community Based Organizations. After exhaustive deliberations on the aim of the Forum’s meeting which is to ensure non-violence elections before, during and after the elections. We, the participants:

Recognize The Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies should take all appropriate measures to curb electoral violence, including ensuring timely deployment of equipment and personnel; and coordinate effectively for proactive response, impartial policing and ensuring that existing laws are applied to alleged offenders in order to end impunity.

Also Recognize That a major goal of any civilized society is to ensure that law and order is maintained thereby guaranteeing the general security of the citizenry and ensuring public tranquility in tandem with Chapter II, Section 14(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Express our Deep Concern over the ‘Vote and Go’ order which contradicts the provision of the Electoral Acts. This might just give express opportunity to the police and other security agencies to intimidate and harass law abiding citizens maintaining approved distance from the polling units or voting points.

Note that Civil society groups involved in the election observation should ensure strict compliance with the rules and not generalize the elections based on sparing incidents that has occurred in few polling units or voting points whilst they must understand that they are not immune to electoral offences.

Also Note INEC must ensure that its ad-hoc staff deployed to each Polling Units and/or Voting Points have the requisite information, materials and disciplined to arrive in good time to avoid any suspicion by the electorates.

Further Note that the forum condemns the continuous use of inflammatory languages by political actors which it described as a cancer eating though the fabrics of the nation’s coexistence which must be given serious attention to avoid any form of escalations.

We Commit that our collective security and prosperity depend on our unity of purpose and action. Unity is a precondition for peace and development and will resist any politician using division of any kind, whether religious, ethnicity and/or regionalism.

We Affirm that the rule of law is a major ingredient of democracy. Consequently. Election tribunals are established to hear petitions arising from the conduct and result of elections. Therefore, security agencies should be at alert to enforce its mandate over any group of persons trying to take laws into their hands.

We Endorse peaceful & violence free elections and urge the police to double its efforts considering the ruling against the military’s participation in the forth coming general elections.
Will ensure that Civil Society community will cooperate with all stakeholders towards ensuring the success conduct of the general elections as well as report incidences to available platforms for analysis and responses.

Shall Effectively Meet with some media regulatory bodies to curb the menace of invective campaign going on within the political space. With particular reference to APCON since the meeting already received reports of earlier visits to other key agencies of government.

Will Support the monitoring of the elections and collate reports from observers and disseminate such outcome after the March 28th and April 11th elections.

Agreed to Vote for Peace and make contribution no matter how little to drill down peace and security beyond 2015 elections.

Signed:
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Executive Director
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Abuja

CP. D.P Yankadi
Vice Chair
Ansarudeen Muslim Society of Nigeria
Maraba/Nyanyan Area,
Abuja

Gabriel Kubwa.
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)
FCT Chapter
Abuja

Jaye Gaskia
Chairman
Partnership Against Violent Extremism
Abuja
Joy Igwe – Okoye
ANEEJ
Abuja

A CALL TO ACTION PRESENTED BY CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC) AND INDICATED ACTION POINTS DURING ADVOCACY VISIT ON MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH TO FREEDOM RADIO AND NEW WORLD FM IN JIGAWA STATE ON 25TH MARCH, 2015

Preamble

Since January, 2014, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with support from MacArthur Foundation has been implementing series of activities in Jigawa State primarily to strengthen the capacity of relevant stakeholders—Legislature, Executives, Civil Society, and the Media in the State and interrogate issues around maternal and child health. Among such activities were CSOs-Legislative-Executive Roundtable on Maternal Health, Media Training for Legislative Reporters on Maternal Health and Town-Hall Meeting on Strengthening Existing MDGs Committee in the Jigawa State Assembly, Town-Hall Meeting on Understanding Legislative Oversight Function on Maternal Health organized between 20th-21st January, 2014 and 4th-5th June, 2014, respectively.

As part of the efforts to ensure relevant stakeholders are held accountable to their roles and responsibilities and take well-informed decisions in planning, policy formulation and domestication of National Health Act to provide for effective maternal and child health services in the State (as observed and recommended throughout the aforementioned engagements), CISLAC found it essential to further engage the media so as to sustain its existing tempo of advocacy. This primarily informed the decision by CISLAC to pay an advocacy visit to Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Freedom Radio and New World FM, Jigawa State 25th March, 2015. During the visits, CISLAC made the following calls:

Call to Action to Jigawa State’s Legislature
• Full-fledged political commitment and budgetary allocation to health sector in Jigawa State.
• Increased Executive-Legislative oversight on healthcare sector, especially in the grassroots.
• Constructive collaboration among Legislators, Ministry of Health, CSOs and various stakeholders to enhance provision and service delivery on maternal health in Jigawa State.
• Prompt political will to domesticate and implement National Health Act by Jigawa State House of Assembly and the Executives to promote sustainable maternal health services.
• Enhanced legislative oversight towards judicious utilization of the existing resources for the maximum provision of maternal and child health.
• Effective coordination among all tiers of government towards successful domestication and implementation of National Heath Act; and exhaustive scrutiny of resource allocation to ministries, departments and agencies by the State House of Assembly to enhance transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Act.

Call to Action to Jigawa State’s Executives
• Participatory policy formulation, resource allocation and utilization towards healthcare provision and delivery in Jigawa State.
• Adequate healthcare infrastructural facilities to restore human dignity, rights and provide accountability for maternal health; and massive recruitment of additional skilled health manpower.
• Effective utilization of the existing medical services; workable implementation of Safe Motherhood Program; and strengthened Primary Healthcare System, especially at grassroots across the State.
• Strengthening of Community Health Committees to ensure adequate supervision and deliverable oversight of local health facilities in the State.
• Increased government supervision, monitoring and media demand for proper professional codes of conduct by medical personnel in the State.
• Massive public enlightenment on Danger Signs, Safe Delivery Plan, Emergency Transport Scheme, Savings and blood donation for pregnant mothers; and adequate structures and processes to promote functionality of Safe Motherhood Initiatives.

Call to Action to Jigawa State’s Civil Society
• Massive sensitization, public education and enlightenment, positive attitude and proper orientation among women, especially at grassroots on reproductive health and general health issues.
• Intensified advocacy and sensitization campaign by Civil Society among traditional and religion leaders on maternal accountability.
• Increased attention towards youth-adolescents contributions on maternal accountability and access to effective information on family planning and reproductive health.
• Proper individual orientation towards health services and strict compliance by health workers to medical code of ethics.

Call to Action to Jigawa State Media
• De-normalised media reportage on maternal mortality cases; and enhanced education accessibility to promote well-informed citizens on maternal health.
• Leveraging social media as a tool in media reportage on maternal health related challenges.
• Increased media reportage and agenda setting toward maternal accountability, especially at the grassroots across Jigawa State; expanded Free Maternal and Child Health Policy across the State.
• Massive media reportage, coverage, research and capacity building on maternal health to hold policy makers accountable for maternal accountability in the State.
• Continuous media reportage on the implementation, supervision and review of various political policies on health.

Action Points by CISLAC, and the CEOs of Freedom Radio and New World FM
After presentation of the Call for Action by CISLAC, the CEOs of Freedom Radio and New World FM agreed on the following:
• Establish working relationship with CISLAC to further galvanise and sustain advocacy on maternal accountability in Jigawa State.
• Utilise existing radio programmes on health at Freedom Radio such as ‘Aikilikita’, ‘Mataringida’ and ‘Niakushina’ (all in Hausa language) to promote advocacy campaign on maternal and child health in the State.
• Freedom radio shall in addition to the existing programmes, design and develop a new programme to fully capture CISLAC’s advocacy on maternal and child health.
• Management and staff of New World FM shall re-direct focus towards persistent reportage, reshape individuals’ orientation and perception, and clear existing misconceptions on maternal and child health in the State.
• New World FM shall sustain executive-legislative advocacy towards adequate budgetary allocation to health sector to provide for effective maternal and child health services in the State.
• New world FM shall constantly invite relevant stakeholders including civil society to for discussion around issues affecting maternal and child health in the state
• New World FM shall develop and broadcast drama (in Hausa language) around issues maternal and child health.
• Existing health programmes at New World FM such as ‘Fili Mata’ (weekly programme, where women in health profession will be invited to discuss on issues affecting maternal and child health), ‘Dariya Waye’ (daily phoning programme), and ‘Lunch Meal’ (programme on food and nutrition) will be deployed to enhance advocacy on maternal and child health.
• Also, New World FM shall develop song in local language (Hausa) for public sensitisation on maternal and child health.

Invitation to CISLAC’s Side Event to the UN 59th Session on the Commission for the Status of Women

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) invites you to its 2nd Side Event during the UN 59th session on the Commission for the Status of Women (CSW), as part of its fulfillment of its mandate as an organisation with the UN ECOSOC status.

This year’s event is very important because CISLAC is collaborating with Partnership for Advocacy in Child and Family Health (PACFaH) to promote civil society advocacy to government on Child and Family Health in Nigeria. Though the general theme for this year’s event borders on Implementing the Beijing Platform for Action in Africa, CISLAC intends to utilize this window of opportunity to explore certain underlying themes of the Beijing Platform as it relates to the health of women and children, which it believes when fully implemented will go a long way towards achieving the Beijing Platform for Action in Nigeria, specifically and generally in Africa.

PACFaH is a consortium of seven (7) indigenous non-governmental organizations in Nigeria working to address government of Nigeria’s reluctance to fulfill existing commitments on policies, budgets, and guidelines implementation of child and family health and also pushing for transparency and accountability in the budgetary processes on health.

This year’s event will feature panelists from different works of life addressing issues on family health, the implementation of the National Health Act, Post 2015 Agenda and women in leadership position and legislative roles on Beijing Platform for Action in Africa.

The itinerary below refers:

Theme:
“Post 2015 Agenda Imperative for Implementing the Beijing Platform for Action in Africa”

Date: Monday 16, 1015

Time: 6:15pm

Venue: 777 UN Plaza, 44 St by 1st Ave UN Quarters, NY 10017

For more information, contact: Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani), Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), on 202 651 1142 or Dr. Ada Okika, Coordinator Africana Women Working Group, on 516 943 3174.

Be assured of our warmest regards as you create time to attend.

Yours Sincerely,
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Executive Director,
CISLAC

A CALL TO ACTION PRESENTED BY CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC) AND INDICATED ACTION POINTS DURING ADVOCACY VISIT ON MATERNAL AND CHILD HEALTH TO LIBERTY RADIO AND TELEVISION, FREEDOM RADIO AND KADUNA STATE MEDIA CORPORATION IN KADUNA STATE ON 10TH AND 11TH MARCH, 2015.

Preamble

Since December 2013, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) with support from MacArthur Foundation has been implementing series of activities in Kaduna State primarily to strengthen the capacity of relevant stakeholders—Legislature, Executives, Civil Society, and the Media in the State and interrogate issues around maternal and child health. Among such activities were CSOs-Legislative-Executive Roundtable on Maternal Health, Media Training for Legislative Reporters on Maternal Health and Town-Hall Meeting on Strengthening Existing MDGs Committee in the Kaduna State Assembly, Town-Hall Meeting on Understanding Legislative Oversight Function on Maternal Health organized between 11th – 12th and 21st – 22nd May 2014, respectively.

As part of the efforts to ensure relevant stakeholders are held accountable to their roles and responsibilities and take well-informed decisions in planning, policy formulation and domestication of National Health Act to provide for effective maternal and child health services in the State (as observed and recommended throughout the aforementioned engagements), CISLAC found it essential to further engage the media so as to sustain its existing tempo of advocacy. This primarily informed the decision by CISLAC to pay an advocacy visit to Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of Liberty Radio and Television, Freedom Radio and Kaduna State Media Corporation in Kaduna State on 10th and 11th March, 2015. During the visits,
CISLAC made the following calls:

Call to Action to Kaduna State’s Legislature
• Workable collaboration among various stakeholders on health including members of the State House of Assembly, Executives, CSOs and Media to enable achievement on maternal health.
• Prompt domestication and implementation of the National Health Act by Kaduna State House of Assembly.
• Effective oversight of the State House of Assembly towards maternal and new born issues.
• Enhanced effort to build and sustain progress in human and women development particularly by the State House of Assembly.
• Increased oversight on budgetary allocation to social services with significant focus on maternal and child health.
• Proactive efforts by legislature, CSOs, media and various stakeholders to create well-informed citizens and violent-free society as a panacea for a sustainable delivery on maternal and child health.
• Development and implementation of robust legal framework on maternal and child health by the legislature; and increased legislative oversight to stem corrupt practices.
• Continuous training and retraining programmes to promote proactive legislature and enhance legislative capacity to identify developmental related issues affecting various committees.
• Strengthening working relationship among legislators, legislative aides and civil society in compliance to international standards on legislative practice.

Call to Action to Kaduna State’s Executives
• Adequate healthcare infrastructural facilities to restore human dignity, rights and provide accountability for maternal health; and massive recruitment of additional skilled health manpower.
• Effective implementation of the National Health Act for maximum benefit of the citizens.
• Adequate provision of medical facilities; judicious utilization of budgetary allocation to health sector; and full-fledged political commitment towards health care services in the state.
• Adequate supervision of various health facilities and Primary Healthcare Centres across the State.
• Focus attention of corporate social responsibility to support maternal health in the State; and enhanced government-private sector partnership to ensure effective delivery of existing facilities.
• Prompt efforts to boost human capital through enabling environment and enhance access to medical facilities.
• Adequate incentives to medical personnel, especially at grassroot level to discourage continuous migration of health workers from rural to urban areas.
• Adequate remuneration and rewards for civil servants to avert unnecessary administrative delay in delivery on maternal health.
Call to Action to Kaduna State’s Civil Society
• Massive advocacy for effective utilization of available resources, using Freedom of Information Act to engage relevant stakeholders, and encouraged self-sustained citizens in the State.
• Well-informed citizens with enhanced interest to properly understand and effectively utilize the national constitution in engaging policy makers and hold them accountable to their mandates.
• Committed efforts by communities in collaboration with legislature and other policy makers to demand accountability on the provision sustainable maternal health facilities.
• Good governance, independent and effective judiciary, people-oriented legislature and evidence based CSOs to achieve transparency and accountability health sector.

Call to Action to Kaduna State Media
• Aggressive and sustainable public sensitization and awareness programmes among the people, especially women on maternal health care.
• Increased focus on social media to drive health related reportage; and integration of the various media into a common platform.
• Effective media reportage, publicity and support on CSOs-Legislative related activities on maternal health as a catalyst to create well-informed society.
• Well-informed media reportage and investigative journalism on health related matters.
• Aggressive demand by the media for continuous political commitment, transparency and accountability in the health sector; and developmental journalism using the provision of Freedom of Information Act.
• Increased media and social media familiarity to budgetary advocacy and engagement on maternal health
• Continuous demand by the media from the State’s Executives for equipped Primary and Secondary health facilities to provide comprehensive medical attentions, especially at grassroots level.
• Enhanced synergy between legislature and the executive through joint sessions to promote coordination for sustainable budgetary allocations to key development sectors.

Action Points by CISLAC, the CEOs of Liberty Radio and Television, Freedom Radio and Kaduna State Media Corporation:
After presentation of the Call for Action by CISLAC, the CEOs of Liberty Radio and Television, Freedom Radio and Kaduna State Media Corporation agreed as follows:
• Established working collaboration with CISLAC to further enhance and sustain advocacy and sensitization towards maternal and child health in the state.
• Agreed that Liberty Radio and Television, and Freedom Radio shall further intensify advocacy for the domestication of National Health Act and ensure well-informed citizens to effectively utilize the Act to demand accountability on maternal and child health.
• Liberty Radio volunteered to provide CISLAC with enabling platform to further engage policy and legislation on maternal and child health, using existing programmes such as ‘Health Matter’, ‘Likita Liberty’ (in Hausa language), ‘Chiwom Harmodari’ (in Hausa language), ‘Following the Means’, ‘Frontline’ and one-off programme on issues and events.
• Liberty Radio offered CISLAC with platform for persistent advocacy on adequate budgetary allocation and effective implementation on health by the State government, with special invitation to Executive Director of CISLAC to come up and open the discussion on Radio and Television Programme as related to policy and legislation on maternal and child health.
• In order to effectively cement the new partnership, Liberty Radio and Television shall table all issues discussed and agreed before Chairman of Atar Communications Nigeria Limited (which comprises Liberty Radio and Television).
• They declared readiness to support CISLAC and ensure the partnership intensified for the better interest of the public.
• Kaduna State Media Corporation commended CISLAC for its commitment towards ensuring effective maternal and child health; and invited CISLAC to promptly utilize its existing programmes on health such as ‘Health is Wealth’ (English), ‘Lafiyan ka Jarinka’ (Hausa), ‘What’s Up’ (English), ‘Hantsi Health Segment’ on Tuesday and ‘Top of the Day Health Segment’ on Wednesday to further galvanize issues on maternal and child health in the state.
• In fulfillment in part of their commitments, Freedom Radio instantly provided CISLAC with free 30 minutes radio airtime on Wednesday; Liberty Television, 30 minutes free appearance on Tuesday; and Kaduna State Media Corporation proposed free appearance in both radio and television to communicate and sensitize the stakeholders about its findings and recommendations from various engagements on maternal and child health so far in Kaduna State.

DECLARATION OF ACTION AFTER A ONE DAY COMMUNITY TOWN HALL MEETING ON PEACEFUL ELECTIONS ORGANIZED BY THE CIVIL SOCIETY LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY CENTRE (CISLAC) IN COLLABORATION WITH INSTITUTE FOR PEACE AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION (IPCR) WITH SUPPORT FROM NIGERIA STABILITY AND RECONCILIATION PROGRAM HELD IN BWARI, BWARI AREA COUNCIL ON THE 12th DAY OF MARCH, 2015

Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)) in collaboration with the Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (IPCR) with support from Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Program ((NSRP) held a One Day Town Hall meeting on Peaceful Elections in Abaji Area Council, FCT. The Town Hall Meeting was attended by HRH. The Emir of Bwari, Political Parties, Nigeria Police Force, IPCR, Okada Riders Association, Teachers, Union of Road Transport Workers, Clergy Men, Traditional Heads, Artisans, Community influence and opinion Leaders, Council Officials, Youth Groups, Market Women Associations, Students and Community Based Organizations. After exhaustive deliberations on the aim of the Town Hall which is to ensure non-violence elections before, during and after the elections. We, the participants:

Recognize Education and Information remains the very critical instrument to avoid peer pressure and persuasion that often leads to violence as the cloth of unity the country has enjoyed for years is dislocated by the falling standard to civic education.

Also Recognize The need for electorates to observe laid down voting processes such as staying away from the polling units when not in possession of a PVC or name(s) not on register, stay 50 meters away from the polling unit after accreditation, stay patient and observe technology compliance with card readers and finally, there is no need to go the polling unit with any sharp object or weapon.
Express our Deep Concern over the attitude of politicians causing confusion at polling units by sharing money, convincing and confusing orderliness on the queue or threatening electorates to vote for a particular candidate or face attacks in their homes.

Note conflict in Nigeria has brewed owing to huge injustice in the society, inequality and mostly non implementation of white paper reports of reconciliation committees set up by the government such as the Lemu report. The need therefore to build the nexus between governance and elections.

Also Note Violence undermines individual and social development weakens the Strengthening democratic institutions and full participation in the development process.

Further Note the need to address the sharp division of followership of most political parties along the fault lines of ethnicity, religion and regionalism using the Abuja Peace Accord as a tool. This motivation must be countered by all stakeholders’ particularly traditional rulers.

We Commit that all political parties, religious leaders and traditional chiefs as well as security agencies will be noble and adhere to the principles of freedom, justice, democracy, tolerance, solidarity, cooperation, pluralism, cultural diversity, dialogue and understanding at all levels of society and among people irrespective of their political affiliations.

We Affirm that our youth will be the vanguard for our peaceful coexistence in the community and amongst the people of Nigeria as they remain most vulnerable in the peace process and they have the zeal, drive and energy to preach peace in all localities including homes, places of worships, markets, motor parks, tribal town meetings even beyond the elections.

We Endorse peaceful elections and ask all youth within the community and the capital and Nigeria at large to Vote for Peace and report any form and/or act of perceived violence to the ward or traditional head, Police Station or Civil defense offices closest.

Will ensure that Bwari Area Council and the surrounding communities does not record any incidence of violence as proper civic education will be carried out for peaceful electoral participation.

Shall Effectively set up a group known and shall be referred to as Partnership Against Electoral Violence to engage all stakeholders and monitor events and provide any early warning.

Will Support any peace project that enables people at all levels to develop skills of dialogue, negotiation, consensus building and peaceful resolution of differences long after the 2015 general elections.

Agreed to Vote for Peace and make contribution no matter how little to drill down peace and security beyond 2015 elections.

Signed:
Auwal Ibrahim Musa (Rafsanjani)
Executive Director
Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC)
Abuja

Alh. Danbaba Ango
Madakin Bwari
Bwari Traditional Ruling Council
Bwari Area Council,
Abuja

Hon. Chief Anyiam Ugona
Chairman, Igbo Community
Bwari Area Council
Bwari
Abuja

A.G. Mohammed
Chairman, Yoruba Community
Bwari Area Council
Bwari
Abuja
Saleh Gambo
Chief of Hausa Community
Bwari Area Council
Bwari
Abuja

ASP M.K. Kudu
Rep: Divisional Police Officer
Nigeria Police Force
Bwari
Abuja

Hon. Folorunsho Olushola Emmanuel
All Progressive Congress
Bwari Area Council
Bwari
Abuja