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Women group asks government to invest in communities to support food production

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Naija News Today

Women Impacted by Industrial Plantation Expansion have called on government at all levels to support and invest in communities and women-led solution such as agro-ecology that could support food production and local food economy.

The women also expressed worry over the creation of policies and transfer of land without their engagement, which affects them and their dependents.

The women, who organised a protest that was tagged “Women Led Action Against Deforestation, Land-grabbing and Gender Rights Violations Associated with the Industrial Plantation Model,” with the theme: “Women’s Rights are Human Rights. Plantations are not Forests.”

The event was organised under the auspices of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), to mark the 2022 International Day of Struggle against Monoculture Tree Plantations observed globally on every September.

The women from Odiguetue, Ekosa, Ologbo, and Obaretin communities were led by Mrs. Gladys Osaghae to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Benin City, Edo State, where they submitted a petition to the State Chairman of NUJ, Mr. Festus Alenghe.

The petition read in part: “Stop new concession agreement that clears out forest at the detriment of women and those that fall under our care.

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“Our forest is our life. Support the creation of economic livelihood alternatives for industrial plantation impacted women and their families.

“Enact legislative and regulatory reforms that strengthen women’s rights related to the expansion of industrial plantation.

“Join voices with women around Africa and the world to denounce any violation, abuse, intimidation, harassment and violence against women in the industrial plantation model across all communities’ territories.”

Earlier, during a rally, ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Mr. Chima Williams, alleged that industrial plantation expansion in Edo State has subjected women to untold hardship as a result of their activities on the environment.

According to Chima, the International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations, is a day for groups, organisations, networks and movements to celebrate resistance and raise their voices to demand “Stop the Expansion of Monoculture Tree Plantations!”

The executive director said that the environmental rights action is committed to protecting the Edo State environments and the rights of the citizens.

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He said: “We in the environmental organisation are poised in joining the women in fighting against any kind of human rights violations by oil palm companies or any other company trying to deprive or displace the women from their farmland thereby subjecting them and their children to untold hardship.

“We will continue to join forces with women to also denounce abuse, intimidation, harassment and violence against them in the industrial plantation model across all community territories.”

While stating that no individual, including ERA/FoEN, could single handedly do such work, Chima sought the partnership of the NUJ and Edo State Government, saying, “with a collaborative efforts, Edo environments and the rights of her citizens would be surely protected.

Also, ERA/FoEN Programme Manager, Forest and Biodiversity, Ms. Rita Uwaka, lamented the grave impacts of deforestation to the environment, saying that “it affects men and women but it has more aggravated impact on women because they continue to be connected to food productions.”

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Receiving the petition, Alenkhe said that women depend on forest and farmlands for their survival and wellbeing of their families.

He, therefore, urged oil palm companies operating in the state to obey labour laws which stated that a certain percentage of employment should be given to indigenes of the communities they operate, just as he called on the companies to obey rights of their host communities and stop any form of human rights violations.

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UNICEF: Four northern Nigerian states lagging behind in children protection

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UNICEF Four northern Nigerian states lagging behind in children protection

Naija News Today

The United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, has said that four northern states are lagging behind in protecting children.

The four states are said to be the only ones left out of the 36 states of the federation that are yet to sign and adopt the Child Rights Act.

UNICEF Child Protection Manager, Kano Field Office, Ms Emelia Allan, made the disclosure while addressing journalists at a workshop in Kano.

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“We started this year with nine states. Today, as I speak with you we are left with four states, Kano, Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe that are yet to sign the child rights act,” Allan noted.

In Kano particularly, Allan noted that the child rights bill was sent to the State House of Assembly for the past two years but has not been signed by the lawmakers.

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The UNICEF Children Protection Manager, therefore called on the four states to expedite action in signing and adopting the child rights act to provide good protection for children in their respective states.

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Newlyweds join Peter Obi’s Abuja rally after wedding ceremony

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Desmond Adamson and his newly wedded wife Blessing took Nigerians by surprise after they showed up at the Labour Party rally in Abuja minutes after pledging their wedding vows.

According to a video making rounds on social media, Mr Adamson, an ardent supporter of Peter Obi, presidential flag bearer of the Labour Party, adorned a wine coloured tuxedo alongside his wife who was dressed in a white overflowing gown, holding a bouquet of flowers amid other loyalists at the rally on Saturday.

Addressing the mammoth crowd who convened at Unity Fountain in Abuja, Mr Adamson reiterated his support for Mr Obi, he said he and his partner both agreed to join the rally immediately after their wedding ceremony.

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“Knowing that today, which is my wedding, happens to also be the day for the Obidient movement, I told myself that after church, I and my partner will come straight to join the rally too,” said the bridegroom, beaming with smiles.

His wife on the other hand, asserted she wanted to raise their children in a country devoid of hardship and insecurity, which prompted her decision to join the rally after her wedding.

“We want to have kids in a country that is free from violence, insecurity, free from poverty and hardship. That is why I said I must be here today to lend my support to the Obidient movement,” said the newly wedded wife.

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Mr Obi acknowledged their support and congratulated the newlyweds in a tweet Saturday evening.

“Salute and congratulations to this newly wedded couple in Abuja, whose special day coincided with the Obidient Family March in Abuja; and they marched too!

“Wishing you both a blissful and happy married life and children, who will grow up in a united, secure and productive Nigeria,” tweeted the Labour Party presidential candidate.

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Edo government sets to lift ban on gold mining in Dagbala community

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Edo government sets to lift ban on gold mining in

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The Edo State Government has assured stakeholders that it will lift the ban on gold mining in the Dagbala Community, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of the state.

The Commissioner for Mining and Energy, Engr. Ethan Uzamere, gave the assurance during the inspection of buildings for security personnel in the community as part of efforts to improve security in the area.

The state government had placed a ban on gold mining in Dagbala Community due to the influx of terrorists which posed threats to the safety of lives and property of residents in the community.

Uzamere at the inspection said the mines in the community were shut down last year due to insecurity and for necessary security infrastructure to be in place for mining activities before the reopening of the mining sites.

He noted, “It is unfortunate that what should bring a lot of development to the community has instead brought a lot of problems in terms of security. The community has several roles to play in sustaining security because they live here and have more intelligence than anybody. They know who is not from the community when they see them in the area.

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“Basically, we’re here to inspect the buildings that were donated to security operatives and visit some of the mining sites. We are very satisfied and impressed with the buildings donated. This shows how the mining industry is important to this community as they were fully donated by both the community and the miners’ association in Dagbala.”

The commissioner added, “We will now give back our findings on what we are going to do regarding the mining sites.”

“The state has its own security network. I know the community has its own vigilante. Everybody has to work together to ensure the safety of the people at the mining sites and the community itself,” Uzamere noted.

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Earlier in his address, the Okaku I of Dagbala Community, His Royal Highness Albert Agbebaku Okogbe lauded the state government commitment to lifting the embargo on mining, which he said is a major concern to the community.

“Anybody that is not concerned about the reopening of all the mining sites in Dagbala Community is an enemy of progress. We shall work in synergy with all security apparatus to ameliorate illegal mining and influx of bandits to achieve peace and progress.”

Representative of licensed miners in the community, Shaba Stephen said, “the removal of illegal miners has been done by the community and the legitimate miners. The community is now void of the crowd perpetrating illegal mining. We have also provided buildings for the various security agencies for offices and residences and have entered an agreement with the community that anybody who is not a licensed miner will be immediately reported to the appropriate agency.”

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The Deputy Commandant, Edo State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Akinluko Richard said, “We are here to protect government critical infrastructure. We cannot continue to fold our hands while the government continues to lose resources. We’re prepared to make sure that the sector is safe as we will guard it with all our strength.”

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