Human Rights: ASF France Trains Media, CSOs , Security Agencies in Lagos

By Habila Victor

As part of its efforts in promoting the enjoyment of Human Rights in Nigeria, Avocats Sans Frontières France (ASF France), in collaboration with its local partners, the Carmelite Prisoners Interest Organisation (CAPIO) and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has recently held trainings for security agencies, media and CSOs in Lagos State.
The insightful trainings were  on the wings of the “Strengthening the National Actors Capacities and Advocation for Ending Severe Human Rights Violations in Nigeria project” (SAFE), funded by the European Union and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), which is targeted at addressing human rights violations of torture, extra-judicial killings and arbitrary detention.

The Country Director of ASF France in Nigeria, Mrs. Angela Uwandu Uzoma-Iwuchukwu in one of her contributions during the training highlighted the importance of the media in the promotion and protection of human rights saying “the media when deployed effectively can make people more aware of their rights, expose its violations and focus attention on people and areas in need of the protection of human rights”.

The training for security agencies on human rights took place on the 24th – 26th of May, 2021, and is aimed at bridging the knowledge gap of security agencies on Human Rights laws and standards.

In attendance were 27 security personnel drawn from the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Nigerian Army (NA), the Department of State Security (DSS), Nigerian Airforce (NAF), NCDC (Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps), Corrections Service, Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Immigrations.
On the other hand, the media and CSOs were trained from 27th – 28th of May, 2021, serving as a follow up training for an earlier batch of 20 members of the media and CSOs trained on documentation and reporting of human rights violations in Lagos State  in February 2020. 
One of the trainees, Mr. Adewale Adequate of Lagos Traffic FM, said “I must first of all say thanks to the ASF France team for this insightful training. It has been a major source of exposure to the use of media to promote human rights. I believe this will in many ways improve the work that I do”.
The SAFE project is co-funded by the European Union (EU) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), and is being implemented by Avocats Sans Frontières France in Nigeria, in partnership with the Nigerian Bar Association and the Carmelite Prisoners’ Interest Organization.

​Zulum directs sponsorship of 100 Borno indigenes to study Quantity Surveying

Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum has directed a scholarship for about 100 indigenes of Borno to study Quantity Surveying in different institutions across the country. 

Zulum gave the directive on Wednesday while declaring open a two days workshop organised by the Nigerian Institute Of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) with the theme “Resources Schedule For Inclusive Development Of The Construction Industry.”

The Governor has directed the 27 Local Government Chairmen to immediately submit a list of 3 indigenes each of theirs. 

“The Chairmen of the 27 LGAs are directed to submit 3 names from the less privileged members of their communities for immediate sponsorship.” Zulum said. 

Zulum’s approval was to address the increasing demand for Quantity Surveyors in the State. Borno was reported to have only 9 registered Surveyors, which is grossly inadequate in the face of ongoing reconstruction and rehabilitation. 

“When I received the President of the Institute yesterday in my office, I was made to know that we only have 9 registered Quantity Surveyors in Borno State. We cannot allow this to continue.” Zulum declared. 

In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Institute Of Quantity Surveyors, QS Mohammed Abba Tor said, the choice of Borno for hosting the workshop is to recognise the tremendous infrastructural projects embarked upon by the Zulum’s administration in the last two years. 

The President also expressed gratitude to Governor Babagana Umara Zulum for hosting the event at the multipurpose hall of the Government House, he said, first by any Governor in NIQS’ history.

​Ajiri: Zulum orders rehabilitation of destroyed properties, new houses 

Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum on Wednesday travelled to Ajiri, a community in Mafa Local Government Area. 

During the visit, Governor Zulum has ordered for the immediate rehabilitation of destroyed properties, and construction of additional houses to enable more people return. 

Insurgents launched an attack on Ajiri 5th of May 2021, where 8 people were killed and houses destroyed. 

Zulum on arrival had an interaction with the security operatives maintaining law and order in Ajiri town, and met with fleeing residents afterwards who are taking refuge in Mafa to facilitate their return.

Zulum urged Ajiri residents to be resilient and support the security personnel to defend their community.


Similarly, the Governor has commended the military personnel in the town for their doggedness and sacrifice. 

“The current crop of military personnel are strong, they have been doing a wonderful job. We came to see them and boost their moral.” Zulum said.

Senate passes bill to end discrimination between first degree, HND holders

The Senate has passed a bill that prohibits employers in the country from discriminating between first degree and Higher National Diploma (HND) holders.

The passage of the bill followed the consideration of a report by the Joint Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters; and Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND. 

Chairman of the Joint Committee, Ibrahim Shekarau (APC, Kano Central), said, “the enactment of the bill to abolish and prohibit discrimination between First Degrees and Higher National Diploma for the purpose of employment in Nigeria  will no doubt free holders of HND from stagnation and ensure balanced treatment with their counterparts from other higher tertiary institutions in Nigeria.”

He added that the abolishment of the existing dichotomy between HND holders and graduates of Universities would meet the huge manpower needs of Nigerians, ensure social justice and enhanced corporate governance, as well encourage patriotic contributions amongst HND employees in both public and private sectors. 

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, in his remarks after the bill was passed, emphasised that the passage of the bill would serve as motivation for polytechnic graduates. 

He, therefore, called on the public and private sectors to ensure the implementation of the bill’s provisions as soon as it is signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.  

Lawan said: “This particular issue has been in the front burner for a long time. I recall that in the House of Representatives between 2003 and 2007, this was one bill that was so important, and is one way of encouraging our Polytechnic graduates.

“That should not take away from the kind of training they receive, but, in fact, it is supposed to be a motivation for our polytechnic graduates. 

“[And] I pray that the Federal Government and all those government agencies and the private sector would start to implement this by the time the President assents to this bill.”

Source: Vanguard