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Activists task Govt., CSOs on mass orientation to end online violence against children

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Activists task Govt., CSOs on mass orientation to end online violence against children

By Mustapha Sumaila

Rights activists and campaigners have called on government and other civil society organisations to raise the bar in law enforcement and mass education of the public on ways to end online violence against children and girls.

The activists made the call at a webinar organised by Plan International Nigeria to mark the 2021 International Women’s Day.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at the webinar, the guest speaker and CEO of Cee Hope Nigeria, Ms. Betty Abah said negative stereotyping and misinformation was making online experience traumatic for women and girls.

The topic was: Preventing a Digital Lockout: Challenging Drivers of Gender Bias and Inequality. It was moderated by Plan International Nigeria’s Senior Gender and Inclusion Manager, Obianuju Osude.

“We need to insist and keep fighting back against online violence. The highest victims of online bullying are young people because of their age and are unaware of where to get help,” Abah said adding “if Ochanya had information that she could speak up to bring her abusers to book, she probably wouldn’t have died.”

Betty Abah had in 2018 galvanised the general public to campaign for justice for Ochanya Ogbanje, a 13-year-old girl who was serially raped for five years by a father and a son in Benue state till she succumbed to the abuse and died.

A Plan International’s annual State of the World’s Girls report 2020 titled ‘Free to be Online? – Girls’ and Young Women’s Experience of Online Harassment’ showed that more than half of girls surveyed, from around the world, have been harassed and abused online.

The report also revealed that one in four girls abused online feels physically unsafe as a result.

Also, the programme director at Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, lamented how the advent of social media had brought forward new ways of violence against girls including slut-shaming, hate speech, pornography, bullying, among others.

Mbamalu said such were mostly targeted at women to silence their legitimate right to free expression.

She however called for improved public enlightenment campaign for people to be properly educated on the ills of cyber violence and bullying.

“Some people think they are just twitting their minds and expressing their freedom of speech. We need to put a lot of effort on education and awareness so people know what they write are capable of hurting others,” she said.

The Yiaga programme director also called for law enforcement by government agencies to deter would-be perpetrators of online violence against children and girls.

Speaking on her personal experience, a Plan International Nigeria’s Girls Get Equal activist, Ms. Treasure Success said at a time she “pulled down all” her “social media accounts due to online harassments.”

She also agreed that awareness was key to stopping online bullying of girls into silence, Treasure further emphasized the need for sex education for children using age appropriate languages as a means of preparing them against pedophilia and other depraved people.

According to her, technology drives the future but its worrisome that a considerable percentage of the population risked being left behind as a result of bullying and harassments. (NAN)

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Africa

Buhari mourns chadian leader Deby, says his demise is Setback in eliminating terrorism

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Buhari mourns chadian leader Deby, says his demise is Setback in eliminating terrorism

President Muhammadu Buhari, has reacted to the sudden death of Chadian leader Déby saying it create a vacuum in the efforts to eliminate terrorism.
He expressed deep sorrow over his sudden and tragic death on the frontline fighting against rebel soldiers.
Buhari said: “The late Deby had played a very active role in our regional joint collaboration in the military campaign against the Boko Haram terrorists.”
He noted that the death of the Chadian leader would “create a big vacuum in the efforts to jointly confront the Boko Haram terrorists and the Islamic State West Africa Province.”
He said: “I’m deeply shocked and devastated by the sudden death of Idriss Déby on the battlefront to defend the sovereignty of his country.”
Buhari described the late leader “as a friend of Nigeria who had enthusiastically lent his hand in our efforts to defeat the murderous Boko Haram terrorists that have posed grave security challenges not only for Nigeria, but also our African neighbours, particularly Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic.”
Buhari, in a condolence message to the people of Chad and their new leader
through a statement issued yesterday, by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, called for greater collaboration to defeat the terrorists.
The president had only on Monday expressed shock and sadness at the latest unrest in Chad, where at least 55 people were killed and more than 40 got injured when ethnic groups in the South Eastern Region of Salamat clashed last week.
Also, the slain Chadian leader had visited Nigeria on March 27, days before his country’s presidential election.
During the one-day visit, he was received by Buhari at the State House House in Abuja, where both leaders discussed bilateral issues, including the security challenges of the insurgency around their nations’ borders and the threat posed to about 30 million people by the shrunken Lake Chad.

President Buhari mourns chadian leader Deby, says his demise is setback in eliminating terrorism

President Muhammadu Buhari, has reacted to the sudden death of Chadian leader Déby saying it create a vacuum in the efforts to eliminate terrorism.
He expressed deep sorrow over his sudden and tragic death on the frontline fighting against rebel soldiers.
Buhari said: “The late Deby had played a very active role in our regional joint collaboration in the military campaign against the Boko Haram terrorists.”
He noted that the death of the Chadian leader would “create a big vacuum in the efforts to jointly confront the Boko Haram terrorists and the Islamic State West Africa Province.”
He said: “I’m deeply shocked and devastated by the sudden death of Idriss Déby on the battlefront to defend the sovereignty of his country.”
Buhari described the late leader “as a friend of Nigeria who had enthusiastically lent his hand in our efforts to defeat the murderous Boko Haram terrorists that have posed grave security challenges not only for Nigeria, but also our African neighbours, particularly Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic.”
Buhari, in a condolence message to the people of Chad and their new leader
through a statement issued yesterday, by Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, called for greater collaboration to defeat the terrorists.
The president had only on Monday expressed shock and sadness at the latest unrest in Chad, where at least 55 people were killed and more than 40 got injured when ethnic groups in the South Eastern Region of Salamat clashed last week.
Also, the slain Chadian leader had visited Nigeria on March 27, days before his country’s presidential election.
During the one-day visit, he was received by Buhari at the State House House in Abuja, where both leaders discussed bilateral issues, including the security challenges of the insurgency around their nations’ borders and the threat posed to about 30 million people by the shrunken Lake Chad.

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FG assures Nigerians of availability of PMS as it blames tanker drivers, employers feud for fuel scarcity

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FG assures Nigerians of availability of PMS as it blames tanker drivers, employers feud for fuel scarcity

The Federal Government has shifted its responsibility to ending fuel scarcity blaming the sudden return of queues at filling stations in parts of the country on unresolved feud between petroleum tanker drivers and their employers, among other issues.

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is worse hit as fuel stations have suddenly started witnessing long queues of motorists struggling to buy petrol since Saturday.
Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, had assured the nation that the queues would soon disappear, but the harrowing experiences of motorist continue.
He gave the assurance Tuesday, while fielding questions from newsmen at the Presidential Villa, Abuja after he debriefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the happenings in the nation’s petroleum sector.
Kyari attributed the observed scarcity to suspension of operations by the tanker drivers, who are protesting with their employers over some labour issues, assuring Nigerians that the worst was over as the strike had been suspended for one week.
The GMD said the tanker drivers, as at yesterday, had resumed lifting fuel from depots across the country.
“These queues will go away. It is because there was an industrial action by petroleum tanker drivers against their employers, the National Association of Road Transport Owners, around their compensation package. Those issues were not resolved up till yesterday (Monday) until we intervened to ensure that there’s an amicable settlement between the parties so that they will have peace and then normal loading operations will commence from the depots.
“As I speak to you, loading has commenced in all depots in the country, dispatching of trucks is ongoing in all the depots. They have called off the strike for a period of one week to enable us intervene and find a solution. So there’s really nothing fundamental that is happening now.”

The NNPC boss added that the agreement arrived at with the aggrieved drivers would enable the authorities to concretise a more lasting solution to the issues.
On the plan to end the petrol subsidy regime, Kyari said government was still in the process of coming up with the best way out of the debacle for the best interest of Nigeria.
“Subsidy is a policy matter. I’m sure you’re aware of this, there are engagements going on within government to get the best framework for having a fully deregulated PMS market.
“As this is going on, we are engaging all parties and all stakeholders as government and to make sure that at the end of the day, there’s an exit that is beneficial to the ordinary man.”

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Africa

Intelligence report indicates Chad President’s death will expose Nigerian Army to More B’Haram attacks

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Intelligence report indicates Chad President’s Death will expose Nigerian Army to more B’Haram attacks

The death of Chad President Idriss Deby on Tuesday is bad omen for the Nigerian Army in the Lake Chad area, as the Boko Haram insurgents now have a larger stronghold to launch more violent attacks on military troops and bases, according to a report by the SB Morgen Intelligence.

The SB Intel report released on Tuesday added that the security situation already in Damasak and Dikwa, two Borno towns close to the Chadian border, is dangerous at the moment and has forced humanitarian agencies and workers to flee the towns, making them more vulnerable.

The African-focused research firm, in its April 2021 report, stated that the Nigerian military now has a lot more work to do in the Multi-National Joint Task Force monitoring the Lake Chad region, which despite consisting of four countries, has Nigeria and Chad as the only active combatants.
The SB Intel report obtained by SaharaReporters said, “Geographically, Chad is at the heart of a number of conflicts in West and Central Africa. To its west, Déby had been a key ally for Nigeria in its fight against Boko Haram. The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) operation which was supposed to include cooperation with Niger, Cameroon and Chad, ended up being a largely Nigerian operation with input from only the Chadian army.

“Chadian forces were largely restricted within the country’s borders, with the bulk of the fighting in Lake Chad done by the Nigerian military. For Nigeria, Déby’s death is not good news as the battle-hardened Chadian Army has been the only effective check on Boko Haram. While his son, Mahamat Déby Itno is at the moment the de-facto head of the military council, there is no clear successor to Mr Déby as he was effectively the state.
“The 37-year old Mahamat Déby has been a military brat all his life and has limited administrative or political experience. A succession battle, which is almost certain, would mean that the insurgents will have no worries about their flanks and can attack the Nigerian Army at will.

“This will likely mean the consolidation of the Lake Chad Basin as a staging area for the insurgents from where to launch attacks on towns and military bases. Already, the security situation in Damasak and Dikwa, Nigerian towns close to the Chadian border, has become untenable, forcing UN staff to suspend humanitarian operations.”
The report said the passing away of Deby leaves a “big gap” in Nigeria, a neighbouring country that is likely to have a profound impact on its security.

“This opens a brand new challenge – Nigeria either steps up in the region and ensures peace both within its borders and in this huge arc of instability, or the strip of relative stability in Southern Nigeria will be engulfed by the collapse of our near abroad.
“The growing external instability around Nigeria will soon become existential, and based on precedents, Deby’s passing would be blamed (by the Nigerian government) on any reversal of progress in the fight against Boko Haram in the North East It must be treated with the urgency it deserves,” it added.
Source: Sahara Reporters

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