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EDO STATE ACTIVITY PROGRESS REPORT OF NATIONAL COALITION ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION JULY – SEPTEMBER 2010

EDO STATE ACTIVITY PROGRESS REPORT OF NATIONAL COALITION ON AFFIRMATIVE ACTION JULY – SEPTEMBER 2010
Introduction:
Preamble/Background
Edo State is one of the 36 States in Nigeria that was created on the 27th day of August 1991 as a result of the split of the old Bendel State into two States. The defunct Bendel State formally known as part of the Mid-Western Region and later Mid-Western was created in 1963 from the former Western Region.
Edo State is located in the heart of the tropical rain forest and it lies between longitude 50’E and 60.42’ and latitude 50.45’ and 70.35N of the equator. To the North the State is bounded by Kogi State, Anambra State to the East, while the South is Delta State and to the West is Ondo State.
The State has a total land area of 19.281.93 square kilometer. Politically, it is divided into three Senatorial Districts with Eighteen Local Government Area as follows:
Edo South Senatorial District
LGAs Headquarter
Oredo Benin City
Orhionmwon Abudu
Ovia North-East Okada
Ovia South West Iguobazuwa
Ikpoba/Okha Idogbo
Egor Uselu
Uhunmwonde Ehor
Edo Central Senatorial District
LGAs Headquarter
Esan Central Irrua
Esan North-East Uromi
Esan South-West Ubiaja
Esan West Ekpoma
Igueben Igueben
Edo North Senatorial District
LGAs Headquarter
Akoko-Edo Igarra
Etsako Central Fugar
Etsako East Agenebode
Etsako West Auchi
Owan East Afuze
Owan West Sabongida-Ora
Edo State is presently being govern by the Comrade Gov. Adams Aliu Oshiomhole of the Action Congress, the erstwhile labour leader.

ACTIVITY 1
1 day Refresher for NCAA members and training of New members
Arising from the strategic meeting in Abuja in January 2010, there was the urgent need to have all Edo NCAA members to be on the same page with the Chair and the Secretary. This called for the refreshers, especially for new members who came on board in 2010.
The one day session had in attendance the following:
Hon Mrs Gbinigie Erhabor JP Chair, NCAA Edo State
Anita Moses TAMPEP Association Onlus
Imafidon Amenze Juliet CUSUDOW
Rekiya Sani Ebelowmia Foundation
Odiamehi Mathilda Voice of Niger/Delta Women
Favor Eghe Oseki Forum of Nigerian Women in Politics
Hon Margaret Oghobaghase Only Female Member, Edo Police/Public relation Committee
Philomina Elijah Lift Above Poverty Organization
Harrison Izekor Indomitable Youths Organization
Ehon Innocent Center for Women and Child Development
Prof F.E Iyoya Center for Rural Empowerment and Community Development
Shuaibu Esther Koyenma Immalah Foundation (Center for Gender Studies)
Bartholomew Okoudo Women and Youth Environmental Project
Aininoria O. Itua Willi John Foundation
Ebiuwairo Obadiaru Society for Women and AIDS in Africa, Nigeria. Edo Chapter
Bar Mrs. Eki Ohonba Community Mobilization Support Initiative
Osagie Osayande Development Assurance
Blessed Jatt Blue Beacon Initiative Africa
Idonijie Dickson Foundation Builders
Mr Amadasun Director, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development
Hajia Salimotu Momodu Federation of Moslem Women Association of Nigeria (FONWAN)
Aigbe Omoruyi Secretary, NCAA Edo State

The session went through the overview of the Women’s Convention, CEDAW as an international standard-setting instrument that establishes the universality of the principle of equality of rights between men and women and that its makes provisions for measures to ensure equality of rights for women throughout the world.
The members were taken through the historical background, which entails the meeting of Head of government in October 2003 where NCAA was formed, and the consequent attempt to get the Bill through as an Executive Bill, with the assistance of Hon Florence Gbinigie-Erhabor J.P who was the then Hon Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development (2005 – 2007).

The members were also informed of the set-back the Bill experienced, and the attempt made to save the bill from being thrown off from the House in the last Assembly headed by Hon. Friday Itulah. Hon. Florence Gbinigie-Erhabor JP, briefed members on the current journey and steps being taken among others was the visit to the erstwhile Speaker of the Edo State House Assembly Hon Zakawanu Garuba and the consequent agreement with the then majority Leader Hon Frank Okiye who also attended the Strategic Meeting in Abuja in January 2010, these effort according to her was undermined when the Hon Speaker and the PDP led House leaders was impeached.

The work plan was discussed as approved by OSIWA and the need to get the Bill passed by the current House of Assembly. Members made comment as regarding the success of the project, Prof F.E Iyoha was of the view that, the Coalition develop better strategy this time, others support the process and thanked OSIWA for supporting the process with fund. The date for meeting the Speaker and the new leadership of the house was mentioned as approved by the Speaker Hon. Bright Omokhodion.

ACTIVITY 2
Advocacy meeting with leadership of Edo House of Assembly (1)

In attendance where:
Hon. Florence Gbinigie –Erhabor JP Chair, NCAA Edo State
Anita Moses TAMPEP Association Onlus
Imafidon Amenze Juliet CUSUDOW
Rekiya Sani Ebelowmia Foundation
Odiamehi Mathilda Voice of Niger/Delta Women
Favor Eghe Oseki Forum of Nigerian Women in Politics
Hon Margaret Oghobaghase Only Female Member, Edo Police/Public relation Committee
Philomina Elijah Lift Above Poverty Organization
Aigbe Omoruyi Secretary, NCAA Edo State
Desmond Osarumwense Press Coverage

The visit had with the Hon Speaker, Hon Sam Igbe representing Oredo West Constituency and Hon Etinosa Ogbewe representing Orhionmwon Constitutency with some legislative staff in attendance. The session was very useful as they were sensitized on the bill and the journey so far. Mr. Speaker made useful statement with promises to play his part to get the Bill passed. Hon Florence Gbinigie –Erhabor JP presented the CEDAW IEC material and the draft Bill to the Hon Speaker, Rt. Hon Bright Omokhodion.

An address delivered at the Edo House of Assembly, during the advocacy visit to the Leadership of the House by the National Coalition on Affirmative Action (NCAA) on 20th July 2010.

Introduction:
It’s indeed a great opportunity to address the Edo State House of Assembly leadership today, it is a privilege and I do not intend to take it for granted. Let me again use this rear opportunity to congratulate the leadership of the House on the assumption into the esteem positions of the Assembly, especially Mr Speaker, who is a friend and a brother.
We pray that God Almighty will make your hands gifted hands to run the affairs of the House for the good of all in the State, the Assembly is truly the home of all, hence it brings together representatives from all areas of the State.
Mr Speaker, God will guide you and your team through out your realm in the House, through you, indeed the State will be blessed and lightened up.

What is National Coalition Affirmative Action (NCAA)?
NCAA is an umbrella Organization committed to the promotion and protection of human rights of women especially their right to political participation. NCAA promotes Affirmative Action as a strategy for increasing the number of women in politics.

What we have as NCAA today is a product of the Affirmative Action Round table at the CHOGM, (Heads of Government Meeting in 2003) which led to the setting up of the committees on CEDAW Domestication (The drafting committee with Hon C.C Nweze as Chair)

The post CHOGM meeting gave rise to NCAA to work on the State level, which was followed with the Advocacy training in Kaduna in October, 2004 where FONWIP became the Edo State Coordinator of NCAA under the leadership of Hon. Florence Gbinigie-Erhabor JP.

What is CEDAW?
The Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is the central and most comprehensive human rights treaty on the elimination of discrimination against women. Adopted on December 18, 1979 by the United Nations General Assembly, it is the leading modern instrument on women’s right.
It has thus been described as the definitive international legal instrument requiring respect for and observance of the human rights of women. It entered into force as an international treaty on September 3, 1981, after the twentieth country had ratified it in accordance with the Convention’s article 27.
CEDAW is a landmark Convention and the most important normative instrument that aims to achieve equal rights for women everywhere in the world. The Nigeria Government became a State Party to this important Convention when it ratified it in 1985 without reservations, signed the optional Protocol in 2000 and ratified it in 2004.
CEDAW is an international standard-setting document that establishes the universality of the principles of equality between men and women and makes provision for measures to be taken by States Parties to ensure equality of rights for women throughout the world.

The underlying motivation of the 30-Article Convention is to draw special attention to the disadvantages suffered by women over the years, and to seek specific priority measures to address the imbalances. Mr. Speaker, provisions on the Domestication of Treaties in Nigeria is enshrined in section 12 of the 1999 Constitution.

Where are we?
In 2005, a core advocacy team visited the then Hon. Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Edo State, the visit got good support and the then Executive Governor, Chief L.N Igbinedion accepted the coalition’s draft bill and the same was presented as an Executive Bill to the House of Assembly in 2007, since then, the coalition has been monitoring the progress of the bill in the House.

In 2008, the coalition got information that, the bill was going to suffer set back and likely to be thrown off due to certain technicalities, and we quickly intervened to save the bill from being thrown to the pit of irrelevance. We asked the House to step it down, while we look closely the technicalities identified in the bill.
Mr. Speaker, in January 2010, a strategy meeting was held in Abuja with the aim of strategizing on the best way forward for the successful domestication of CEDAW at State and National levels. To this end, a technically reviewed draft was presented with all concerns addressed.

Why are we here?
Mr. Speaker, Edo State House of Assembly is well known nationally for her gender sensitivity, by passing into laws gender sensitive bills. Three States of the federation has since passed the CEDAW bill, we are here therefore to step up the Affirmative Action Bill currently in the House and to pray Mr. Speaker and the House leadership to once again prove that Edo State takes lead in issues of gender protection and promotion. Mr. Speaker, we are proud of you, we believe you will not let us down.

Conclusion
Under the nation’s obligation under CEDAW, a report is required every four years to the UN Committee on CEDAW regarding the country’s activities towards implementing CEDAW in the country. In 2007, the Hon Minister of Women Affairs, Obong Rita Akpan led a delegation to the UN meeting that considered the Nigerian country report, the Hon Minister was embarrassed by the committee for the failure of Nigeria to domesticate a treaty that it ratified over 20 years ago.

Mr. Speaker, Edo State passing into law the Affirmative Action Bill is vital to national domestication, we count on you very well on this.

Once again, Mr. Speaker I thank you for this opportunity.

Hon (Mrs) Florence Gbinigie-Erhabor (JP)
Edo State Coordinator (NCAA)

ACTIVITY 3
1 Day Constituency Forum with Parliament (Town hall Meeting) (1)

Preparation for the town hall meeting has began after which the house suddenly took a break only committee meetings. As they came back, after two days seating, they decided to go on vacation. Mr Speaker apologized and promised to take it up as soon as they return.

As they resumed seating , Mr Speaker in his wisdom fixed a meeting for the 7th day of September 2010, with the NCAA Chair and secretary including Hon. Uyi Igbe to work out modalities. This meeting was successful in which Mr Speaker directed Hon Sam Igbe to work with NCAA Network to ensure that the lined up activities that concern the legislators are carried out hitch free with constant briefing to him to ensure smooth sail for mutual benefit. A copy of the state program and the bill were handed over to Hon. Uyi Igbe. The conclusive meeting will be on Monday next week 13th September,2010 because of the public holidays. Due to this hiccup, the Town Hall Meeting date will now change for a new one which will be communicated to you as soon as we conclude next week.

ACTIVITY 4
Phone –in Radio Program on FRCN/Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS)
The radio program has begun with its first episode taken on Monday, the 6th day of September 2010 between 1.30pm to 2.00pm on Edo State Broadcasting Service in Benin. The program is going to run weekly (every Monday), same time for the next eight weeks plus one extra week added due to the poor audio recording of the first episode. It is a live and phone in program to mobilize support of the civil society vis a vis their comment and support towards the smooth passage of the bill. We received some callers with comments which were responded to. Mean while, the secretariat phone number and email address were given for further comments that time could not permit us to take. This radio signal can also be received in Kogi, Ondo and Delta states.

The first episode had in appearance the following:
Hon Florence Gbinigie-Erhabor JP- Chair, NCAA Edo State
Mrs Umane C.D -Asst Director, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social development
Pastor Ogbebor Vincent -Clergy, representing the Christian Community
Hajia Salimat Momodu -President, Federation of Muslim’s Women Association, Edo State
Background support by Aigbe Omoruyi, Secretary, NCAA Edo State.

This same team has been programmed for the next episode on Monday 13th September at 1.30pm, due to the poor recording we experienced at this initial broadcast. Also, the presence of the two different religious groups coming up with various back up points in support of the bill and gender equality quoting their religious holy books with examples and this we will want re-echoed.

ACTIVITY 5
Advocacy meeting at the Palace of the Oba of Benin
A Letter has been written to His Royal Majesty, Omo N’ Oba N’Edo, Oba Erediauwa, which was acknowledged, but we are awaiting communication from the palace

BELOW IS A SUMMARRY OF ACTIVITIES:
1 1 day Refreshers course for NCAA members and training of New members July 19 2010 State Secretariat There is need for all members of the State Coalition to be on the same page, new CSOs coming on board will be trained. N80, 000/ FONWIP Completed
2 Advocacy meeting with leadership of Edo House of Assembly (1) July 20th, 2010 State Coalition Non-Residential – for representatives of women’s groups and leadership of State HOA N75, 000/
NCAA Completed
3 1 Day Constituency Forum with Parliament (Town hall Meeting) (1) Aug 12 2010 State Coalition Non-Residential – Participants drawn from Universities, Research institutes, prof. groups, women’s org., FBOs, CBOs, CDAs, Media etc. N347,500/ NCAA On going
4 Advocacy meeting with leadership of Edo House of Assembly (2) Sept 14 2010 State Coalition Non-Residential – for representatives of women’s groups and leadership of State HOA N75, 000/ NCAA Pending
5 Advocacy meeting with the Palace of the Oba of Benin Sept 2010 State Coalition To sensitize the traditional institution because of their role as member of the panel in the phone –in Radio Program and support towards the passage of the bill N40, 000/ FONWIP On going
6 Phone –in Radio Program on FRCN/Edo Broadcasting Service (EBS) September 2010 State Secretariat Targets – Media, clergy, chiefs, elders, women’s groups, youth. Panel to consist of NCAA, Legislator, Chief etc. N250,000/ NCAA

15minutes Radio programme to popularize the gender bill.
8 episodes only will be aired.
On-going

THANK YOU
Aigbe Omoruyi A
Secretary NCAA EDO STATE.
5TH SEPTEMBER., 2010

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Aigbe Omoruyi's picture

Good

Lets join our hands to make the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill a Law in Edo State.

Aigbe Omoruyi
Programme Coordinator
Foundation Builders-Nigeria (NGO)
&
State Coordinator
EU-INSIDE Programme in Nigeria

45 Owina Street,
Off Sakponba Road, Benin City,
Edo State, Nigeria.

+234 803 923 9377

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