Human Rights and Human Rights Advocacy in Nigeria
DAY 3: Nigeria Social Action (Harmattan) Camp 2023
The day started with the daily early morning routine of physical exercise and aerobics before breakfast and clean-up in preparation for the day’s engagements.
Routine morning aerobics and breakfast
Jaiya Gaskiya opened the day’s activities as he delved into the imperative task of reviving pro-democracy movements, emphasizing the need for solidarity in the pursuit of environmental and economic justice. He created the nexus between economic justice and environmental justice and concluded that economic justice results in environmental justice.
Omobude Agho shared insights on mobilizing grassroots human rights defenders, digging into strategies and tactics for effective advocacy. He posited that every citizen should have a copy of the constitution and the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act without which it would be difficult to understand the rights as enshrined in the constitution, let alone be able to defend it
Angela Odah (Rosa Luxenberg Foundation)
Bridget Anyafulu (Delta State House of Assembly)
Rita Kigbara (Selemati Foundation)
Princes Egbe (Global Care Rescue Mission )
As we navigate the complex terrain of gender dynamics within our political landscape, in panel discussion on “Women Participation in Nigeria Politics, our esteemed panelists, Bridget Anyafulu, Rita Kigbara, Angela Odah and Princess Egbo, dissected the intricacies surrounding the involvement of women in Nigerian politics. From legal perspectives to cultural nuances, economic barriers to institutional challenges, our speakers shed light on the multifaceted dimensions of this pivotal issue.
Isaac Botti addressed the pressing concern of political corruption and the escalating public debt profile in Nigeria, framing it as a facet of the “development of underdevelopment.” He gave statistics of the debt burden from 1999 to 2022 and queried the penchant of the government to borrow from foreign capital markets to service its debt. He argued that the government should consider the debt to revenue ratio rather than the debt to GDP ratio as a benchmark indices for borrowing.
Dr. Prince Ekpere led a talk on “Expanding the Space for Local Government Accountability,” insisting that for any meaningful development to come to the communities through the local governments, they must have fiscal and administrative autonomy. He regrated that all effort by Social Action and its collaborators to get the needed 2/3rd vote of the National and state assemblies to amend the required portion of the constitution during the 9th assembly were dashed.
After a lunch break, Omole Ibukun shifted the focus to “Creative Expression for Social Change,” and took the participants through the steps of creating a compelling story. emphasizing the transformative power of storytelling using TEDx video creativity.
The Nigerian Social Action Camp 2023 rounded off in a party note as comrades took time to unwind and socialise in the spirit of comradeship and camaraderie
Each session is lace with a period of robust interaction between the participants and the resource persons and cross fertilisation of ideas and practical learning experiences.
The Nigeria Social Action Camp 2023 culminated in a profound synthesis of learning, collaboration, and shared experiences. Participants engaged in enriching workshops that dissected critical issues, from human rights advocacy and environmental justice to grassroots mobilization and women’s participation in politics. Interactions were characterized by a genuine spirit of camaraderie, with diverse voices converging in solidarity for the shared cause of democratic restoration and social change. The collective learning journey fostered a deeper understanding of the intricacies of Nigeria’s sociopolitical landscape. As the camp approached its conclusion, there emerged a poignant acknowledgment that this solidarity, fortified by newfound knowledge and shared aspirations, serves as a formidable force for transformative action. The time to unwind, marked by a campfire night and celebratory party, provided a harmonious close to the intense deliberations, creating lasting bonds among participants. The Nigeria Social Action Camp 2023, with its amalgamation of learning, workshop insights, interactive dialogue, and unwinding moments, not only empowered individuals but also propelled a united front committed to advancing democracy, justice, and positive social change in Nigeria.