The Executive Secretary flanked by other staff and Social Action Team during the visit

Social Action paid a courtesy visit to the office of the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission in Abuja as part of its effort to build alliances and strengthen collaboration with stakeholders in advancing the needed social change. The visit, made on Wednesday, March 1, 2023, was led by its Policy advisor, Dr. Uche Igwe was mainly to familiarize the NHRC with the workings of Social Action and build a formal relationship between both organizations.

The Executive Secretary, NHRC, Mr. Anthony Okechukwu Ojukwu (SAN) expressed gratitude to the team, whose visit coincided with his recent reappointment as the Executive Secretary of the NHRC. Mr. Ojukwu thanked Social Action for the stride they have made, and the successes recorded in championing the protection of human rights and respect for the rule of law across the country. He recognised the areas of mutual interest and committed to putting mechanisms in place for NHRC to partner with Social Action and its sister organization, the Civil Rights Council (CRC) to reach grassroots citizens, educate them on their rights and also solve some of their problems.

Fruitful deliberations between the Social Action team and the Secretary, NHRC and his team 

The Executive Secretary also suggested collaboration in holding joint Town Hall Meetings in rural communities and any other project relating to the core objectives of the National Human Rights Commission.

Speaking on the human rights campaign of Social Action, Dr. Igwe mentioned how the Civil Rights Council (a progeny of Social Action) handles criminal and civil cases in the country and how they have worked with the Human Rights Commission at regional levels, especially in Rivers state. He concurred that more can be done and Social Action and the CRC are ready to upscale the work of the NHRC for the betterment of the country.

Mrs. Halimat Oyedele, Director, Corporate Affairs and External Linkages of the NHRC also recounted similar partnerships with CSOs where the Human Rights Desk was established in communities to address cases of human rights abuse and violations. She hoped that when a concrete proposal is on the ground, the NHRC and Social Action would work hand-in-hand for success.


Given the challenges that bedevil the NDDC, there is a need for a holistic approach towards repositioning the
Commission for accountability and effective service delivery. In doing so, the issue of undue interference by the
National Assembly and effective oversight need to be addressed. There is also the need to return the NDDC to the constitutionally recognized budget cycle that allows for sufficient time to implement the budget




The African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL), in collaboration with Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action), on Thursday, February 16, 2023, held a symposium on Federalism, Democracy and the 2023 Election. The event was held at the Rockview Hotel Royale, Wuse 2, Abuja, Nigeria.
In his opening remarks, Dr Chido Onumah, coordinator of AFRICMIL said the conference was taking place amid heightened calls for a review of Nigeria’s federal system, which has continued to provoke questions about what the federating entities should be, citizenship rights and fiscal federalism. He further encouraged all to participate effectively in the conference, especially as the 2023 Elections is around the corner.

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With communities and countries around the world experiencing the severe impacts of climate change, the Nigeria Social Action Conference 2022 served as a platform to promote dialogue around advancing local solutions to addressing the Nigeria climate crisis through collective actions. The Conference brought together climate activists, civil society organizations, government officials, parliamentarians, and academia to chart the ways and options for strengthening government policies and responses to the climate crisis in Nigeria. Coming at a period when Nigeria is reeling from unprecedented flooding that resulted in massive destruction of properties and livelihoods, and the recently concluded 27th Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Nigeria Social Action Conference 2022 promoted awareness about the need for Nigerians to examine our national and sub-national responses to loss and damage, as well as adaptation to climate change.

The Acting Executive Director of Social Action, Anino Arsekurubu, made the charge in a welcome address at the Nigeria Social Action Conference 2022 which was held at Rockview Hotel Royale, Abuja on Monday 5 December 2022. Ms Atsekurubu stressed the need for state and non-state actors to work together to actualize national commitments in the mitigation and adaptation of loss and damage. According to her, the flooding situation in Nigeria and other countries is a clear manifestation of inadequate government and social mechanisms to combat the endemic impact of climate change, as several lives and properties were lost to the floods, which also displaced about .3 Million Nigerians.

Acting Executive Director of Social Action Anino Atsekurubu, making her opening remark

Solidarity Messages of Stakeholders                

Angela Odah from Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, in her goodwill message, commended all involved in the organization of the conference as well as all who have taken the time to attend the event. She urged attendees to engage in the conference, which is apt, given the devastating effect of the recent flood in the country.

Solidarity message from Angela Odiah of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation

David Okafor, who represented the Director General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET), commended Social Action for the event and encouraged all to pay attention to the event as it was not one for celebration but deliberation on how to address the damage by flood and drought in Nigeria.

Timothy Ogbotobo, a representative from the House Committee on Human Rights in the National Assembly of Nigeria, in his goodwill message, noted that climate change is not only a local but also a global issue. Hence, immediate solutions must be sought to prevent further devastating damages. He thanked the organizers for inviting the National Assembly because lawmakers must be involved in changing the narrative and ensuring climate justice for the country. 

Honourable Abdulmumin Abdulsalam, the Senior Legislative Aide on Environment, Climate Change, and Disaster of the Senate, called for synergy of purpose from CSOs and the Government on the issue of climate justice. As Nigerians prepare for the elections, gubernatorial candidates must be asked about their plans for addressing climate change challenges in the country.

Zainab Umara, Assistant Chief Geologist of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA), also commended the organizers of the program and wished participants a fruitful deliberation.  

Keynote Presentation- Barrister Chima Williams

According to Barrister Chima Williams, Nigeria has all it takes to address the issue of the climate crisis. Sadly, most of our environmental challenges are caused by the activity and inactivity of the citizenry and the inability of the Government to come up with concrete climate laws and implement them for the benefit of the people. Barrister Williams charged Nigerians to speak up about the damages done to their environment. He urged CSOs and media players to amplify the voices of those at the grassroots and come up with mitigation plans on how these individuals can survive climate change while compelling the government to do the needful. He further charged the Federal Ministry of Environment to collaborate properly with NiMET, NEMA, and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs to address climate change challenges in the country. Rather than focusing on palliatives, the government should implement lasting solutions to floods and drought damaging the country.

Keynote Presentation by Barrister Chima Williams

Paper Presentation- Kolawole Banwo

Kolawole Banwo, Programs Director at Water Aid presented a paper on “Climate Change and Flooding Disaster: Evaluating the Loss and Damage to Communities”. According to him, addressing loss and damage in Nigeria requires a high-level political commitment and long-term development planning with long-term disaster management. He added that the plan should be built around homegrown capacity and resources, innovation, and place a premium on human rights to life and community rights to existence. He also urged the government and representatives of the National Assembly of Nigeria to carry out regular evaluations of loss and damage from flood and drought in Nigeria. 

Community Intervention Session

Madam Faith Nwadishi, Executive Director of the Centre for Transparency Advocacy, emphasized the need for Climate Action discussion to be contextualized and consider the vulnerable as they are at the most risk in mitigating crises resulting from climate action.

Ambassador Onoja called for a multi-dimensional approach to addressing the climate crisis. He urged the government to consider climate SMART policies, which must be implemented in time and ensure members of the community are induced into governance.

Mr. Gerald Esemonu, Executive Director of Environmental Friendly Initiative admonished stakeholders to focus on education and sensitization as this will raise awareness of people on the climate action crisis. He suggested using the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme to blow the trumpet of the Climate crisis ravaging the world today. NYSC Corps members should be trained and mobilized to sensitize members of the grassroots on these issues.

Mr. Bala Rufai, a representative of the Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment, explained the role of the department in carrying out vulnerability mapping. According to him, this mapping is a measure to address loss and damage resulting from climate change in Nigeria.

Panel session at the conference

Summary of the Contributions by Panelists

Comrade Hauwa Mustapha suggested that Nigerians should track the root causes of the climate crisis as it is a global problem. We must be careful while seeking local solutions to a global problem. All must take critical actions to stop the burning of fossil fuels. The government should transform ecological funds into loss and damage funds which must be managed by representatives of the people who have been made vulnerable due to the climate crisis.

Mr. Daniel Okafor called for synergy between Civil Society Organizations and NiMET to educate the masses on impending climate actions. According to Mr. Okafor, NiMET does a lot of forecasting about climate change and actions. These messages have to be simplified and taken to the masses in the language they understand. For this to happen, CSOs must be involved.

A cross-section of participants at the conference

In her contribution, Dr Priscilla Achakpa emphasised the need for language simplicity. In her view, CSOs and the government must simplify the terms ‘climate action’ and ‘climate crisis’ so that communities would understand the implications of some of their activities that impact negatively on the environment.

She also suggested the inclusion of CSOs in the Climate Change Council for the effectiveness of purpose and mandate. Dr Achakpa called for the engagement of policies on climate change, adding that to address the issue of climate, we need to move from the national to the sub-national, engage and build the capacity of leaders at each level for change.

According to Comrade Jaye Gaski, the biggest challenge in addressing loss and damage in Nigeria is the distance between the government and the people. Hence, the government must look for a way to build the trust of the people. They must be ready to collaborate if this menace will be addressed.

At the end of the conference, participants unanimously agreed that the climate change crisis in Nigeria is a national emergency and all are involved in mitigating this menace.


Nigeria Social Action Camp 2022, held at the Man' War Leadership Training Centre, Aluu, Port Harcourt

Social Action organised the Nigeria Social Action Camp 2022, with the theme “Reclaiming the Civic Space for Transformative Governance and Political Change in Nigeria”, at the Citizenship and Leadership Training Camp, Aluu, Rivers State, from the 8th of November to the 12th of November 2022.

The Camp, a yearly weeklong programme, is an alternative space for anti-neoliberal political education and solidarity among Nigerians. The camp provides an opportunity for over 100 grassroots members of Social Action-supported Civil Rights Councils (CRCs) from different states of Nigeria and other Nigerian youths to meet and build solidarity to bring about social change in Nigeria. 2022 Camp participants included members of the CRCs, labour union activists, university students, journalists and activist scholars. Camp activities included lectures, workshops, group discussions, film shows, sports and games and other group activities.

The Camp Program commenced with a welcome charge by Professor Sofiri Peterside with a focus on reclaiming the civic space for transformative governance and political change in Nigeria. Professor Peterside x-rayed the concepts of the civic space from various scholarly perspectives and emphasized that in Nigeria, the civic space has come under attack by a desperate ruling class seeking to gag the media, civil society actors, political activists, left elements and social critics.

Dr Nelson Okene spoke on the topic, “Identity Politics And The 2023 Elections – Any Hope For Nigeria”. He held that the desperation among the political class to win power at all cost is the bane of development in Nigeria. The hope for Nigeria, he said, would be for civil society actors and pro-left tendencies to begin to champion the cause of national politics with an emphasis on nationhood and national unity.

A lecture under the topic, “Fundamental Human Rights, Procedures and Applications in the Context of The 1999 Constitution”, was delivered by Honorable Justice Simon Amadubuogha, a High Court Judge. The honourable justice carefully examined the fundamental right provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended and the attendant rules of applicability and enforcement under the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. With the aid of judicial and statutory authorities, he showcased the attitude of the courts in human rights cases and the special provision in the rules of the courts to give special attention to such litigations when filed before the court of law.

A brainstorming session moderated by Sabatine Kpalap was deliberated by Comrade Omobude Left Agho and Frank Nornobari under the theme: “The Role of Nigerian Youths in the Struggle for Political Change”. Comrade Nornobari, while acknowledging that the Nigeria youths have played a historical role in the struggle for political change, however, maintained that in contemporary times the youths seem to have been co-opted in the structure of the various political parties where they act as state agents and pro-establishment thugs. To redeem this, there is a need for re-awakening the consciousness of the youths to their self-interests.

On his part, Sabatine Kpalap emphasized the training of youths and building organizations with adequate conscientization and political education. He believes that such a movement will play a cardinal role in the restoration of sanity and political change in society. Comrade Omobude Agho blamed ignorance on the side of the youths as a major concern.

In a panel section on the topic: “The 2023 Election and The Role of the Civil Society”, Adejoh Sunday argued that civil society has a fundamental role to play in ensuring credible and smooth elections. Beyond monitoring the election, and leading sensitization on various aspects of the election, it is the role of civil society to create platforms for the citizens to interrogate the political actors and aspirants from various political platforms.

The camp also witnessed a workshop on the practical application and use of the Freedom of Information Act 2011 for holding public officers accountable. The workshop section was moderated by Comrade Kelechi and Sabatine Kpalap. Peter Mazzi and Elizabeth Michael also took participants in a workshop on the efficient use of images in story-telling in promoting campaigns and advancing advocacies.

In his various presentations, Comrade Jaye Gaskia took a swipe at the decadent Nigeria ruling class bedridden in political corruption and lack of initiatives. He held that to reclaim the civic space and enthrone transformative governance, the Nigerian youths must organize and ensure solidarity under strong platforms of national movements in order to challenge and contest for power with the ruling class.

Other speakers were Rita Kigbara, Comrade Nyengi, woman rights activists and Barr Arochukwu Paul Ogbonna. They looked at the various statutory and judicial authorities that deal with gender equality, gender-based violence and the right of the girl child to inheritance. Starting from the Nigerian Constitution, which abhors discrimination of any type against the girl child, to Supreme Court judgments and legislations of various State House of Assembly, they spoke on the need to protect the girl child and vulnerable persons. They also lauded the enactment of the Violence Against Persons Act and encouraged its full implementation in order to punish violators and curb or reduce abuses.

The camp came to an end with the National Convention of the Civil Rights Council (CRC). The convention was attended by all the CRC units across the country, and the Convention made very conclusive decisions. Newly created units were ratified, and old executives dissolved in Delta State. The Conference also reestablished Bayelsa, Owerri, Akwa-Ibom and Enugu Civil Rights Council units.


The Director and Staff of the National Oil Spill Detection and Restoration Agency (NOSDRA) pay host to Social Action team lead by Dr Uche Igwu

Social Action paid an advocacy visit to the office of the Director General, National Oil Spill Detection Response Agency (NOSDRA) in Abuja on Tuesday, 29th November 2022, as part of efforts to strengthen collaboration with NOSDRA in relevant areas of concern.

The team led by the Policy Advisor of Social Action, Dr Uche Igwe, seeks to consolidate ongoing partnerships in the training of NOSDRA’s staff and members of communities in the sites of oil and gas production and in amplifying the work of the agency in the Niger Delta region and Nigeria at large. Already, Social Action and NOSDRA have collaborated to organise training workshops in the Niger Delta. 

Speaking to welcome the delegates, the Director General of NOSDRA, Mr Idris O. Musa, commended Social Action for their efforts in building synergy and advocating for transparency in governance. He recounted similar partnerships with Social Action and the many benefits that resulted from it. According to him, NOSDRA is always open to strategic partnership and collaboration with well-meaning bodies like Social Action.

Mr Idris further decried the environmental state of the Niger Delta region, which has worsened over the past years. In his view, the host communities contribute to the oil spills and contamination of the environment just as much as the multi-nationals involved in extractive activities. He lamented how oil bunkering activities, oil thefts, and illegal refineries have destroyed several mangrove areas of the region and how the people continue to misunderstand NOSDRA. Despite NOSDRA’s efforts in monitoring oil spills and sensitizing the people to the dangers of illegal refineries, some communities view the agency as “attorneys” of multinationals. The multinationals on the other hand tend to have a biased view of the agency and most times refuse to pay for damages caused by their extraction activities even when they are sanctioned by NOSDRA. Hence, NOSDRA has decided to push for an amendment of its agency Act to enable it to enforce the prosecution of erring multinationals on account of damages done to host communities. The Director General implored the civil society organizations operating in the Niger Delta to join forces to push for the amendment of the NOSDRA Act.

Responding, the programmes coordinator of Social Action, Mr Botti Isaac, said Social Action would be happy to bridge the communication gap between NOSDRA and the host communities through a sensitization exercise. Social Action also promised to return with a proposition paper on strategic areas or partnership with the agency.



Dr Igwe visits CRC office Diobu with Social Action staff

On the 24th and 25th of November 2022 staff of the Social Development Integrated Centre (Social Action) accompanied Dr Uche Igwe on an assessment visit of the Bori and Diobu Civil Rights Council units in Rivers State.
The visit was to enable the visiting Dr Uche Igwe to have first-hand information on the structure, objectives and functions of the CRC and recommend ways to make the organization more viable and responsive to its core mandate and purpose.

At Bori the members of the CRC outlined their objectives which among other things principally bother on the defence of human rights and the Rule of law especially among the rural community dwellers mostly the victims of Police extortion and brutality. They outlined their encounter with the Police, particularly their campaign against Police extra judicial killings during communal conflicts, and the imposition of illegal taxation and levies on community residents, farmers and market women. They also maintained that a similar approach is adopted for the Army and Civil Defense personnel operating in the area involved in similar activities. They identified the need for more financial assistance to spread and establish other units of the CRCs in various communities in the area to create a wider platform for the organization to spread their activities.

CRC Bori host Dr Uche Igwe accompanied by Dr Prince Ekpere and Barr Arochukwu Ogbonna of Social Action

In Diobu the members of the CRC comprising Diobu (1) and Diobu (2) CRC units on the 25th of November met with staff of Social Action and the visiting Dr Uche Igwe. In the course of discussions, the challenges of the CRC in the area were brought to focus. The CRC members identified the progress made especially in Political and Legal Education for the community people.
They observed that child molestation, rape and defilement of women and children, and domestic violence remain the human rights challenge of the crowded Diobu communities.  To mitigate this, they have adopted Political and Legal education to sensitize the community on options or remedies available to victims and procedures to raise complaints with appropriate state authorities for legal action.

They stated that the campaign and advocacy on these issues have been on for years with a rapid response human rights desk established in the area two years ago to facilitate a quick response from the CRC in case of human rights occurrences due to the prevalence of cases.
However, they stated the need for more financial assistance to enable them (CRC) seek legal redress for victims of human rights abuses of less privileged backgrounds especially vulnerable women and children in the communities.



Civil Rights Council National Convention held on the 11th of November 2022 anchored by the National Executive Council

The Nigeria Social Action Camp 2022 held in Port Harcourt was another opportunity for the Civil Rights Council Units Nationwide to organise its National Convention and take stock of its activities, challenges, and progress made in the past year and outline programs of activities for the coming year

A cross-section of members of CRC at the convention

On the 4th day of the Nigeria Social Action Camp Program, members of the Civil Rights Council drawn from across the units of the organization met to discuss and chart a way forward for all CRC units in the country. The convention was specifically to review the activities of the Civil Rights Council across the units and in various states chapters of the C.R.C. The Convention was presided over by the National Coordinator of the C.R.C Arochukwu Paul Ogbonna Esq. and the various state and unit coordinators of the organization.

The convention resolved that all C.R.C Units must maintain a register of Membership from the various units, Identification Card, maintain contact and keep a record of all activities including the creation of a new C.R.C Unit with the zonal offices which is at Abuja for C.R.C Units in the Federal Capital Territory and other states in the Northern parts of the country, Warri Office which is for units in Delta State and Edo State, Port Harcourt Zonal Office which is for Rivers State, Bayelsa State, Akwa-Ibom State, Cross River State, Imo State and Enugu State. It is expected that the particulars of all the units including details of memberships program activities should be logged at the zonal offices periodically. 

In line with constitutional provisions the convention took far-reaching decisions and unanimously arrived at the following conclusions:

  1. The ratification of Okpanam Civil Rights Council Units, which were created from Asaba Civil Rights Council.
  2. The dissolution of Delta State State Executives of the Civil Rights Council whose tenure has expired in October 2022.
  3. The setting up of a three-Man Committee to run the affairs of Delta State Civil Rights Council made up of Gabriel Omorere as Chairman, Joy Edibine and Sundrex Ogor as members.
  4. The fixing of a general election for Delta State Civil Rights Council for the 11th of December 2022.
  5. The reconstitution of the leadership (management committee) of Bayelsa, Owerri (Imo State), Akwa-Ibom State and Enugu State Civil Rights Councils Units. 

Finally, the conference adjourned for the Nigeria Social Action Camp, 2022 for another National Meeting of the C.R.C


Oxfam staff led by its Director Programmes and Social Action team at Oxfam Office in Abuja.

Oxfam Nigeria expressed its impression with the achievements of Social Action in the campaign for social change and strengthening of government systems across the country. This admiration was expressed by Mr Abdulazeez Musa, the Director of Programmes of Oxfam in Nigeria when playing host to Social Action team in Abuja. He also expressed his desire to know more about Social Action, noting that a transformative partnership can be built with Social Action as Oxfam is keen on galvanizing the strength of numbers.

Social Action team led by its Policy Advisor, Dr Uche Igwe, paid an advocacy visit to Oxfam in Nigeria’s office in Abuja on the 17th of November, 2022 to familiarize itself with the workings of Oxfam in Nigeria, review similar intervention areas and seek partnership for the collective good of Nigeria.

Social Action Team, led by Dr Uche Igwe

Earlier, the programmes coordinator of Social Action, Mr Botti Isaac gave a detailed explanation of Social Action’s thematic areas and intervention programs with particular reference to the Climate justice and peacebuilding programs in the North East and public finance accountability programs in the Niger Delta. According to Mr Isaac, there seems to be a lot of overlapping interests between Oxfam in Nigeria and Social Action and with collaboration, more can be achieved.

Madam Peggy Maimaji, Oxfam’s project lead on Together Against Poverty (TAP) and the project coordinator, Mr. Kenneth Akpan also acknowledged Social Action’s consistent campaigns for good and transparent governance across the country. In their view, the organizations may be able to work together around gender-responsive budgets, climate intervention programs and research.
At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that Social Action’s team will systematically seek areas of alignment with Oxfam and schedule other meeting sessions to discuss how both organizations can collaborate on some work areas.


Jaye Gaskia making his presentations at the Social Action Camp 2022

Nigerian youths must organize and ensure solidarity under strong platforms and national movements to reclaim the civic space and enthrone transformative governance. Comrade Jaye Gaskia disclosed this while making his presentations at the Nigeria Social Action Camp in Port Harcourt as a necessary to challenge and contest for power with the ruling class to be able to get a fair deal in government policies and programmes for a better Nigeria.
In his various presentations cutting across topics such as: What Can Be Done To Reclaim The Civic Space, Transformative Governance In 2023 And Beyond: A Need For A Mass Movement And The Role Of Nigerian Youths In Reclaiming Civic Space And Transformative Governance In Nigeria Comrade Jaye Gaskia took a swipe on the decadent Nigeria ruling class bedridden in political corruption and lack of initiatives.
He held that for there to be any meaningful social movement, there must be Organisation (in noun and verbal forms), Mobilization, Leadership, Initiative, Purpose, Politics and Autonomy, in what he tagged “The seven characteristics of movement”.

He explained that a movement needs an organisation (which gives the movement an identity) and organisation as a process, which is to bring interested people together as a body of like-minds. Mobilisation of active citizens must be done by leadership who provides the initiative drawn from a well-articulated and accepted purpose. The autonomy of the leadership (and by extension, the movement) is to ensure that the movement is not hijacked, coerced, intimidated or bought over by anti-progressive elements who are mostly part of the oppressive few.
Drawing an analogy from the recently organized #EndSars protest, and noted that the movement suffered an early aborted fate because it lacked some of the seven characteristics that would have caused it to endure and achieve the desired long-term goals
He insisted that playing at the gallery will not solve the problem rather a hardworking organization and building a strong movement with strong leadership by the youths and other oppressed segments of the society will bring the desired change and transformative governance in Nigeria.