First Lady of Nigeria, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, and top women in Africa have called for the inclusion of more women in peace and security processes in Africa to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) 5 on women empowerment.
Aisha Buhari made the call at a Stakeholders’ Luncheon in New York on “Accelerating women, Peace and Security in Africa within the SDGs Agenda”.
The Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event was organised by the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) on the margins of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly.
Buhari, represented by Mrs. Mairo Al-Makura, Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on African First Ladies Peace Mission, said women needed to be empowered to achieve sustainable peace in the continent.
“Women can achieve incredible change, conflict transformation and sustainable peace if we continue supporting and advocating for more inclusion and participation of women,” she said.
She advocated for more inclusion of women, in particular, young women as equal partners in society with leadership and decision-making roles in Africa and across the globe.
The wife of the President of Nigeria said as we learned to live and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we should not relent in pushing forward the accelerator of the Women Peace Security (WPS).
She emphasized pushing for the accelerator of WPS and the SDGs agenda to improve the lives of women and young girls that would benefit us all.
According to her, the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Women Affairs has developed the National Action Plan (NAP) to guide activities in the area of Women, Peace and Security.
“The NAP seeks to strengthen women’s leadership, advance gender equality and improve the protection of women and children in conflict settings.
“These protocols, instruments, and laws show that Africa is positively responding to the challenges facing women in the continent.’’
Similarly, the First Lady of The Gambia, Mrs Fatoumatu Barrow, said the theme of the event resonated with The Gambia women, calling attention to the critical nexus between gender equality, human rights, peace, conflict, and development.
UNGA 76: Aisha Buhari, Others Want Women Included In Peace, Security
Fatoumatu also called on the international community, the UN, and African governments to expand and equally prioritise more meaningful participation of women in peacebuilding, conflict prevention, security and sustainable development.
“This will include women political leaders, women-oriented Civil Society Organisations and international development agencies, women leaders and organizations, down women in the homes,” she said.
“We must ramp up sensitization efforts to ensure that every woman, including those in the rural areas, where the overwhelming majority of African women live, understands the meaning of the SDGs and her roles and rights towards the realization of Agenda 2030.
“Only such mass participatory approach can guarantee a poverty-free, secure, peaceful, and prosperous African continent by 2030,’’ she said.
Also speaking, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama said the inclusion of women in peace processes would increase inclusivity and hastens the processes of conflict resolutions.
Onyeama, represented by Amb. Abiodun Adejola, Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Geneva, said peace-making strategies that included women were more likely to generate ownership and last longer on our actions regarding shared challenges.
According to him, in the face of persistent and complex violent conflicts and rising backlash against women’s rights in Africa, it is pertinent that our continent steps up efforts and bolsters solidarity.
“We should put actions in motion to take more seriously the need to accelerate the full inclusion of women in peace and security on the continent, especially if we must achieve the SDGs and the Agenda 2063.’’
In her remarks, Mrs Mairo Al-Makura said achieving peace and security through a gender lens approach remained a critical challenge for many communities in our member countries.
“We are doing everything in our power to reach out to those affected by war and violence with programs that have proven to be successful.
“From our work in the Sahel, to where we have provided humanitarian support to countries that have been affected by violence and terrorism,’’ she said.
The former first lady of Nasarawa state said AFLPM was planning workshops and strategic dialogues across some countries to amplify the role of women leaders in peace and security.
“We are aware that the key element of sustaining progress on women’s peace and security has been through partnerships.
“It is in this context that the AFLPM seeks to engage as many partners as possible so we can make a significant impact on the advancement of the women, peace and security agenda, gender equality, and broader SDG goals on the African continent,’’ she said.
The high point of the event was the presentation of an award to Bah-Barrowo by Al-Makura for her contributions to women’s empowerment in the Gambia and Africa.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on SDGs, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, and the Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Amb. Lot Egopija, represented by Amb. Nicholas Ella, among others, attended the event.
NSCDC Deploys 20,000 Personnel For Anambra Election
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has deployed 20,000 personnel to provide security for the November. 6 governorship election in Anambra.
Those to be deployed include personnel in the NSCDC Arms Squad Unit, Counter-Terrorism Unit and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Unit.
NSCDC Commandant-General, Dr Ahmed Audi, said this on Thursday in Abuja while delivering a keynote address at a three-day Train-the-Trainers Capacity Building and Electoral Workshop, ahead of the Anambra poll.
Audi said that the special forces would be drafted to key areas in the state where they would be saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property.
“They will also see to the protection of sensitive and non-sensitive election materials, INEC officials and all critical assets against vandalism, damage or arsonist attacks,” he said.
He said that NSCDC, in collaboration with other security agencies, had developed strategies to checkmate any act of electoral violence and other nefarious activities capable of undermining the electoral process.
The commandant-general further said that the deployed personnel would ensure effective monitoring before, during and after the election.
Audi also said that the personnel would be drafted from the NSCDC commands in all the states in the South-South and South-East zones.
“In addition, personnel from Kogi, Ekiti, Ondo, and Benue have been placed on standby, in case there is the need for reinforcement,” he said.
The NSCDC boss warned the officers to strictly adhere to the ethics of the corps and comply with the law in the discharge of their duties.
“Let me warn, and I mean it, that any conduct of an officer of NSCDC that undermines the rule of law will be seriously dealt with, in accordance with the public service rule,” he added.
Stakeholders Call On NERC, EEDC To Scale Up Performance In S’East
Stakeholders in the electricity industry in the South-East have charged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to scale up their performances.
The people gave the charge on Thursday in Enugu at a NERC Stakeholders’ Engagement on Consultation on the Review of Customer Protection Regulations.
They described the periodic review of the regulations after five years as worthwhile.
They, however, said the practical implementation of the regulations, especially concerning the treatment of customers’ complaints, was of greater importance than the proposed review.
An electricity consumer, Mr Joshua Itumo, said the period between the supply of bills and disconnection of defaulting customers “must be reviewed to meet present realities and hardship customers face to get the money to pay their bills.
“The review also has to include that those enforcing disconnection must do it with human face and listen when superior argument or evidence of payment is presented,” Itumo said.A landlord in Trans Ekulu, Enugu, Mr Ifeanyichukwu Okorie, urged NERC and EEDC to clearly state the amount, which when accumulated by a tenant, must be paid before he or she parks out.
Okorie said: “It is not palatable that someone will park into a new apartment and inherit over N500,000 as electricity liability.
“Where does he start as a new tenant to off-set such a huge bill?”
Mr David Emeson, who lives at Agui Road, Enugu, said it was better to ensure the existing regulations were implemented to the latter than have a review that could not be implemented.
“We are not lacking good regulations. The problem is that NERC and EEDC most times fail to carry out what the regulations say and leave customers to their fate,’’ Emeson said.
Earlier, Prof. Frank Okafor, the Commissioner in charge of Engineering and Performance Monitoring in NERC, said the review had become necessary after five years in order to accommodate new ways of doing things, technology and other innovations.
Okafor said the review was not to witch-hunt any stakeholder but ensure more efficient and robust regulations to the benefit of electricity consumers.
“We are looking for ways to ensure more proactive and fast-result oriented ways of attending to customers’ complaints and using technological devices to do this, since NERC cannot be everywhere,” he said.
He said it was difficult for NERC to be proactive due to limited manpower, pointing out that the commission had only 150 staff members nationwide.
Responding, the Managing Director of EEDC, Mr Chorghade Praveen, assured the customers that the company was eager to resolve their complaints in good time, “just as we have recorded noticeable improvement in power supply across our network”.
Praveen also said the company was designing some technological innovations for complaints to be reported and solved within few hours of the report, where possible.
“We are working to improve our customers’ experience just as we have improved in the rate and quality of power supply throughout our franchise area.
“EEDC is moving from customers’ satisfaction to customers’ affection in order to allow our esteemed customers the best quality of service and care so far.
“All the complaints raised here and others to come, I assure you will be treated with dispatch,” he said.
Exploit Technology To Promote National Security, NSA Tasks Military, Others
The National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, has urged the armed forces of Nigeria and other security agencies to exploit more of cyber technology in their quest to safeguard national security.
Monguno, made the call at the Defence Space Administration (DSA) Cyber Security Awareness Day 2021 with the theme, “Developing Cyber Capabilities for the Enhancement of Armed Forces of Nigeria Operations and National Security” on Thursday, in Abuja.
The NSA was represented by the Director, Policy and Strategy, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Amb. Aminu Lawal.
He said that Nigeria, like several other countries across the globe was currently witnessing a surge in digital transformation with many new activities migrating to the Internet especially with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic.
NSA stated that Nigeria’s cyberspace had become a centre stage for new business innovations, governance and social interactions.
He said that the trend had created an opportunity for government to redefine its national objectives and address some of the major developmental challenges currently facing the country, including the emergence of new forms of criminality and terrorism perpetrated through the cyberspace.
According to him, the transformation is a vital priority for the armed forces and security agencies because of the enormous benefits they stand to derive from the cyberspace.
“It is pertinent to note that digital transformation in the armed forces is no longer about innovation but is considered as culture because of the exponential rates of accepting technology and its dynamism.
“The use of the cyberspace is increasingly impacting almost every aspect of our lives as a country and armed forces of the world exploit its benefits to transform their economies and operations.
“Also, the cyberspace is fast evolving, creating technologies, dismantling barriers to commerce, security and allowing seamless communication across borders for people to collaborate and share information,” he said.
Monguno said that cyberspace had been regarded as the fifth domain and newest theatre of warfare after land, sea, air and space, adding that conflicts in cyberwar were rarely military-on-military because of its borderless nature.
He, however, said there was need for the military through DSA in collaboration with ONSA to consolidate and redouble efforts for a more resilient infrastructure, enhanced capacity against cyberattacks and sustainable service delivery.
He commended DSA for organising the event to discuss ways to create opportunities from the nation’s cyber space for economic and operational planning.
Earlier, the Chief of Defence Space Administration (CDSA), Rear Adm. William Kayoda, said that DSA had entrenched the value of space to support the operations of the armed forces, especially on how space systems infrastructure would apply to national critical functions.
Kayoda said the Administration had continued to provide resilient cyber security solutions in the protection of Nigeria’s cyber space.
He said such were, especially, in the regulation, monitoring, vulnerabilities penetration assessment, testing and mitigation exercise to safeguard military and other security agencies’ websites and servers.
He added that DSA also followed the trends and ensure cybersecurity maturity model certification were sustained in the understanding of latest requirements.
According to him, the global re-occurring supply chain attacks that are very destructive, especially malware and ransomwares attacks, call for adherence to developing and sustaining basic cyber security hygiene.
“Thus, the issue of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFAs), passwords, decryption and other key management real world physical access control mitigation for supply chain security are very essential.
“In the Nigeria security perimeters, Multi-Factor Authentication, system control, hygiene culture, training, enforcement, segmentation, control of routine networks, physical access at all times, collaborations, end source investigation amongst others in line with global best practices must be our priority.
“This is very relevant as trust model for all devices has revealed the need for zero trust for machines due to vulnerabilities.
“Adherence to procedures, monitoring, reporting and policy compliance and enforcement devoid of complacency by cyber analyst, Network administration and other end users is important,” he said.
The CDSA disclosed that the cybersecurity awareness month was organised to increase sensitisation efforts on models to mitigate cyber threats and build national cyber resilience to shape cyber security standard, particularly information sharing and identifying critical solutions for implementation at all government levels.
In his goodwill message, the Ministry of Defence, retired Maj -Gen. Bashir Magashi, commended DSA on its unrelenting efforts towards creating a robust indigenous space competence capable of producing and utilising space assets to meet the operational requirements of the Nigerian armed forces.
Magashi said the awareness week was a critical step in addressing increasing cyberattacks on businesses and even the military.
He said that creating awareness of this menace was imperative especially with the drive for global connectivity, usage, recent launch of the e-naira by Mr. President and prevalence of more sophisticated cyber security attacks.
“No doubt, this exercise if sustained will go a long way in curbing new cyber threats and promote the proper use of the social media.
“On this note, I urge the participants to take full advantage of this Workshop and wish the DSA well in the pursuit of its mandate,” he said.
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