The Voice of A Young Advocate in Celebration of World Contraception Day 2021✊

The Influencer, David Prince.

By Smith Nwokocha. Appreciating the effort of Rivers Media For Health and Family Planning!

Q1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is David Prince. I’m an Educational Psychologist/Counselor by training from the prestigious University of Port Harcourt. I’m also a Social Media Manager. I’m very passionate about reaching out to young people in the society, and this passion has led me to working and volunteering with various organizations such as the Royal Ambassadors, Smart Innovation Hub, Rivers Media for Health and Family Planning, to mention a few.

Q2. As a Young person, what is the place of the Youths in today’s Celebration (World Contraception Day ✊) and what is your take on Life Planning?

Life Planning is a responsible decision made by young unmarried persons about their sexual and reproductive health. This is also the development of essential life skills such as communication skills and  setting of goals. Life Planning empowers young people to realize their potentials and achieve life goals without the stress associated with unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

The population of the country and the world has been on the increase due to unplanned pregnancy and lack of life and family planning. It is important young persons learn to plan their lives, make healthy and responsible decisions such as making use of the various Contraceptive methods.

Q3. How do we Popularize the use of Contraceptive?

There has always been the use of  contraceptives, however, it has faced some major challenges due to the myths and misconceptions. Many young persons have suffered stigmatization, ridicule and shaming cause of their use of contraceptives. The use of contraceptives is a healthy and wise decision, and it should be encouraged amongst young persons to avoid the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections, unplanned pregnancies which lead to unsafe abortions.

The responsibility now is on parents, teachers, counselors, religious leaders, health personnels and other key stakeholders to encourage both the married and unmarried persons to take a family planning method. Adolescents should be taught about life and family planning in schools, hospitals, churches, mosques and other social groups. It shouldn’t be assumed they know it all. Also, parents should teach Sex-Ed from the age the child is able to understand, and this education continues all through to adulthood. Good thing, there is knowledge and information to be shared that suit all ages

The media is a powerful tool to drive social change. Messages on family planning should continually be broadcasted to sensitize people on the importance and benefits of life and family planning.

Q4. There is alot of talk about educating the Girl Child on the protection of their reproductive Rights, What role do you think the Male counterpart will play in today’s society?

Yeah. Men have an important role to play in protecting the rights of women and girls in the society.

Firstly, men have to take responsibility on the issue of family planning. Family Planning isn’t just for the woman, although women suffer the adverse effects of lack of it. Men should be educated and counselled on the benefits of family Planning and the various methods that can be adopted, such as the use of male condoms (a barrier method) and Vasectomy (which is permanent method for men). This way, there will be a mutual understanding between partners on the issue of Family Planning.

Secondly, men should let go of wrong and harmful ideas about their masculinity. For example, it is acceptable in some cultures and societies that it is right for a man to have multiple sexual partners and disregard their partners in decisions about their sexual and reproductive health. We have seen cases of women contacting STIs as a result of their partner’s multiple sexual affairs. This shouldn’t be the case! Men should show some responsibility and always discuss with their partners about planning their family; childbirth spacing and knowing the number of children to bear which they can adequately cater for.

Thirdly, men should be involved in parenting and support their partners in course of pregnancy and childbirth. Raising a child is an enormous responsibility and it shouldn’t be abandoned for the woman, as it is in some homes where men have left that responsibility believing it’s the job of the woman to nurture and care of the children. It is wrong and unadvisable. In protecting the rights of women, the place of love and support from the men can’t be overemphasized!

Fourthly, men should end violence against women. Gender-based violence come in forms such as domestic abuse, reproductive coercion, sexual assault, rape, economic control, sex trafficking, catcalling, harassment, and even child marriage. These are carried out to harm, disempower and terrify women. If men can take a stand against such evil and cruel practices, report criminal cases and teach/mentor young boys against such harmful practices, the rights of women will be protected.

Happy World Contraception Day!✊

Thank you so much for your attention!!

Commemorating World Contraception Day 2021✊

The Exquisite Noela Ugwu

By Smith Nwokocha: Special Appreciation to Rivers Media For Health and Family Planning… Keep the ball rolling!

In an Interview with Nigeria’s Finest and Exceptional Growth Coach and First Class Consultant (Noela Ugwu).

Q1. What’s your view about the use of Contraception, but before you respond, can you tell us about yourself dear ma’am?

Q1.
I am passionate about helping individuals and businesses achieve outstanding performance by developing a more result-oriented and adaptable work force. I am Noela Ugwu, also known as The Growth Coach.

The use of contraception is an idea that should be promoted everywhere among people of child-bearing age. The question now is which method is safer and why? I will go with Billings method (for married couples) because it has no side effects and complete abstinence for unmarried people who do not desire to have a child.

For a woman, contraception ensures that time is allowed between two pregnancies to enable the body heal. This is essential because tear and wear on the woman doesn’t end after pregnancy. The sleepless nights, baby friendly (which is strongly advocated) and the constant attention that a new born baby requires all take their toll on the woman physically, mentally and emotionally. She feels completely run down at the end of each day.

Also remember that many mums are either employed or self-employed so joggling a new born baby with one’s career is super demanding.

Q2. In your view, as a mother and coach of youngsters, what do you think are the benefits of Child Spacing/Life Planning?

Q2.
Child-spacing is beneficial to children because it gives the parents enough time to bond with the baby before another one comes.

Poor spacing means that parents might have many babies in diapers, all seeking equal attention, at the same time. This could affect child development.

This will help the mother to be more loving and less stressed. It helps provide a more peaceful home as both parents could have time to rest and enough time for each other.

Poor spacing means that parents are constantly exhausted since the babies are not independent enough to help out in any way. It’s worse when the couple cannot afford a nanny.

This arrangement also puts enourmous pressure on the family finance since baby food and supplies are usually more expensive than those for adults. Again, parents end up buying several of the same items at the same time which wouldn’t have been necessary if the children were spaced. Proper spacing enables the parents to reuse the same items like cots, toys, potty trainers etc. for subsequent babies

Babies that are well spaced are healthier since the mother’s body has enough time to gain back expended nutrients.

Q3. Do you have a word for those in place of authority or Policy makers with respect to advocacy on Contraceptive use?

Q3. My word for those in authority is that the advocacy for contraception, especially abstinence among unmarried people, should be amplified.

Q4. The theme for this year’s World Contraception Day is:
” IT’S YOUR LIFE, IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY.” What do you think about the theme?

4. This sounds good. Thank you.

Thank you so much ma’am for your time. Once again. Happy World Contraception Day ✊

The Outstanding Paralympian Wins Gold Medal 🏅 For Nigeria in Tokyo: Pleads For Endorsement and Support

Flora receiving Gold Medal 🏅, after her victory.

By: Smith Nwokocha

The Tokyo 2020 Paralympics that lasted from August 24th, 2021 to September 5th, 2021. It ended well for Nigeria.

Flora, shares her story with Port Harcourt Wakawaka Blog. Excerpt below:

MY JOURNEY TO TOKYO (FLORA U. EKUREDE)

My name is Flora Ugwunwa Ekurede, I’m a Paralympian. I’m one of the athletes that travelled to Tokyo Japan paralympic game. I’m a world record holder and I won a Gold medal in the just concluded paralympic games in Tokyo Japan. I’m from Ozubulu in Anambra state but I’m married to an Urhobo Delta State. The journey to Tokyo started from 2017, that’s immediately after Rio paralympic games 2016. In Rio paralympic games 2016, I won a Gold medal with a world record and that record is still standing till today. But we all know how our country Nigeria works, no endorsement, no adoption.

However, we didn’t go to any competition until 2019. Exactly 3yrs after the paralympic games and this affected everything about my team. We went to Tunis world para Athletics grand prix with four athletes for qualifying, with my performance there, I thought I qualified, but no I didn’t. I won 2 gold medals and a silver medal in Tunis yet I didn’t qualify in Tunis, that was June 2019 and that left me with no option, other than to go to Dubai World Championship in November 2019. I won a silver medal in the Dubai world championship and that was what I qualified with. I didn’t have a sponsor and that became a very big problem to me. This is because, I had several competitions to attend, there was no money for it. I nearly missed out of Tokyo paralympic games, but thank God for the Honourable Minister of Sport, Chief Sunday Dare who step in.

Flora celebrates her victory.

After 2019 championship, corona-virus affected everything, we didn’t go to any competition again, let alone training, because everywhere was locked and we couldn’t train. So the honourable minister organized a batch by batch two weeks camp training for the federations that appeared in the paralympic games in Tokyo Japan. This two weeks camp went a long way in shaping me after a long sit at home, caused by COVID-19. This camp was what assisted me in some of the championship, I attended this year 2021. After a wasted one year, because of COVID-19. Just before Tokyo, I travelled to Tunis again, that was in February 2021, where I won a Gold medal and a Bronze medal and Switzerland championship in May 2021 and I won three Gold medals there. And when I returned back to Nigeria, few days later, we were put in camp in Abuja for complete three months, here we intensify our training.

At the middle is Flora with her Coach

Edo State Government supported my training with some cash, which I used in arranging the multivitamins, that I used in training and feeding properly when I felt that the food served to me was too cool with me. In the camp, I broke my record severally which made me to have the confidence in me, that I’m going to reset my record in Tokyo Japan, but that didn’t happen. We left Nigeria to Kisarazu in Japan where we had a two weeks training, before the competition proper. This two weeks affected me drastically, the weather there was too harsh, coupled with my health condition which affected me the most. These are the factors that obstructed my setting of another record in Tokyo Japan. But I thank God almighty that all hope was not lost, because at some point I started crying, that things are not going as planned, but I forgot that God knows the best and what God cannot do does not exist. God saw me through all these, both my husband, my coaches, and my federation secretary played a vital role in all these. I’m using this opportunity to call on companies, individuals, good philanthropies in our country and beyond, to please come to my aid for adoption and endorsement, for this will make my journey to France 2023 much easier and perfect. I still remain your girl Flora Ugwunwa Ekurede.

Flora receives her Gold Medal 🏅

THE SUSO PROGRAMME FOR CHANGEMAKERS…Speak Out, StandOut (Call For ACTIVISTS)

By Smith Nwokocha

Speak Up, Stand Out! – The SUSO Program For Changemakers (Monthly Stipend and Travel).


Nigerian Youth SDGs Network, Afrika Youth Movement and Center For Youth Advocacy and Development is calling for applications for its inaugural Speak Up, Stand Out (SUSO) Program. The SUSO Program aims to empower young community based social changemakers and transformers with media and information literacy knowledge, grassroots mobilisation skills to participate meaningfully in the socio-political development of their communities and influencing policies that affect youth.
The project will empower 20 Activists with the knowledge, skills and resources to organise activism to challenge issues affecting youth, develop innovative ways to engage other young people and social actors to campaign and drive social change. Activists will receive monthly technical and financial support including mini-grants to create and implement a pilot project with 25 Advocates within 12 months.
Focus Areas
Education
Employment
Governance
Peace and Security

Why Apply?

● Training and Support on youth activism, youth mobilisation, media and information literacy, etc.

● Opportunity to lead a funded project with support and resources to help you achieve success

● Opportunity to achieve your dream of creating meaningful social change in Nigeria with a team of passionate young people

● Monthly stipend and opportunity to travel within Nigeria

Who Should Apply?


● We seek applications from young activists who would be available and willing to work hard building with other young people and engaging actively in the Program for 13 months. The Program cycle begins in October 2021 and ends in October 2022. An ideal fellow should fit the profile outlined below;

● Young man or woman between 18 and 35 years who are passionate about any of these thematic areas of the Program; Education, Employment, Governance, Peace and Security

● Applicants can be students, initiators of a socially focused organisation or freelancers, but must commit at least 20 hours per week to the Program.

● Applicants must be available to participate in the Program activities, including implementation of community projects within the duration of the Program.

● Applicants must show leadership potentials and work and interact with other young people across different cities.

● Applicants must be residents in any of these three Nigerian states; Abuja, Lagos or Enugu.

Click Here to Apply: https://bit.ly/CallForACTIVISTs
The SUSO Program is implemented under the Voice Global Nigeria Influencing Grants targeting organisations and networks to strengthen their lobby and advocacy capacities including to amplify the voice of marginalised and discriminated groups.
For more details, read more on the Speak Up, Stand Out! – The SUSO For Changemakers website
For Enquiries; Kindly send an email to suso@nigerianyouthsdgs.org

A Call For ACTIVISTS

DIGITAL IDENTITY STAKEHOLDERS ENGAGEMENT IN RIVERS STATE

Mr. Adeboye Adegoke of Paradigm Initiative sited next to Mrs. Uche Chigbo (Acting General Manager and Senior Special Assistant to DG NIMC) during her presentation

Smith Nwokocha Reports:

DIGITAL IDENTITY STAKEHOLDERS ENGAGEMENT.
Organized by: NIMC, PARADIGM INITIATIVES AND PIND FOUNDATION.

The event held at Visa Karena Hotel in Port Harcourt on the 27th July, 2021. At exactly 10:00am, the audience were sited and the key Organizers from Paradigm Initiatives staff including NIMC staff present introduced themselves. The event was moderated by Mr. Adeboye Adegoke and assisted by Khajidah El-Usman.

During the engagement proper, the NIMC Acting General Manager and Senior Special Assistant to the DG (Mrs. Uche Chigbo) took up the floor and did an excellent presentation that clarifys NIMC’s activities in Nigeria. She emphasized that; NIMC mandate, is centred around providing fundamental legal identity which includes Nigerians in diaspora. NIMC is an Agency of Government under the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.

NIMC is the provider of a secured means of authenticating the Digital Identity Tokens (NIN and Cards). Registration/Enrollment of every individual into the National Identity Database. Managing the Unique Identities of every individual living in Nigeria which includes legally foreign residents. Regulating the Nigerian Identity Sector.

NIMC FACTS AND FIGURES:
Commenced Identity Registration/Enrollment in year 2012. NIMC is for life, only the card gets expired. Enrollment for NIMC is free for first registration and a token is paid for renewal. The Enrollment is mandatory for everyone.

ENROLLMENT TARGET: Children, Adults, Diaspora, Foreign Legal Residents, Refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Undocumented People.

From left The Regional Coordinator NIMC, Acting General Manager/SSA to DG NIMC, CSO Rep, Rivers State Coordinator, CSO Rep, PHWAKAWAKA Blogger

CHALLENGES: Poor funding, Connectivity, Power, Consumables and Extortion.
Cyber Insecurity is also a challenge. One key solutions for power is for CSOs to go out of there way, approach/protest PHCN on why the creeping power supply. “Security is always a moving target, there’s nothing like proof”. We need to constantly move ahead and stay updated.

ECO-SYSTEM APPROACH: Licensing over three hundred (300+) partners to aid NIN registration. For every fifty thousand (50,000) person’s, there’s an enrollment centre. NIMC has deployed a technology driven system. NIMC is pushing for “National Data Protection Law”.

NIMC captures live biometric, so you have to go to be present at the enrollment centre.

NIMC is currently present in 22 countries where NIMC registration is done. NIMC collaborate with licensed Foreign Partners for enrollment.

NIMC Mobile App can be downloaded on Google play store, if you want your mobile ID on your phone. Strategic roadmap are all outlined in NIMC’s website (www.nimc.gov.ng).

Thank you.
Q&A.

Group Photograph

Port Harcourt Wakawaka
@National Identity Management Commission
@Paradigm Initiatives
@Foundation For Partnership Initiatives in Niger Delta.

#SECUREOURLIVES CAMPAIGN IN RIVERS STATE

Smith Nwokocha reports:

Today (28th July, 2021), Rivers State #SecureOurLives Campaign was amazing. The turn up was massive. Women and men from the rural communities were present and they shared there experiences of insecurities. The Coordinator in Rivers State (Mrs. Sylvia Briggs-Women Education Association of Nigeria) ) and Moderator ( Pst. Mrs. Ateli Nwankwo- Principal Women Education Centre) were well organized to see this through. The present of Press encouraged victims to speak up.

From left Pst. Mrs. Ateli Nwankwo (Principal Women Education Centre) and Mrs. Sylvia Briggs (The Coordinator of #SecureOurLives Rivers State and President Women Education Association of Nigeria)

The campaign started by 10:00am at Women Education Centre, Creek Road, Town Port Harcourt. With close to fifty (50) participants in attendance.

Some Women and men shared there experiences on “Sea Pirates”, blamed Government and Political Leaders including Traditional Rulers as part of the problem and emphasized that “Youth unemployment” is on the increase and has made most of the youths to carry arms which most times they received from Politicians during Elections. There is also in “Yahoo-Yahoo activities amongst Youths.

Cross section of Participants

Police brutality, Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, Rape and herdsmen are some of challenges and contributors of insecurities in Rivers State and Nigeria at large.

Suggested Solutions by some of the participants are; Parents should train their children, take good care of them, if they can’t take care of their children, they should take them to the government, instead of leaving them to become Robbers, Kidnappers among others. Government should gainfully employ the Youths by providing jobs.

A Participant sharing his thoughts

Security is everybody’s responsibilities, but the Government should do more to secure the lives of her citizens.

The Coordinator added that Solutions proffered will be noted ✍️ and addressed for a better security situation in the State. Prayers and then the campaign can to an end. It lasted for 2hours+ and all the experiences of participants at the event were captured.

Mrs. Sylvia Briggs Rivers State Coordinator of #SecureOurLives in an Interview session after the campaign

In an Interview session after the campaign, the Coordinator said ; “Documentation and brainstorming of the experiences of victims will be taken seriously”.
Secure Our Lives!

Group Photograph

YOUNG SGBV ADVOCATE’S VIEW ON LIFE PLANNING

MM

Just some few questions for you as an SGBV Advocate in Nigeria, Ghana and across the globe?  
Q1. Can we know a bit about you? My name is Okorite Membere, born and bred in Portharcourt before leaving for University in Accra, Ghana where I studied Business and Human Resource Management. During the course of my stay in Ghana , I worked for a Tech and innovation hub where I was introduced into advocacy against Gender Based Violence.
Q2. What is your view of *Life Planning* as a passionate Advocate? Life planning is essential in every home as it helps create a better future for every child.
Q3. Do you think Culture affects the promotion and access to *Life Planning* or *Child Birth Spacing*? Yes, it does. Culture has a way of putting pressure on the kind of decisions we make in life and family planning is one of them.
Q4. Do you think there is a Correlation between SGBV and *Life Planning* If yes, how can young people be encouraged to accept *LPAY (Life Planning For Youth and Adolescent)* ? Yes there is, sgbv increases the risk of unwanted pregnancies ,mental health issues and diseases. I encourage young people to SPEAK UP. They have to use their voices as a weapon to fight against this menace in our society.
Q5. Any Word for exceptional women adding value in our society, as we celebrate women month (*International Women’s Day)*? I advise that women should always keep on doing exploit as there’s so much in us the world is yet to see.
Q6. Who is your *Role Model*?My role model is a better version of myself I hope to become.

Thank you so much for your time.

ReplyForward

IN COMMEMORATING THE INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR ZERO TOLERANCE ON FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM) 2021: LIFE PLANNING, A PANACEA TO END FGM.

Lovina Ronami Inengite

Smith Nwokocha (@Phwakawaka Blog)

Just few questions for you as a passionate advocate to end FGM.

Q1. Can you tell us about yourself and the impact of your Advocacy on FGM?

Answer: My name is Lovina Ronami Inengite and my impact story of FGM through Advocacy is as follows:

  • I have made social media impact through radio presentation, coordinating interview with traditional ruler’s, in Calabar, tweet storm campaign on FGM
  • Providing psychosocial counseling to survivors
  • I have   established a smooth referral pathways between Community Based organization and Non-profit organization like Basic Rights counsel initiative, which focuses in fighting for the Rights of women and girls and against Gender Based violence and harmful practice’s.
  • I have also partner with a Youth led organization, Today for tomorrow foundation Basically in Youth sensitization in secondary schools.
  • Finally, I have worked with a team of passionate young individuals in educating and sensitizing women leader’s, youth leader’s in Calabar.

Q2. In your perspective, how do we position Life Planning otherwise known as Child-Birth Spacing in the mind of Young people and at the same advocate for the end of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)?

Answer: The following are reason(s) every young person should embrace life planning:

  • It helps them practice how to make decisions, setting goals on time through negotiations, learning refusal mostly in negative peer pressure.
  • It allows young persons to fully contribute to the development of society and the world at large through exploring their potentials.
  • It makes them take charge of their reproductive health needs which are priotized.
  • It will equip them with skills and resources to lead healthy reproductive lives as well as to grow and thrive in their careers.
  • It will prevent teenage pregnancy-related health complications like teenage pregnancy etc.
  • Finally, it makes young people develop biologically and move towards independence.

Effects of FGM

  • Oftentimes, Women bleed to death which makes the ladies to be scared of getting

married and having children

  • This practiced shows the manifestation of deeply entrenched gender inequality
  • The women that are subjected to FGM has their fundamental rights infringed.. that’s right to life.
  • Women are exposed to infection like tetanus from unsterilized or rusty tools used to cut
  • FGM can cause a life-time of serious health problems and pain. Example: Health problems include scarring, cysts, abscesses and other tissue damage, infertility and increased susceptibility to infection such as Tetanus, and even experience pain and difficulty during sexual intercourse.
  • FGM can cause life threatening child-birth complications
  • FGM can have lasting consequences for girl’s and women’s mental health.

Q3. Do you foresee any challenges in question 2, if yes, what are the possible solutions you can proffer as a young Advocate?

Answer: More Advocacy on FGM should be done focusing on the following:

  • Speaking out about the risks of realities of FGM, it’s effects and the fact that it has no medical benefits
  • Spread understanding that religion doesn’t demand FGM
  • Educate girls on their Right to decide what happens to their body.
  • Engage community members, working and build partnership with CBOs
  • Advocate more that there are no health benefits, only harm
  • Increase support of survivors through training and confidence building of survivors of FGM which enable them Advocate for a change in their communities.

Q4. In Celebrating International Day for Zero Tolerance on FGM, were you able to align discussion on FGM to Life Planning, if no, do you have plans to further spread the news of LPAY going forward?

Answer: No.

Yes I have plans to further create awareness of LPAY.

Thank you so much for your time!

Advocates for End of FGM

Life Planning : A Perspective of a Young Advocate in Rivers State.

Smith Nwokocha in an Interview with Miss Victory Mmeyene (Professional Nutritionist and Child Advocate):

Q1. Can you tell us about yourself?

In a nutshell, my name is Mmeyene Victory, I’m a professional Paediatric Nutritionist, a child Advocate and freelancer. I have a wide range of tech skills from graphics design, video editing, digital marketing (certified by Google) and for now my major is Freelance video and content creation.

Q2. Have you come across the word Life Planning or Child Birth Spacing?

Yes I have

Q3. Today, Lifestyle is part of what promotes the spread of unprotected sex, unwanted pregnancy among other factors; what is your view about Life Planning?

Life planning is central to gender equality and it is a key factor in reducing poverty especially among low income earners.

Q4. As an SDGs Advocate and SGBV voice for Young people, can you share an experience and ways to get more young people accept and live a culture of good Life Planning?

First of all, proper orientation on the significance of Life planning, helping people understand that it is the ability of individuals and couples to anticipate and attain their desired number of children and the spacing and timing of their births. Having this understanding we could be able to achieve SDG 1 (No Poverty). So as an advocate, proper sexuality education, also experts could give advice on subjects like STIs, human body, relationships, pregnancy, abortion, enlightenment in these areas are measures we could take to get more young people accept and live a culture of good Life planning.

Thank you so much for your time!

Miss Victory Mmeneye (Adding her voice to the progress of FP)

PRESS RELEASE:PARADIGM INITIATIVE ASK COURT TO STOP NCC FROM DISCONNECTING OVER 100 MILLION NIGERIANS

Press Release

PIN Asks Court to Stop NCC from Disconnecting Over 100 Million Nigerians

Paradigm Initiative has asked the court to restrain the Nigerian government and telecommunications service provider from carrying out a recent order requiring that all SIM cards not linked to the National Identity Numbers be disconnected by the telecoms service provider by December 30, 2021. The organisation decries the Nigerian government order requiring all telecommunication service providers to ask their subscribers to link their National Identification Numbers (NIN) to the SIM cards within two weeks. PIN says it is seeking a perpetual injunction restraining the government and the service providers from carrying out the draconian order as it believes it is a violation of fundamental rights to freedom of expression of Nigerian Citizens as guaranteed by Section 39 of the Nigerian 1999 constitution (As amended).

The proposed blocking of SIM cards not linked with the National Identity Number is unlawful and unconstitutional says Adeboye Adegoke, Senior Program Manager at Paradigm Initiative. “Many young people and others, using their mobile phones for expression or to do business online will be affected by the poorly thought-out policy. No reasonable Nigerian will support such a policy that is geared to make life unbearable for Nigerian citizens.

In June 2020, the Director-General of the NIMC, Aliyu Aziz said only 38% of Nigerians have any form of identification. According to him: “over 100 million Nigerians have no identity (ID). These include the poorest and the most vulnerable groups, such as the marginalised – women and girls, the less-educated people, migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, stateless persons, people with disabilities and people living in rural and remote areas.”

The said policy has created panic in the polity since it was announced. Nigeria at the moment is experiencing a 2nd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic according to the daily numbers from the Nigeria Centre for Defence Control (NCDC) in the past one week. “This is a time when we need to discourage public gatherings, crowding, and the likes, but it appears that the government is not sensitive enough to see those nuances and has asked that 100 million Nigerians should go and register for the National Identification Number within 2 weeks, so we are left with no choice but to seek the intervention of the court.”

“Requiring over 100 million Nigerian citizens to register for NIN in two weeks is not only unrealistic but a fire brigade approach to governance that will not bring any value to the people,” says Valery Nijaba, Communications officer at Paradigm Initiative. “Whatever the government is trying to achieve by the strange directive is ignoble. When the same government tried to compel students writing UTME examinations to register for the NIN as a pre-requisite to sitting for the examinations last year, many students couldn’t register, with documented cases of government officials and law enforcement officials weaponising the desperation of the students to register for NIN to extort them and their parents. The government was forced to walk back on the policy at that instance. These are the type of effects the fire-brigade approach to policymaking leads to. Valery concluded

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