Tuesday, 30 July 2013

#PolitrickswithKO Nigeria’s Anti gay bill : A victory for culture and religion or a human rights violation?

Coming Thursday on  #PolitrickswithKO  Nigeria’s Anti gay bill : A victory for culture and religion or a human rights violation?

Studio Guests

Yemisi Ilesanmi and Seun Kolade On Thursday 1st August 2013 Watch Live on BEN-TV UK Sky 182 in Nigeria via Star Time and On Line via www.bentelevision.com Phone in +442088080693 Send Questions via Twitter

Yemisi Ilesanmi is a Nigerian woman, who identifies as a Feminist, Bisexual and an Atheist. She holds a Masters of Law (LL.M) degree in Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights. She is a trade unionist, human rights activist, blogger, poet and author of the book 'Freedom To Love For ALL: Homosexuality is Not Un-African’.

Yemisi Ilesanmi has held many National and International positions, amongst which were:
National Women leader and Assistant National Secretary- Nigeria Labour Party.
Vice President- International Trade Union Congress (ITUC)
Chairperson- ITUC Youth Committee
International Labour Conference (ILC) Committee Member on Applications of Standards
Member- United Nations Youth Employment Network
Founder/President- National Association of Nigerian Female Students (NANFS)
She is the founder and coordinator of the campaign group Nigerian LGBTIs in Diaspora Against Anti-Same Sex Laws. The group has organized protests outside Nigerian embassy in London and New York to protest the Nigerian draconian ‘Jail the Gays’ bill passed and also to demand the repeal of all existing anti same sex laws in Nigeria. She also created an online petition against the bill.

Her debut book 'Freedom To Love For ALL: Homosexuality is Not Un-African'.

Seun Kolade is a Christian writer, citizen activist and development researcher with a passion for apologetics, social justice and contemporary issues affecting democracy and development in Nigeria and other African states. For more than 15 years he has been involved with various Christian groups raising consciousness on authentic spirituality and social issues in an increasingly toxic atmosphere of corruption and so-called ‘prosperity’ Gospel.  He is the author of the booklet “Let Justice Flow”, and has published several articles in magazines, newspapers and online journals, including NEXT, Baptist Times and Sahara Reporters.

Kolade is the convener and chairman of Oyo Global Forum, a global network of professionals engaging the grass root and political representatives to promote development, as well as accountability and transparency in governance in Oyo state and Nigeria at large.

Seun Kolade holds Bachelor and Masters of Science degrees in Civil Engineering and a post graduate teaching certificate in Higher Education. He is a fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and a member of Development Studies Association, and he is based in London, where he is currently undertaking a doctoral programme in Development Studies at the London South Bank University.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

I wish I could Fly! Kayode Ogundamisi

I was on the "prince of Paris", deep in thoughts, taking stocks, looking back on life, something about the Sea, 'she' purifies your thought process, you speak truth to yourself. ....suddenly a voice told me I've got company, gazing up I saw my new aqiunatnces, I brought out my phone could not believe the 'peaceful friends' click! click! click! I snapped them, took the camera away, tried to count, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7... I stopped counting just happy at the arrival of my new friends, flying so close over me, free birds, flying, diving, swerving, gliding, choosing a path, several paths, then suddenly changing route, I then wish I could join my new friends, wish I could fly, be free, chose my path and change my path within seconds. Kayode Ogundamisi (Photo on the 'Prince of Paris-Channel Crossing Dover-Calais 27th July 2013)

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Wed 24th July 2013! Gov Amaechi live on #POLItrickswithko on BEN-TV-UK watch on line www.bentelevision.com

Meet the Egghead on POLI-tricks with Kayode Ogundamisi on BEN-TV Thursday 25th July 2013 from 8-9PM

O’Seun Odewale is a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University where he is conducting research on how new technology has impacted open societies and the politics of control associated with innovative adoption of technology to governance in Africa. Odewale has been part of West Africa's social media actions influencing human rights, development research, governance and human security issues. He's best known as a citizen journalist influencing media practice and electoral transitions in the sub-continent. He has degrees in engineering, natural science and security sector governance. He has worked variously with regional institutions like the West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), the West African Bar Association (WABA) and the Economic Community of West African States as Programme Officer (Youth), Programme Officer (Governance and Human Rights) and Research Assistant (Disaster Risks Reduction) respectively. His research experiences spanning the academic and development sectors cover both the natural and social sciences. In the development sector his focus areas include human rights, governance and political processes, regional integration and human security (security sector governance and architecture). He has seven years of field experiences in Elections Observations and Monitoring in twelve member states of ECOWAS and other parts of Africa, UNOWA youth employment mapping in West Africa and inclusion of young people in processes for attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) under the United Nations Millennium Campaign African office situated in Nairobi.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Predict Nigeria's Future At Your Own Risk...... Kayode Ogundamisi

Any social scientist, "expert", risk analyst predicting Nigeria's future needs to check into a mental health institution. Nigeria defies all odds & extremely unique, it is one country that makes a mess of Newton's law of universal gravitation.

Events that would lead other humans into a spontaneous revolution lead Nigerians into ingenuity, issues that would pass by in other countries as a joke or comedy will become a National crisis, With frenzied bigotry, primordial attacks and even declaration of war.

So predicting that Nigeria will fall or not fall apart is simply a waste of analytical thinking, the best any analyst can say is, 'let us wait and see, wait for the other surprise that would come out of Nigeria'

One prediction you can always get right about Nigeria and Nigerians is that, if pushed into the wall with extremely oppressive policy, Nigerians will BREAK THE WALL and look for another means of survival. Some call it resilience, others call it timidity.

Saturday, 20 July 2013


Petition from Nigerians concerned about the implications of not removing Section 29(4)(b) from the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
July 20 2013
Senator David Mark
Senate President
National Assembly Complex
Senator Helen Esuene
Chairperson, Senate Committee on Women
National Assembly Complex
Sen. Umaru Dahiru
Chairperson, Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights
National Assembly Complex
Hon. Aminu Tambuwal
Speaker, House of Representatives
National Assembly Complex
It is with great concern that the undersigned individuals and organizations write on the Senate’s refusal to delete Section 29(4)(b) of the 1999 Constitution. Renouncing the citizenship of Nigeria is not something we should take lightly and having a provision which trivializes the citizenship of females has troubling ramifications for the human rights of women for generations to come.
Regrettably, this issue about citizenship has been framed to distract from the essence of Section 29 which is to prescribe the procedure for Nigerians who wish to renounce their citizenship. S 29(4)(a) defines the character of a Nigerian who is capable of denouncing citizenship and clearly states that such person must be of full age - 18 years and above, which is in line with the Child Rights Act 2003 and the globally accepted understanding of the age at which humans attain adulthood. We thus join Gender and Constitutional Reform Network and other Nigerians in arguing that S 29(4)(b) not only contradicts, S 29 (4)(a) and can cause misrepresentation in law and practice but it is discriminatory because citizenship is gender neutral and Nigeria should not have a provision on citizenship that applies only to females.
The current deliberations on constitutional review provide us with the perfect opportunity to strengthen our social contract, so that with every law that is passed, we as Nigerians are making a statement on the kind of country that we wish to be. The Senate and the National Assembly will be continuing an injustice against Nigerian women and girls by keeping S 29(4)(b) which allows for loopholes within which Nigeria can continue to discriminate against half the population.
We, the undersigned, urge our lawmakers and representatives in the National Assembly to address the following:
1.                   The Senate leadership must address the rules of procedure which resulted in a recount of the votes after 75 Senators had already voted in favour of correcting the contradiction between Sec 29(4)(a) and Section 29(4)(b) and ending the discriminatory provision which attempts to classify the citizenship of some Nigerians as different from the citizenship of other Nigerians. 
2.                   The Senate vote on the deletion of Section 29(4)(b) must be revisited taking into consideration the ill-considered frame used to request for another vote. The issue hinges on the seriousness with which Nigerians take their citizenship rights and the acknowledgement that if persons are not old enough to legally vote and drive then they are not old enough to renounce their citizenship.
3.                   The National Assembly must expunge Section 29(4)(b) from the Constitution because:
a.       it is in direct conflict not only with Section 29(4)(a) but also with general principles of non-discrimination within the Constitution and
b.      it implies the legitimatization of thrusting on minors the obligations of adulthood.
4.            The concerns of many Nigerians that there is need for a referendum on the proposed amendments to the Constitution to ensure that there is transparency and clarity in the process. Nigerians need the assurance that the amendments are what they requested and advocated for that the amended Constitution will reflect the aspirations of majority of Nigerians for a more accountable and responsive government.

Much Ado About Child Marriage and A CACKLE OF HYENAS By Egghead Odewale


Senator Ike Ekwerenmadu-led Senate’s Constitution Review Committee, in one of its numerous recommendations, proposed the deletion of Section 29, Subsection 4b of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). The vote, which had already been taken and carried by the required two-thirds members of the Senate (75 of 109), had to be revisited when Ahmed Sani Yerima (ANPP-Zamfara West) invoked a point of order citing Item 61 of Part 1 of the Second Schedule of the Constitution. Even though he was initially ruled out of order, the Senate President, “considering the controversial nature of the clause”, acquiesced to the call for a re-vote.

I reproduce the whole of Section 29 of the Constitution hereunder:

29. (1) Any citizen of Nigeria of full age who wishes to renounce his Nigerian citizenship shall make a declaration in the prescribed manner for the renunciation.
(2) The President shall cause the declaration made under subsection (1) of this section to be registered and upon such registration, the person who made the declaration shall cease to be a citizen of Nigeria.
(3) The President may withhold the registration of any declaration made under subsection (1) of this section if-
(a) the declaration is made during any war in which Nigeria is physically involved; or
(b) in his opinion, it is otherwise contrary to public policy.
(4) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section.
(a) "full age" means the age of eighteen years and above;
(b) any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age.

and item 61, Part 1 of the Second Schedule under the Exclusive List which gives the National Assembly the Legislative Powers to consider:
61. The formation, annulment and dissolution of marriages other than marriages under Islamic law and Customary law including matrimonial causes relating thereto.

It is instructive to note that Section 29 falls under Chapter III of the Constitution in which the entire Chapter is devoted mainly to citizenship of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and all matters related thereto. Of all the eight sections under this Chapter (S25-32), Section 29 is devoted solely to renunciation of citizenship. Evidently, one cannot renounce what s/he does not previously have; hence the section appertains only to those who previously hold Nigerian citizenship. From the foregoing Section 29 as presented above, S29(4)b which was proposed for deletion had existed since the commencement of the Constitution on May 29th, 1999 and has operated without prejudice to any other provision(s) in the Constitution. For emphasis, this subsection is provided only as a proviso to S29(1) on which categories of citizens are eligible to renounce their citizenship.

To my mind, this subsection of the Constitution is highly discriminatory and gender bias but against the male gender. Notwithstanding, the provision is clear about whose right(s) are further strengthened under this clause. A man (married or not) and a woman (not married) have to be 18 years and above before they are eligible or able to renounce their citizenship of Nigeria, even if prior to this age they feel a compulsion to do so, the Constitution bars them from jettisoning their “Nigerianness”. I dare say that in the face of the multitudes of adversity confronting Nigerians daily and the pervasive discontent within the polity, a good number of Nigerians, given the free chance, would renounce their citizenship well ahead of this age whether or not it is a wise decision to make.

In addition, the provision went further to single out women who have additional rights by virtue of their marriage. I believe it is the contemplation of the drafters of our Constitution to ensure that a woman having been married can elect to abandon her Nigerian citizenship, given for instance, that she has been married to a non-Nigerian. Of course, this is not to preclude women who marry Nigerians but feel the urge to acquire citizenship of a different country and certainly, the clause was clear enough as to refer specifically as ancillary to the earlier provision of S29(1) which in my thinking is without prejudice to any other section/clause of contained therein in the Constitution. I suppose also that the spirit behind subsection 4b is that you are first a first a Nigerian, then a woman under 18, then married and now seek to renounce your citizenship.

I do not think that S29 in whole or in part sets out to consummate, annul or dissolve any marriage or matrimonial cause(s) before a woman is 18 years of age as had been variously peddled and which has triggered wide protests and signature collections. I perfectly understand if Nigerians feel the need to champion a cause for the girl child and to protect their rights but to associate that with the retention or deletion of S29(4)b is a deliberate, willful but puerile misrepresentation of the Senate proceedings of last Tuesday.

If there is any iota of support I give to the numerous calls for the protest gatherings across the country to call attention to the desperate situation of child brides and to bring same to a halt in Nigeria, it will be in continuation of my 2010 opposition to Senator Ahmed Yerima’s marriage to his 17-year-old Egyptian wife (14-year-old as she then was) and not because he has moved the motion to keep subsection 29(4)b in the Constitution which, in my considered opinion, has absolutely no relation to whether or not a girl child should be married of as a minor. To think that this provision is not even beneficial to Yerima’s wife makes the entire episode misplaced.

Now, anyone who is truly interested in the situation of the girl child will delve into a potpourri of extant laws which legally defines what a marriage is in the Nigerian context. Besides, to imagine that a Federal Constitution for Nigeria will busy itself with such mundane issues as marriage comes as laughable as pedantic as it is. The applicable relevant laws on the rights of all children vis-à-vis marital causes include Child Rights Act 2003, Matrimonial Causes Act 1990, Marriage Act 1990, Marriage (Validation) Act 1990, Criminal Code (Southern Sates) Act 1990, and Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act 1990.

Imperfect as the Constitution of the Federal Republic might be, it has far-reaching provisions that have been inserted to safeguard the rights and privileges of ALL Nigerians. For instance, Section 39(2) prohibits discrimination with respect to all citizens, including children. According to Section 15(2), national integration shall be actively encouraged, whilst discrimination on the grounds of place of origin, sex, religion, status, ethnic or linguistic association or ties shall be prohibited. Section 17(3) also mandates the government (federal of state) to direct its policies towards ensuring that all citizens, without discrimination on any group whatsoever, have the opportunity for securing adequate means of livelihood as well as adequate opportunity to secure suitable employment. Section 42(1) stipulates that a citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person (a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or  (b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions. (2) No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his/her birth.

Essentially, there are sufficient provisions in the Constitution as well as a cocktail of supportive laws, which aim at protecting the rights of Nigerian children. Perhaps, these laws have not been duly implemented, or even invoked, to safeguard the lives of vulnerable Nigerians. I am sure there are sufficient citations in the various law libraries dotting the landscape espousing the justiceability of Chapters III and IV of the Constitution, but willful naivety is rife let alone to call attention to respect and implementation of these provisions at different tiers of society.

Still, there are gaps in these laws that have been explored by the Yerimas of this world. Evidently, there is not much to show for the actual enjoyment of the principle of non-discrimination by children. Children belonging to vulnerable groups, including girls, children living in poverty, children born out of wedlock, children with disabilities, children of outcasts and children from minority groups continue to face serious and widespread discrimination. To date, only 24 of the 36 states have domesticated the Child’s Rights Act passed in September 2003.

Interestingly, the federal Child’s Rights Act of 2003 defines a child as one who is below the age of eighteen years (Section 277, CRA 2003). However due to the federal outlook of Nigeria, state to state have their own definition of a child. As a federal entity, Nigeria does not have a uniform definition of a child. The available definitions differ and depending on the purpose for which the definition is required. As a result, the laws affecting children are scattered in different legislations. The 1999 Constitution, for instance, provides that a person can vote at 18 years of age but cannot stand for election. The Matrimonial Causes Act puts the age of maturity at 21, whereas the Immigration Act stipulates that any person below 16 years is a minor, while for the purpose of criminal responsibility, the Criminal Code provides for ages 7 to 12.

The Nigerian Marriage Act (LFN 1990 Cap 218) merely provides that parental consent is necessary for the statutory marriage of a person under the age of 21 years. Albeit, if a marriage takes place without such parental consent, the marriage does not become null and void but remains valid. The Matrimonial Causes Act (LFN 1990 Cap 220) does not help either. It only provides in Section 3 that for a marriage to be valid under the Marriage Act, the child must be of marriageable age but specifies no particular age.

The age of marriage is a highly controversial issue varying among the States. In northwest and north-central Nigeria, the age of marriage is set at 14. In the northeastern part, the age of marriage is between the second and third menstruation, while in the southern states it varies from 16 to 18 years of age. The age of sexual consent is 18 in most states (Sections 30, 31 & 32, L.F.N 2003, Cap C50). In the west zone, the age of marriage varies from 16 to 19 years, nonetheless the Child’s Rights Act par Section 31(3)(a)&(b) gave the age of sexual consent as 18 when it averred that “when a person is charged with an offence under this section, it is immaterial that (a) the offender believed the person to be of or above the age of 18 years; or (b) the sexual intercourse was with the consent of the child.

To wit, the instruments to challenge is not S29(4)b and the institution to confront is definitely not the Senate nor a certified deviant like Yerima. The Constitution is unwieldy enough and I even advocate that we prune down on all “non-essential” provisions therein. Why for instance should a solemn Constitution or a serious national parliament of a federal state busy itself with such issues as the marriage union? Those who have energy and have called for protests – and I commend them – should direct their passions at the various laws applicable in the states because I cannot see our Constitution (the Grundnorm) attending to all such issues as early marriage. You have to be married first before S29(4)b can become applicable to you. There are sufficient extant laws that will continue to guarantee the marriage or betrothal of young girls, even if S29(4)b were to be torn from the Constitutional pages.  Will a properly constituted law court grant a child marriage based on the provision of (4)b? I do not think so. Egghead Odewale 

Thursday, 11 July 2013


POLI-tricks with Kayode Ogundamisi is a weekly no holds barred phone in program sampling opinions on socio political issues and human development as relates to Nigeria, Africa and the world.  It features interviews, debates, a sweep of trending topics on social media and analysis presented by Kayode Ogundamisi, blogger and analyst on Nigerian and Global issues.

Watch us on Ben TV every Thursday 8pm - 9pm (UK TIME) on the following platforms:
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Join us on air via
Phone in +442088080693
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Email us at: politicswithko@gmail.com

Join Poli-tricks with KO on BEN-TV for no holds barred discussions on matters that affect your world.

Friday, 5 July 2013

President Goodluck Jonathan's PALONGO dance on Lagos-Ibadan-Sagamu Expressway a Charade. Raheem Ajayi

President Jonathan must be joking if he thinks what happened today at Sagamu, where he purportedly performed "turning of sod" for the reconstruction of Lagos/Ibadan road (only God knows where in the World that is done) is anything spectacular. With fun fare, drums and pageantry, President Jonathan cut a tape to mark the commencement of reconstruction of a two lane dual carriage road. From Lagos to Sagamu, only a single lane is added making it three lanes. But from Sagamu to Ibadan, no additional lanes just resurfacing. Why did he have to insult our collective sensibility? This is the busiest road in Africa with average of 250,000 cars passing through that road per day. With the amount of lives that perish on that road day in day out and the kind of manpower hours lost, one would have expected the President to be more sensitive by making sure it's expanded to about six lanes on either side.

Jonathan's late boss, President Umar Musa Yar'Adua awarded 16-lane Abuja Airport road without any noise. The only time official function was performed on this road was when it was commissioned for use in 1978 by President Olusegun Obasanjo. No ceremony whatsoever when it was awarded. I haven't seen Jonathan supervise a party to signal construction of any road in any part of the Country, not even in his home zone , South south, but he derived pleasure in gathering our Obas, chiefs and political class to clap for him because he has just approved a contract to do a road that has killed many Nigerians irrespective of tribes. Why did he have to do this in Yoruba land? Why did he have to play race card? People that have lost their lives on this road are not just Yoruba! The people that have lost their lives are from all parts of the country, statistics have shown. If this is to curry support of the people for the forthcoming elections this has fallen flat. Those that I saw dancing and praising him as shown on AIT may support him but Nigerians are not fooled.

Raheem Ajayi