COVID-19: Irregular migrants face great Lagos

COVID-19: Irregular migrants face greater risks - Group

Thousands of irregular migrants are facing severe humanitarian conditions, due to the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic, said the Migrant Project.

Over 300 migrants are stranded on the Mediterranean sea, after several European countries shut their ports against migrants in a bid to curtail the spread of coronavirus, said the group in a statement issued on Wednesday.

According to the group, thousands of Europe-bound irregular migrants from Africa are stranded in transit countries like Niger, Algeria and Libya living in unhealthy and overcrowded spaces without food, water and basic hygiene.

"The reality of the global pandemic leaves both regular and irregular migrants stranded, however, the burden is heavier on irregular migrants, especially those en route," said Tayo Elegbede, Media Lead, The Migrant Project.

He noted that migrants who had embarked on irregular journeys before the COVID-19 era are trapped in appalling conditions in unpleasant locations with no hope in sight given the limited humanitarian interventions for irregular migrants.

Elegbede expressed concern that the pandemic will lead to gross desperation to migrate irregularly due to the economic and social impact of the virus. The desperation, according to him, will lead to a rise in criminal acts, human smuggling, trafficking of persons and exploitation.

"COVID-19 has changed everything, migration inclusive. Countries have and will continue to redefine migration policies and pacts. Online and offline, criminal networks will devise and present new statics to swindle, smuggle and traffick unsuspecting potential migrants, particularly, the desperate ones. Hence, we urge Nigerians to be cautious of their migration decisions at the moment and post COVID-19," Elegbede said.

The Migrant Project (TMP) is an awareness-raising campaign focusing on irregular migration in Nigeria. Launched in March 2018, the aim of the campaign is to raise awareness and fill information gaps among the Nigerian population in order to enable Nigerians to make informed decisions about the risks and realities of irregular migration.
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Other News Isaac Olamikan

Murder of NBA member in Benin: Principal suspects give conflicting accounts

A mild drama ensued today, Monday, June 8, 2020, at the Edo State Police Command headquarters in Benin City as two principal suspects in the abduction and murder of a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Benin branch, Barrister Omon Iyoha Osobase, were being paraded before newsmen.

The duo, Osasu Osadolor and Emmanuel David, gave a different version of who murdered the lawyer. While Osasu claimed that the whole thing was a mistake resulting from 'two fighting' when Emmanuel hit the lawyer on the head with a plank, Emmanuel denied it saying that he was not the one who killed the lawyer.

Emmanuel insisted that he only learnt of the lawyer's death while in police custody after his arrest some days later.

Meanwhile, while parading the suspects made up of kidnappers, murderers and armed robbers amongst many others, the new Commissioner of Police in the state, Johnson Babatunde Kokumo, promised to make the state safe for law-abiding citizens, adding that he would build on the successes recorded by his predecessor and ensure policing of the state with integrity.

"We will encourage community participation in policing in Edo State because this of course will be in total agreement with the current community policing philosophy of the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar Adamu," Kokumo stated.

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I am a bonafide APC member, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu

The frontline aspirant of the All Progressives Congress in Edo State, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu has dismissed claims that he is not a member of the party saying those disputing his membership of the party are only engaging in fruitless exercise.

He was reacting to a statement credited to some persons who claimed to be Chairmen of the 18 LGAs of Edo state purportedly challenging his membership of the party on the grounds that it fell short of the party's constitutional requirements.

In a statement signed by Mr. John Mayaki, the Director of Communication and Media to Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu Campaign Organisation said: "Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu was one of those who not only formed the APC but drafted the constitution of the APC. It is quite unfortunate that many of these people don't read; they have not sat down to even read the APC constitution."

"The APC apart from being a progressive party was deliberately formed to be a mass organisation and one of the things those who drafted the APC constitution (including Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu) did was to make it easy for Nigerians, irrespective of who they are, to be able to join the party like the APC without people like these renegades trying to put hurdles in their way - politics is a game of number. Ideally, you would want to welcome people to your party."

"If you look at the constitution of the APC, article 9, you will find out that, unknown to them, you can go to your ward and register or you can even do online registration - the essence of this is to ensure that nobody is deprived."

"When Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu among others were putting the party together, the Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki was not there and nowhere to be found; so how do you expect a man who should be a beneficiary of a house that he helped to build be stopped from gaining access into the house?

"However, knowing the rules, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu went to his ward chairman, Mr. Ogbebor in Ugboko ward in Orhiomwon to say himself among his teaming followers were coming back home, and he was given the party card. The party chairman brought him a party card and the day he was declaring, he raised up his card and said 'gentlemen, what I am doing is just a mere ceremony' but the truth about it is that he has actually gone to his ward to register, he openly tenderer his party card and they were shocked."

"What these people don't understand is that in the APC constitution, there is even an alternative - the online option and so, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu applied - nobody can quarrel with the online registration; he has the slip, the registration number, his name is on the portal of the party. Again, unknown to these renegades, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu does not really need to rely on that card because with his online registration, nobody can challenge his membership of the party. What they are doing is an exercise in futility."

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Godswill Akpabio is after my life - Publisher cries out

Publisher/Editor in Chief of Daily Watch, Cletus Opukeme, has raised the alarm that his life is under threat by the Minister of Nigeria Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio.

In a statement he signed, Opukeme said: "My attention has been drawn to a clandestine move by Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godwill Akpabio, who is the supervising minister of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) using crooked Inspector General Police (IGP) Boys to abduct me and do whatever thing they were instructed to do to me over Daily Watch exposes of the monumental fraud in NDDC running to billions of naira that had attracted the Senate and House of Representatives to set up various committees to probe the commission's Interim Management Committee(IMC).

"Yesterday, the IGP boys from Abuja traced me from Abuja to the office of the Nigerian Union of Journalists(NUJ) in Warri, Delta State and in a commando like manner abducted Mr. Matthew Omonigho who later called that he was dumped at Area Commander office in Warri.

"The Union leadership sent a delegation to the police station to know why he was arrested without reason for his arrest and bundled like a common criminal and manhandled.

"The police instead of listening to the NUJ delegation confisticated all their phones and detained them also telling them that they were a special squad sent from Abuja to arrest Mr. Cletus Opukeme, the Publisher/ Editor-in-Chief of Daily Watch.

"I want to categorically warn that the so called crooked IGP paid boys and other security operatives should stay away from Daily Watch Publications. That if Senator Godswill Akpabio or any other person feel aggrieved by our published storis. They know the right option which is to seek for redress as the court is there for them to sue Daily Watch publisher and allow the judiciary to determine if our publication is libelous and defamatiory. It is not the place of DSS, the IGP boys or any other security operatives to be used to intimidate Daily Watch over our genuine investigations which first exposed large scale of financial missapproriation in NDDC. Senator Akpabio has turned NDDC to a cash cow looting the common wealth of the people of Niger Delta and intimidation or arrest by IGP Boys /DSS cannot frighten us from doing what we know how to do best by informing the public the right information.

"The invasion of Warri NUJ office by the crooked IGP TEAM to arrest a journalist is an embarrassment to democracy in the country as journalists have freedom of expression enshrined on the nation's constitution.

"If Akpabio is aggrieved by our publications for exposing his massive looting, he should go to court and stop intimidating me with the police and ex-militants to gag the press from doing our constitutional duties

"The said IG squad member who identified himself as Reuben called one of the arrested journalists to direct them to Cletus Opukeme's residence with the following mobile phone number:08116912068.

"Quoting the reporter 'One Mr. Reuben just called now requesting to know if I have been able to see Cletus. I told him that he only called me this morning wherein I asked him to be at the Area Command with me in solidarity and he refused. Again, he asked if I know any link with which they could get him and I said No. He later cut the call.'

"Therefore, I am calling the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu to hold Niger Delta Affairs minister, Godswill Akpabio and the members of the NDDC Interim Management Committee responsible, if anything happens to my life and that of members of my immediate family.

"Similar threats were being made by unidentified members over campaign against Akpabio's massive looting by Izanzan which after a protest was made against Akpabio and his NDDC IMC within a week assassins shot dead the vibrant and resourceful spokesman, Comrade Famous Believe on the 18th May, 2020, and which the police is investigating the murderers till now."

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McGharbins Network partner HRRG, NYA, PLO Lumumba Foundation et al. to stage the biggest youth gathering in Volta Region

All roads lead to the plush auditorium of the Ho Technical University in the Volta Region on Friday 7th to Saturday 8th October 2022 for the biggest youth gathering to be staged in the history of Volta Region for that matter Ghana.

Dubbed: "McGharbins Youth Connect - Fill The HTU Auditorium" is a brainchild of McGharbins Network, a youth-led advocacy group working in the Volta Region strongly supported by the Volta Regional Youth Network, Human Rights Reporters Ghana-NGO, Ghana CSOs Platform on SDGs, National Youth Authority (NYA), LoveAid Foundation, PLO Lumumba Foundation Ghana and hosts of other youth groups in the Region.

The event which comes on the theme: “PURPOSE, PASSION AND PROFIT” is an avenue for young people to connect and identify their purpose, passion and above all the opportunity to realize their full potentials in life while maximizing it to make profits.

It is also geared towards promoting safe spaces for the youth and young people to learn and cultivate essential skills necessary to thrive in the system.

Executive Director of McGharbins Network, Albert Gharbin in an interview with the Human Rights Reporters averred that the much anticipated : "McGharbins Youth Connect - Fill The HTU Auditorium" is the biggest ever youth gathering event to hit the Volta Region aiming to connect young people to opportunities, empower and build their capacities in policies, decision making and leadership to help them thrive in life.

“It seeks to bring together policymakers, children, youths including other stakeholders in the Volta Region to discuss on the topic: “The Volta Regional Development Plan” in alignment with our “National Development Agenda” and within the broader context of the Global Goals".

The 2-day historic event is also expected to bring together young entrepreneurs to collaborate and take advantage of some opportunities being offered by the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to businesses and boost tourism for the numerous tourist sites in the Volta Region.

In addition, it would help promote climate action through public awareness of the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) framework as a means to foster local participation, inclusion and build long lasting solutions through the bottom-up approach.

The event will be graced by a line-up of distinguished speakers including Moses B. Arthur, Cwesi Oteng Desmond, Prof. Tonisha Tagoe, Daniel Sarpong, Jesse Agyapong and many others.

The keynote address will be delivered by Kwame A.A Opoku, a Futurist, Global Keynote Speaker, Web 3.0 Builder, Communication Aficionado, Investor, SDGs Advocate & Business Coach.

Mr. Opoku also doubles as one of Africa’s Most Sought After Business and Digital Transformation Coaches with over 15+ Years Experience across 80+ Countries in 4 Continents.

The much-awaited McGharbins Youth Connect event is also intended to help accelerate the quest of developing “GREEN” innovations in the Volta Region and boost Agribusiness.

All youth residing in Volta Region and beyond are cordially invited to fully participate and explore the wonderful opportunities at stake.

Tickets are available for grabs at GH¢20.00 (Regular), GH¢50.00 (VIP) and GHGH¢100.00 (VVIP).

For tickets or more information about the event, please call 0248968311/ 0207409956 or Email: [email protected]

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African governments are weak in regulating digital spaces-Adenike Aloba

Program Director of Dataphyte, Adenike Aloba has taken a swipe at African governments for their weakness or inability to properly regulate the digital space, an act which limits the full enjoyment of the freedom and fundamental human rights of the masses.

She contends that most of the laws and policies by governments geared towards regulating the digital space in the African context have resulted into a lot of internet shutdowns including attack on press freedom and violation of the rights of journalists and activists among others which have been the trend.

“We’ve seen a lot of journalists being attacked online with bots and being thrown, we’ve seen people being tracked and their things being taken out. We’ve also seen the African governments turn towards when they don’t understand anything they shut it down and that has been the tendency so no, we can’t say that they’re doing well”.

Adenike made this known in an interview with the Human Rights Reporter’s Joseph Wemakor on the sidelines of a 2-day ( Sept. 20-21, 2022) Digital Clinic for Civic Actors in Lagos, Nigeria.

Mr. Wemakor sought to know her views on whether the authorities have lived up to expectation when it comes to proper regulating of digital space within the African continent.

The Digital Clinic which brought together some selected journalists and civic actors from across West Africa namely Ghana, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Nigeria was initiated by the Interactive Initiative for Social Impact (Dataphyte) in collaboration with Spaces for Change (S4C).

The training was aimed at exposing civic actors to the threats in the digital world and equip them with knowledge and practical solutions to deal with the threats to help minimize the risks they pose.

Its goal is to help journalists and civil society protect their information, data, devices and communications against digital security threats.

The participants were taken through topic such as Investigative Journalism Practice in the Digital Space: Risks and Rewards, Deep Dive on Digital Rights in the West African Context, Whistleblowing Policy and Practice in the West African Context and Practical Session on Digital Safety Tools.

It includes Digital Safety and Security Through a Gendered Lens, Data Protection Strategies, Roles and Responsibilities, Social Protection and Rapid Response Mechanisms for Whistleblowing and Digital Safety and Practical Session on Digital Safety Schools-Psychological Safety.

As the world transitions to a digital space, threats are fast increasing online, while people’s rights to freedom of expression, access to the internet and privacy among others are being denied, a trend which is a cause of worry.

But Adenike Aloba who equally doubles as the Managing News Editor of Dataphyte believes the authorities have a major role to play in helping citizens overcome these threats to always remain safe.

“This is a challenge being faced across the world, but it is only in African countries we are seeing laws that want to shut down, that want to control rather than figure out a solution that is more long-term”, she bemoaned.

According to her, although some governments are doing better in terms of regulation of the digital space, others are still lagging behind due to a significant lack of trust between the people and governments.

Citing a typical example of bad regulation of the digital space in the African context, he pointed to a social media bill being set up by the Nigerian government which gives the police the power to determine fake news or abuse of the digital space.

For her, dialogue is a means through which governments can help craft better policies and laws to safeguard the digital space.

“Dialogue is important when you are designing a policy or something then there has to be public engagement because of its public policy for crying out loud”.

She called on all and sundry to do everything humanly possible to protect themselves against the threats while advocating strongly for better laws or policies in place that can help promote and protect digital rights.

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