Oyo Catholic Diocese tackles hindrances to women’s development.


In recent  times, many United Nations (UN) conferences have new
priories and directions for policy planning and development practice
from the perspective of women’s rights, as well as their economic and
political empowerment.

This is because women are indispensable group in the development of
any nation. In Nigeria , women population is presently put at about
55million, which is significant, considering the total population of
about 140million.

Apart from their numerical strength, women have great potentials
necessary to evolve a new economic order, to accelerate social and
political development, and consequently transform the society into a
better one.

However, women have  suffered one form of oppression or another.  When
they are not being discriminated against in their places of work, they
are being neglected in very important proposals by governments for
developmental purposes.

Even when they make genuine and bold efforts, they are eventually
disenfranchised by a patently patriachical  society which most of them
belong to.

This is in spite of the very important roles which nature has endowed
them to play by their gender characteristics.  There is hardly any
culture, east or west, where women are not “home builders”.  As home
builders, they are therefore “nation builders”.

Statistics from the last national population census estimated that of
the over 31million rural women in the country, about 16million live
below the nationally defined poverty line, lacking access to basic
education, decent nutrition, adequate health, and social security.

Also, the UNDP Human Development Report attested to the fact the
galloping increase in rural poverty is hitting women hard, as 60
percent of the rural women are poor.

Most women have no collateral to offer to financial  institutions, in
order to receive credits and other vital resources.

In fact, the report added that in Nigeria , about 30 percent of the
women receive less than one percent of the total credit given out

Disturbed about this development, The Justice, Development and Peace
Movement [JDPM], an arm of the Catholic Diocese of Oyo, recently
organized interactive forum for women in eight local governments areas
of Oyo State.

The local governments include Afijio, Atiba, Oyo-East, Oyo-West,
Ogbomoso -North, Ogbomoso -South, Surulere, Ogo=oluwa, and Oriire .

Others are Iseyin, Itesiwaju Kajola, and Iwajowa.
At the occasion held at the JDPM hall along Mabolaje area, in Oyo
town, women in their thousands spoke one after the other on how they
were being marginalized, neglected and persecuted both in
decision-making, and developmental purposes.

While eulogizing JDPM for its concerted efforts in empowering and
improving status of women, they lamented over some unprogressive
forces working against the genuine desire.

According  to them, “we know your (JDPM) untiring commitment towards
improving socio-economic status of women, but all these efforts are
being thwarted and hijacked by those opposed to our well-being.  We
need your support and assistance in order to cope with the biting
economic situation in the country.  We no longer want to be sidelined
discriminated or excluded in the scheme of things.  It is our
inalienable rights, and must be given to us.”

Responding, Head, Political Education Unit, JDPM, Mr. Dominic
Taiwo,noted that women have continued to display great dynamism
through out the difficult period in the state..

He stated that they have displayed ingenuity and creativity in
finding alternative to any situation, individually at the household
level, and collectively at the social level, thereby creating
conducive atmosphere for democracy and democratic governance to

“They constitute a dynamic breeding ground within the framework of any
perspective for change.  The issue of women empowerment has become a
matter of concern in the world, and particularly for the Catholic
Diocese of Oyo . Considering their indispensable role in the society
as mothers, custodians, and shapers of the society, JDPM is of the
conviction that empowering women is empowering the nation. this is why
we provide micro finance scheme for the women, so as to better enhance
their status in the society”.

Dominic Taiwo however assured the women that any activity that can
improve their economic power would not only be encouraged, JDPM would
also encourage them to develop high-esteem and more confidence in
themselves, through exhibiting their God given potentials for good.

He further asserted that, “woman exists for herself as well for
others.  The seriously responsible duties she is called upon to
perform in life request the cultivated head, as well as sympathizing
heart.  Consequently, JDPM would continue to provide enabling
environment for women, as well as intensifies awareness campaigns
among the rural dwellers for meaningful participation in the
development process.




In the build up to the Governorship election in Ekiti State this Saturday, June 21, a group, Ekiti Professionals for Good Governance has endorsed the candidacy of Ayodele Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Rising from a meeting in Ado Ekiti after observing the mode of campaigns of the leading contenders from major political parties as well as the political personalities and structures involved in the planning and execution of the election, the group believes Fayose is clearly ahead of other candidates including incumbent governor, kayode Fayemi.
Its President, Akinwumi Dickson and the Director of Strategy, Bayo Adebayo said Ayo Fayose’s campaign strategy and trail has been devoid of violence and was laced with promises of employment for the masses, improvement in the quality of education as well as insistence on local content in jobs and contracts to further empower Ekiti
The group called on all prominent Ekiti personality, traditional rulers, elites and peasants to shun violence and destructive acts during and after the election.

US NGO Partners Ogun on Autism

A United States of America based Non-Governmental Organization, International Training Centre for Applied Behaviour Analysis is to partner with the Ogun State Government on manpower training and development for teachers, instructors and social workers in the juvenile institutions in the State.
Programme Director of the Centre which has its headquarters in New Jersey, Mrs Abosede Asikhia made this known in Abeokuta following a meeting with the management staff of the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, led by the Commissioner, Mrs. Elizabeth Sonubi.
Mrs Asikhia said the partnership programme would go a long way in improving the knowledge and technical know-how of the beneficiaries and ultimately, enhance government’s effort at providing health care for the people, particularly children living with autism and other developmental disabilities.
“Autism disorder is a serious childhood ailment, it impairs the ability of victims to develop appropriate speech communication, Behaviour and other social interaction skills in life it is fast becoming one of the most under-spread childhood epidemic recorded in history, however, therapeutic and educational intervention is now available and currently, it is the best hope of treatment for persons affected worldwide”, she said.
The training of teachers, social workers and other relevant personnel she said was geared towards equipping them with the skills on how best to support autistic children in developing the skills they lacked  to enable them live a fulfiled life.
Asikhia lauded the state government for establishing children homes and providing the needed facilities to cater for the immediate needs of inhabitants and special people across the state, adding that the gesture would give them a sense of belonging.
Responding, Sonubi, noted that the present administration in the state attaches great importance to the development, survival and protection of all citizens. She promised that her ministry would continue to partner with international agencies, non-governmental organizations and other related agencies in providing qualitative training for care givers for positive impact on the affected children.



By Sola Muyideen, Ilorin

A fracas broke out at Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, Kwara state recently when three un-identified fully armed men stormed the University’s campus at Adewole area of the metropolis to ‘arrest’ a
female student.
Some gallant male students of the institution suspicious of the motive behind the attempted arrest prevented the men from effecting the arrest of their female colleague.
Authorities at the university stepped in to support the action of the students. Vice-chancellor of the institution, Prof. AbdulKareem Age said it was wrong for any security operative to carry out any operation within the university’s campus without informing the management about such development.
The development disrupted academic activities at the university before the police from Adewole Police Station brought it under control.
According to the VC, the policemen from Adewole Division were invited to arrest the armed men who were later transferred to the state police headquarters.
“What happened this morning is a case of mis-judgement by the authority supposed to enforce laws. They came to the campus and tried to arrest a female student. We had to intervene because students insisted that students cannot be arrested from the campus without letting the authorities know.
“It is very unfortunate that anybody will come to the university campus and want to make an arrest and made no effort to inform constituted authorities.

“ If we had not come there to address the students because these men were armed, I do not know what would have happened.  We thank God.
The VC said the fact that the men were in plain clothes made the matter worse and the students were not ready to allow them take away their colleague without knowing their motive.
When contacted, the spokesman of the state police command, Ajayi Okasanmi said the command was aware the armed men came to the state for an investigation and they followed due process.


By Sola Muyideen, Ilorin

Former Head of State, General Abubakar Abdulsalam has described the rehabilitation of five General Hospitals by the Kwara State Government as a bold step in the transformation of the State into one with qualitative healthcare.
Abdulsalam who said this at the commissioning of the ultra modern general hospital, Ilorin, noted that the hospitals were a reflection of the state government’s commitment to the promotion of qualitative healthcare in the State.
The former head of state said he was troubled by the present challenges in the country, but was hopeful that with developmental projects by the governments at all levelsa, the nation will overcome the challenges.
“Acts of good governance such as demonstrated by your government, people oriented programmes and new development efforts, as well as the entrenchment of equality and justice can strengthen our preparedness to work together to build the Nigeria we all desire and deserve”, he said.
Kwara State Governor, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed observed that the rehabilitated general hospitals in Offa, Share, Kaiama and Omu-Aran were testaments of his administration’s resolve to bring functioning healthcare to the people of the State.
Ahmed said the State government’s dream of functional health system has become a reality with the rehabilitation of the general hospitals, establishment of world class medical diagnostic centre, expansion of Community Health Insurance Scheme and the continuos enhancement of the health system.
“Our surveillance efforts, advocacy programmes and targeted interventions such as free medical care for pregnant women and under five, have reduced maternal and child mortality and also created in our people the need to better take care of themselves and their environment through simple everyday measures”, the governor said.


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