Wednesday, 9 November 2016

She won but for the constitutional milieu

Contrary to the belief of the outcome of the American elections last night, that saw Donald J. Trump elected as president, the democrat candidate Hilary Rodham Clinton did not lose the American popular vote, but the Electoral College vote,  a constitutional milieu just like the 1st past the post voting system in the UK, this needs to be addressed against future elections, but is it a priority to the American electorate?
Let’s recall in 2011, when the then deputy prime minister of the UK coalition government,2010-2015, Nick Clegg had called for a referendum to give the people the opportunity to have their say on the  1st past the vote or the alternative vote(AV) and the British electorate rejected the proposal in favor of the status quo.
Agree or not, it is only in a minute way that Hilary Rodham Clinton lost due to gender. Hilary’s bid and candidacy of becoming the 1st Female American president was jinxed from the start, which is why at every given time she vied for the position has happened when the global trends was in disarray and of course a time in history when a price was to be paid. A throw back at Hilary’s bid to the White House in 2008  and 2016 respectively will help throw a better insight to the outcome of the 2016 US elections.
Hilary’s 1st Bid in 2008.
2001, a year into George Bush’s tenure as Americas 43RD president, his administration was met with the September 11 terrorist attacks against America and subsequently declaring “global war on terror”, American troops moved into Afghanistan and Iraq. This gained him popularity and subsequent reelection for a second term. But with the hurricane Katrina, inconsistent stories about the war in Iraq, and of course we remember occupy wall street, a consequence of the troubled economy and financial crisis labelled the worst since the great depression, was enough for Americans to get tired of George Bush and the Republicans by the 2008 election year.
This perilous times got the democrats thinking outside the box, for their best intrigue and strategy at getting back into the white house.
Now, it was also the 1st time Sen. Hilary R. Clinton made an attempt at the democrats’ ticket, but the democrats also felt giving Americans its black president in the person of Sen. Barack Obama, was their most sell able strategy at getting the American minority groups vote and we saw Hilary Clinton who got far more delegates votes than any previous female candidate lose out to Obama who went on to get the nomination.  She was appointed Secretary of State as a compensation, a position she gladly accepted seeing it a one more step  in the right direction at global relations experience in preparation for her lifelong dream of becoming the 1st  female president of the United States.
Hilary’s 2nd Bid and the 2016 US presidential elections.
In  April 2015,Clinton announced her candidacy for the presidency, she was to face a strong challenge from fellow  party candidate Bernie Sanders, whose stance against the influence of corporations and the wealthy in American politics resonated with the dissatisfied American public. Then again the growing trend of 2016 is the wave of populist sentiments-anti-establishments, immigration, terrorism and of course the influence of the UK’s referendum spectacular towards its stay or exit from the EU, and the British public voting in favor of an exit, couldn’t have been a bigger reinforcer  to the US Republican candidates Donald J Trump's growing populist campaign and stoking of an already angry American public, with more anti establishments, immigration, criticism of the free trade agreement, transpacific partnership, homegrown terror and probably the biggest of the sentiments, economic protectionism i.e. China a threat to Americas industrial power and its SMEs are a few issues to mention. Some quarters also saw the populism being a white lash against a changing inclusive American society and against the election of the first black president and much more. Hilary and her campaign team, not saint in the campaigns themselves, lost due to diplomacy, tolerance and appeal to moral values in politics, Donald Trump ran with everything contrary to that.
But the lessons for Africa from the US 2016 election results must include but not limited to the ideology that keeps U.S democracy process going for more than 200 years which we saw at play, when Democratic candidate, Hilary Clinton conceded the elections to President elect Donald Trump as the handwriting became glaring on the wall.
These include
-          Prompt Concession to winner – a tenet of democracy
-          Putting country 1ST and rallying round the elected president
-          Upholding the constitution
-          Rule of law.
Perhaps developing world including Nigeria can begin to look introspectively harnessing all of its human capital and resources but also with the political will and commitment to develop the continent than its continuous dependent on aid and grants.

Abimbola Junaid is a development practitioner and gender activist. Convener #BigsocietyNg. Follow her on twitter @A4arise




She won but for the constitutional milieu

Contrary to the belief of the outcome of the American elections last night, that saw Donald J. Trump elected as president, the democrat candidate Hilary Rodham Clinton did not lose the American popular vote, but the Electoral College vote,  a constitutional milieu just like the 1st past the post voting system in the UK, this needs to be addressed against future elections, but is it a priority to the American electorate?
Let’s recall in 2011, when the then deputy prime minister of the UK coalition government,2010-2015, Nick Clegg had called for a referendum to give the people the opportunity to have their say on the  1st past the vote or the alternative vote(AV) and the British electorate rejected the proposal in favor of the status quo.
Agree or not, it is only in a minute way that Hilary Rodham Clinton lost due to gender. Hilary’s bid and candidacy of becoming the 1st Female American president was jinxed from the start, which is why at every given time she vied for the position has happened when the global trends was in disarray and of course a time in history when a price was to be paid. A throw back at Hilary’s bid to the White House in 2008  and 2016 respectively will help throw a better insight to the outcome of the 2016 US elections.
Hilary’s 1st Bid in 2008.
2001, a year into George Bush’s tenure as Americas 43RD president, his administration was met with the September 11 terrorist attacks against America and subsequently declaring “global war on terror”, American troops moved into Afghanistan and Iraq. This gained him popularity and subsequent reelection for a second term. But with the hurricane Katrina, inconsistent stories about the war in Iraq, and of course we remember occupy wall street, a consequence of the troubled economy and financial crisis labelled the worst since the great depression, was enough for Americans to get tired of George Bush and the Republicans by the 2008 election year.
This perilous times got the democrats thinking outside the box, for their best intrigue and strategy at getting back into the white house.
Now, it was also the 1st time Sen. Hilary R. Clinton made an attempt at the democrats’ ticket, but the democrats also felt giving Americans its black president in the person of Sen. Barack Obama, was their most sell able strategy at getting the American minority groups vote and we saw Hilary Clinton who got far more delegates votes than any previous female candidate lose out to Obama who went on to get the nomination.  She was appointed Secretary of State as a compensation, a position she gladly accepted seeing it a one more step  in the right direction at global relations experience in preparation for her lifelong dream of becoming the 1st  female president of the United States.
Hilary’s 2nd Bid and the 2016 US presidential elections.
In  April 2015,Clinton announced her candidacy for the presidency, she was to face a strong challenge from fellow candidate Bernie Sanders, whose stance against the influence of corporations and the wealthy in American politics resonated with the dissatisfied American public. Then again the growing trend of 2016 is the wave of populist sentiments-anti-establishments, immigration, terrorism and of course the influence of the UK’s referendum spectacular towards its stay or exit from the EU, and the British public voting in favor of an exit, couldn’t have been a bigger reinforcer  to the US Republican candidates Donald J Trump's growing populist campaign and stoking of an already angry American public, with more anti establishments, immigration, criticism of the free trade agreement, transpacific partnership, homegrown terror and probably the biggest of the sentiments, economic protectionism i.e. China a threat to Americas industrial power and its SMEs are a few issues to mention. Some quarters also saw the populism being a white lash against a changing inclusive American society and against the election of the first black president and much more. Hilary and her campaign team, not saint in the campaigns themselves, lost due to diplomacy, tolerance and appeal to moral values in politics, Donald Trump ran with everything contrary to that.
But the lessons for Africa from the US 2016 election results must include but not limited to the ideology that keeps U.S democracy process going for more than 200 years which we saw at play, when Democratic candidate, Hilary Clinton conceded the elections to President elect Donald Trump as the handwriting became glaring on the wall.
These include
-          Prompt Concession to winner – a tenet of democracy
-          Putting country 1ST and rallying round the elected president
-          Upholding the constitution
-          Rule of law.
Perhaps developing world including Nigeria can begin to look introspectively harnessing all of its human capital and resources but also with the political will and commitment to develop the continent than its continuous dependent on aid and grants.

Abimbola Junaid is a development practitioner and gender activist. Convener #BigsocietyNg. Follow her on twitter @A4arise




Friday, 4 November 2016

Who really is Oluchi Mbonu?


 Its with pleasure that I read that activities are being planned already towards 2016: 16 days of Activism against Gender Based  Violence.
Someone like us who would probably have love to attend if she still had her freedom is Oluchi Mbonu, the female banker who has been accused of hiring assassins to kill her estranged husband, but she can't  attend because she is being held behind bars in police custody in Ogun state. See http://www.lindaikejisblog.com/2016/10/update-on-female-banker-accused-of.html

We must follow her story keenly, to establish the facts, just perhaps this is truly a set up by a bitter and estranged husband. 
More importantly is the alleged role of our security forces in this case, have they connived against her? If so this is dangerous, and yet another form of reinforced patriarchy. 

An update on the case is that our sister organisation Project Alert( and I think with coalitions of women NGO and Lawyers or so )  has held a press conference on the matter  and just last week I saw that our sister organisations ( Arise Women) and (GADA) held an extensive human rights training for the security forces.  Can we begin to link this activities up and refer them to real life cases like Oluchis?
 What, has women can be bring to the table to see this through to the end? I mean  social capital, eg
 Are you a female lawyer who can join her legal team or be an adviser? 
Are you a media practitioner that can use your platform to gain public awareness and interest on the matter, can we organize activities to demand justice? 
Can we fundraise towards legal needs?
Can we send Oluchi solidarity messages, cards, poems, just to let her know we stand by her?
How is her daughter faring in this situation? Is she still in school, how about her emotional well being? How can we support her?
I am sure there is something however little that we can do from our little corners.
Remember  an injustice to one is an injustice to all, If we can rally round her now we would be one step ahead in ending violence against women and patriarchy

Our collective number and strength as women is our power.

Kudos to all who have stood up for her so far.

Abimbola Junaid.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

The SDGs: A Global, Political, Economic, Social and Data Reconstruct?

A DWINDLING UNIVERSE?
A Panoramic view of the world today, reveals a struggling democracy where constituents all over are dissatisfied with the incessant abuse of constitutional power, or better still the failure of the rule of law. The economic dynamics of it all is equally a cause for concern and the biggest concern undoubtedly most be the lasting impact of human footprints on the ecology.  
Clearly the idea of world peace is a fast eroding one.

THE SDG GOALS, SO WHAT ABOUT IT?
In came the New Year,1ST of January 2016 precisely, with the roll out of the Global Goals; a call, via 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets to adhere to for the next 15 years (14 left to go) for a global transformation. This is not entirely new in itself but with a twist from past UN global agendas,is perceived, as truly universal and encompassing where newer actors including the world of business is targeted with a role to play and of course past actors such as government, media, CSOs remain as custodians.
So what role can the SDGs play in a constantly changing world? A draft in the nick of time to address these human travails before a total collapse? Can the SDGs sit on the premise of a rebirth for global ethics and human values?  If so how prepared are the UN member states, to embraced  it through integrated efforts and actions, to make it impactful this time around. A thought for  reflection.

 SDGs and the Parliament.

To get the SDGs off the ground in right footing, clarity of what it is needed. It is not a project, as referred to by a Nigerian Minister recently. The SDGs is an imitable development plan that generations to come can build on, as the “word “sustainable connotes.
1.      What is essential therefore is an integrated effort by the UN member states, beginning with the internalization of the SDGs,meshed into their existing national priorities and processes.
2.      Let’s not make the mistake that the SDGs, yes with a timeline of 15 years (2016:2030), is anything short of an institutional process-with short term targets with less indicators  to start with. A clear process of internalization whereby existing national development frameworks, policies are reviewed and brought to par with the universal goals and its 169 targets.
3.      No doubt this merger will impact on all, it must then follow a strong political and  analytical process where planning is inclusive and participatory; involving a wide spectrum of  actors and stakeholders  brought in to fully participate to arrive at validated outcomes, leading to ownership and championing by all.
4. With this, if truly internalized into existing national plans, the big problem of funding the implementation of the SDGs reduces; it becomes line items in the budget of the various implementing ministries and agencies and a priority in planning for business cases.

5.    Broad awareness and interpretation of the SDGs and their aims must be deliberately targeted at the national/sub national /local political entities. The bulk of the work to be done is at that level and ownership is key by all actors. One clear strategy towards securing action by parliament for the SDGs is lobbying that the political parties adapt at least one or more of national thematic SDGs area or goals and domesticated in its manifesto ahead of the next elections. Worth a trial!
6.    Data capturing, monitoring, evaluation and impact assessment mechanisms most be inter woven into the frameworks and implemented as laid down, but cognizance be given to harmonization, whereby internal designs (national framework) also adheres to identified and preferred peer review mechanisms and subjected to global best practices but not to the extent it causes tension in adaptation of national core instruments. It is expected that Research and Technology will play a major role.

Just my musing on how we can all begin to get the government to become SDGs compliant and in conclusion, while ownership is key by all stakeholders as coalesce efforts geared towards the SDGs for scale across the nation, with CSOs, Media and the government easily identified, newer stakeholders like the private sector, academia, youth and policy instruments such as  gender mainstreaming and budgeting  towards social Inclusion must be deliberately applied all-round the 17 goals and 169 targets.


Coming up in PART 2 - Leveraging on the Private Sector Partnership for the Global Goals



Abimbola Junaid is a strategist, researcher, trainer and communicator. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Social Policy and Administration from the University of Nottingham UK. A development practitioner with over 15 years’ experience in Governance, Development, Parliamentary and Citizens Engagement gained both in the UK and Nigeria respectively. She is an in-house news review analyst on Rainbow 94:1FM a radio station with large citizens journalism content and followership. Her twitter handle is @a4arise.



Thursday, 7 January 2016

2016 Goals? 1st, Let Go of Pain & Garbage Of Yesteryear's!




Trust me, the New Year goals you've set,will like last years "be unattainable too"; that is if you expect a different result from doing same of the same things same way you did it last year. Perhaps it is time you really get down to the root causes of why you have become lethargic&lost your drive over the years. Is it because you gave something a trial and failed at it? Or that person that left you or  you got turned down by somebody and now you've lost confidence in your self? Or could it be the harsh words spoken to you, keeps replaying like a broken record in your head? What ever it is, someone somewhere have turned that situation around(Ask Google!) and so has yours truly(Moi) thats why I am doing this! Believe me when I say I have been through life changing, life altering experiences which I promise to share with you when we meet face 2 face!  We all underestimate the power and influence of a broken soul on our ability to function at 100%. Its like an open wound;the stench oozes continually,same with brokenness,it weighs you down &wears you out and physically too, and that's when you lose the power to remain focused. But again, just like open wounds can heal after proper medical attention, so can YOU take POWER back from the brokenness,bitterness, battery and all that has stolen so many years of your dreams and destiny. No one will believe in you unless you do yourself, then you can show the rest world how to believe in you ,simply by how you treat yourself. Doing that would mean you have ignited your destiny again than faltering on the ground of yesteryear's history. I hear you say "I CAN'T do this by myself",you don't have to, and "Help is at Hand, send an email to me at vastopps@gmail.com, I will be glad to be in touch.
You can also follow on twitter:   for our weekly mentoring tweet chat with a Guest survivor!






Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Ladies I Understand, You Are Simply Having Your Turn.

I know what its like to be a woman or girl who have become a shadow of her former self over the issues of life or even worse, brought up with low self esteem and as such been vulnerable most of all her life, where she has never experienced joy nor happiness. All believing no good can come out of her, that that kind of joy happens to some one else, like a celebrity but not her! I know people who have this mindset and carry it everywhere they go and for as long as the right help doesn't show up or they refuse to take it, its doomsday. I fall -fell in category A , because I lost everything once---Family, TIME AND MONEY I thought that was the end of me but LADIES, the devil is a liar and so is his gran Pa! In my case I went in search of help, "enough of the self wallowing and pity" I told myself, cos it dawned on me that I still wake up the next day despite the pain of yesterday, I am not God who created me he seem to want me here, longer, and so I embraced that revelation TOO!  It was only then that I was able to see and accept all of the help around me like I am doing to you right now, I gave up wallowing in my circumstances! And I hear you; yes sometimes we can not help it cos "life just happens, we can't all be brave and fighters. I agree but so also is making it in life a choice! Ladies why not once and for all decide to give it a fight till life drops out of you, well that's my belief and attitude now. I am not for giving in and giving up! This YEAR THINGS MUST CHANGE--- FOR YOU, as it did for me, I am going to hold your hands to fight for what is possible, and when you ask why? Because your are my SISTER ! "I am not going to gossip about you", "I am not going to laugh at you nor do I think I am better than you, I SIMPLY RECOGNIZE, YOU ARE HAVING YOUR TURN, AND IT WASN'T LONG AGO THAT IT WAS MINE AND ONLY LOVE AND SUPPORT BROUGHT ME OUT",THEN I REFUSED TO GIVE UP and WON, and I know that's possible for you too! You must fight, you've got only one life to live; to be the true shining light that you already are, you've got to fight for what you truly believe you deserve. I fought hard and long, I wasn't going to give up and daily God is helping me to win the war, and how do I know that? I am going past myself, my troubles, and reaching out to others, to YOU to support you too! But once I couldn't manage a smile, talk less of hope and lending a helping hand to another............ it ain't going to come easy, you've got to fight and fight many times mean


  • Getting out of bed each morning! (Force yourself if u have to)!
  • Pull the curtains, put the music on, pray and exercise! (Just go with it)
  • Be prepared to make some tough decisions
  • Self evaluate
  • Be ready to give up your own self destructiveness
  • Be realistic, be honest
  • Forgive yourself, forgive others (this could be hard, give it time, but aim to forgive ).
  • Be willing to let go
  • Count your blessings (being alive is a vital one!)
  • Prepare to start again, even if small, and with a lot of wisdom now (learning from your experience
  • Seek healthy support network
  • Pray& Fast, Pray some more, and Fast even more! 
  • Give yourself time!  
  • A step at a time!
  • Celebrate when you accomplish even one of many tasks you set out for your self!
  • Be grateful you have life, cos when there is life there is hope indeed!
So to every woman out there I say you matter and Iyanla Vanzant says it even better in this video below pls do share with others follw the  #AGirlitsAnewDawn on twitter!
http://www.supersoul.tv/supersoul-sessions/iyanla-vanzant-you-matter

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

1st things1st.





















I scolded myself silly today, when my trip back home needed to be moved for some weeks or more, but for goods reasons too, that really I should be thanking God for but opposite was the case-for a second though. I mean I had a health scare back home and on my to do list was to sort a second opinion on this trip. But as I did that, I lost sight of these blessings and the fact that 1. I could sort a second opinion!!!!! ( but how many people do have the opportunity of a 2nd opinion in the 1st place ehn Bimbola?) 2. I got an instant appointment and was seen by experienced specialists and consultants(whereas many are still on the waiting list, I was just favored to get the appointment at this time of the year). 3. It was on tax payers money that I could get this health check ( I couldn't have afforded this even if I wanted to get it done quickly, but mind you I always and never moaned about paying taxes cos you get the services most time------------------here I mean!), I was treated with courtesy,care and support through out and even got the team to pause a min or two when the pain brought tears to my eyes (You and I know this is not what I am likely to encounter- in most public or private hospitals,back home !) and while awaiting the results , I got on with my prescriptions which ( I had no fear at all to either be fake or expired) it was heavy though cos I lost track of time and day. I was given a rest absolute order(just Iike you, that's what I needed to hear to agree to all the signals my body and soul had indicated months long now) and while resting in a serene environment, in the midst of care, love, support,lots of fooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood ,(but could only feed on fluid) I was able to get on,on some online short courses; shortlisted going a year now! (gender stereotyping, data science and advanced researched methods) I even managed to complete 2 modules of each already (no Nepa, PHCN here, light was constant, no noise of the generating set from the next door neighbor or my household as is often the case) and then the much awaited results finally arrived in the post and I was certified a clean bill of health,(someone somewhere today, hasn't been as lucky and their life changed forever from same letter but a different outcome) and the letter goes on to say I needed to return in a few weeks just to make sure everything is fine and the ungrateful me, screamed "'oh lai lai, emi ko lon bawi mo n lo naija",best translated to non Nigerian , non Yoruba speaking natives as "talk to the hand hell no am I cancelling my flight, then it dawned on me that only the living can plan and re plan o babes, you have just been given the licence to live". I was truly ashamed of my reaction though I have since repented, but it did impact hugely on me; enough to resolve to share this despite my frailty, what is more important is to to drive home the point to someone somewhere and all of us really, " that we take for granted Gods mercies ,we have so much to be grateful for, in many small and big ways, lets acknowledge that and be grateful and be humble. 
"I am begging you,whatever it is, that needs fixing in your life; yours might be relationships; your home, work,health balance,whatever your thing is, please do take the time to fix it, you deserve it, health is a priority cos Health is Wealth without it, its 6 feet down below. I have since forgiven myself, don't bring out the stick now. Most importantly I am grateful to God, for the privilege of life, do share with your contacts.






A heart full of gratitude!