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Volume One I January – April 2012 I Nigeria I West Africa

This is the Quarterly E-Newsletter of Spaces for Youth Development and Social Change Website:

From the Executive Desk

Hello Readers! We are happy to present the maiden edition of Spaces for Change’s newsletter with you, highlighting concise details of some of the work we have undertaken since we started full scale operations early this year. Moving human rights and social justice work from the realm of web actions to physical operations was not as easy as we imagined. That move came with several hurdles ranging from resource constraints, office space rental, recruitment, staff training, corporate registration hassles, assets acquisition, strategic planning, fund-raising, and many more. In addition, getting unpopular and often-unheard voices to become active participants in the design and implementation of social and economic policies and programs, was equally challenging, but at the same time, tinged with excitement and uncommon determination to overcome. Undeterred by these limitations, we moved from region to region: North, East, South and West, ensuring that research, advocacy, citizen-led actions and empowerment programs reached both the mostaccessible and the least-served communities and constituencies. Some specific activities made us proud. For instance, building on our participation and documentation of the nationwide fuel subsidy protests in January 2012, we leveraged technology, crowd sourcing concepts and web-based communication tools to promote public awareness, and facilitate citizen engagement in the policy, legislative and institutional processes of the Nigerian oil industry. Again, after four whole months of rigorous analysis of oral and documentary evidence collated from 6 states in the northern part of the country, we critically examined the Joint Task Force’s use of house demolitions as a counter-terrorism strategy for quelling the Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria. We hope to release the findings of our

Blog: research study, Demolishing Foundations of Peace, on June 12, 2012. Daily online discussions, including moderated econferences that we convened enabled critical stakeholders to exchange information, forge alliances, build consensus around possible solutions to controversial and complex social and economic issues connected to the deteriorating security conditions in Northern Nigeria, as well as the reform programs in the oil, gas and power sectors. We also ensured that our Policing the Policy (PtP) quarterly policy briefing papers emerging from these online conversations reached relevant policymakers and critical stakeholders. We strongly believe that getting citizens to take action will break the status quo and, over time, lead to systemic change. We also believe that solving the problems facing our communities requires sustained action and commitment from every sector of society. It also requires the leadership, the skills and the commitment to get involved and make a difference. On that note, we extend a hand in solidarity with many fine people already leading the way in their respective communities, who at great risks to their lives, are playing key roles to change our country, Nigeria. If we join with them, our small day-to-day actions will evolve into something much larger and more significant. Now take a look at the pages, and enjoy!

Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri Executive Director

Feedback, comments and suggestions should be mailed to: Address: 3 Oduyemi Street, First Floor, Anifowoshe, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria



OCCUPY NIGERIA: Demanding Accountability on the Streets!

Naira per liter (45 cents per liter) to N150 Naira ($1.70 per gallon to at least $3.50 per gallon (94 cents per liter). The costs of food and transportation also doubled in a country where the majority of the population lives in abjectly poor conditions. The government justified the sudden subsidy cuts, stating that it would block leakages and free important revenue for investment in critical sectors such as infrastructural provisioning, health education, and create jobs. Under the auspices of the powerful protests, dubbed "Occupy Nigeria", Nigerians were not just expressing anger and outrage at the astronomical increase in goods and services and soaring hardship the subsidy cuts have propelled, but seized the opportunity to vigorously challenge official impunity, corruption, and profligacy by the government and political leaders. For instance, an estimated N1.32 trillion (about $8.25 billion) was spent on subsidies in the ten months to October 2011 or about four times the amount spent in the entire 2010, without a corresponding volume of fuel importation and supply for the same period. Further, many believed that the cutting petrosubsidies at a period when the country was already facing growing youth unemployment, rising insecurity, ethnic tensions and violent schisms that have a religious undertone, was ill-timed.

Beginning from January 2, 2012, millions of Nigerians - the youth, pregnant women, nursing mothers and their babies, the aged, the disabled, public figures, students, labour unions, clerics, celebrities, activists, showbiz stars, in fact, everyone - thronged the streets to take part in nationwide strikes and protests in response to the Nigerian government's withdrawal of subsidies on Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) on January 1, 2012. Overnight, fuel pump prices monumentally leaped from N65

Throughout the six days the strike lasted, many Nigerian cities, mainly Lagos quaked under the fiery, well-organized peaceful protests in different parts of the metropolis, grinding social and economic activities to a standstill. From Surulere (National Stadium) to Ikoyi down to Ikorodu, Iyana Ipaja, Ogba and, most especially, at the Gani Fawehinmi Park at Ojota, a mammoth crowd of protesters adopted a carnival style, showcasing regular tunes by popular musicians, celebrities, politicians, religious leaders in demonstration of their disapproval against the subsidy cuts. Reminiscent of the Arab Spring, the Occupy Wall Street and antiPutin protests, the crowd swelled each passing day, both in size and ferocity.



The protests, which were generally peaceful, assumed frighteningly alarming dimensions when the government security operatives clamped down on unarmed protesters, using excessive force, teargas canisters and lethal weapons to quell what they termed as violent riots. In many cases, security agents actively connived with state governments to unleash terror on citizens, in an effort to either intimidate or entirely prevent peaceful gatherings and assemblies protesting against the subsidy cuts. Human rights atrocities soared. Members of Spaces for Change’s (S4C’s) network across the country moved from location to location, using the new media to document the situation across the country. About 20 persons died in different parts of the country; scores received life-threatening injuries, while over 500 were arrested and cramped in detention centers across the federation, without any formal charges preferred against them. Majority of the casualties were aged between 18 – 35 years. For instance, one Olurin Olateju, was shot by a policeman on January 2, 2012 in Ibadan, Oyo State, when he joined a massive gathering of students aggrieved by the astronomical hike in petroleum prices. In Lagos, a team of heavily armed police men shot sporadically at a crowd of young protesters near Yaya Abatan junction, in Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos, on January 9, 2012, killing 26 year old protester, Ademola Aderinto. Three others sustained lifethreatening gunshot injuries. On January 17, 2012 , Spaces for Change visited the bereaved Aderinto family and the survivors of the shootings - Alimi Abubakar, 40; Samuel Ebujo, 23, and Idara Monday, 16 in order to independently verify the circumstances of the January 9, 2012 shootings and killings by armed security forces. Firsthand information and evidence gathered from eye witnesses showed that security

operatives abandoned both the dead and the wounded in a pool of their blood without facilitating their access to emergency medical assistance. The wounded were denied treatment at the Ifako Ijaiye General Hospital and the privately-owned County Hospital in Ogba due to the non-production of a police report. They later received treatment from Ifako Ijaiye General Hospital only after a police report had been obtained from Area G police

Samuel Ebujo 23, a survivor of the shootings S4C's executive director, Victoria Ohaeri and the late Ademola Aderinto's guardian. S4C offered the family free legal advisory services during the organization’s investigative visit to the

station, in Ogba, Lagos. Spaces for Change documented widespread atrocities across several states of the federation, particularly the disproportionate targeting of young persons with extreme violence and extra-judicial killings by government security agents. At the back of these cold, impersonal statistics are the heartwrenching experiences of blood-and-flesh people in intricate circumstances that involved “torture, terrorization, extra-judicial killings, loss of jobs, businesses, and properties, as well as of limb, liberty, loved ones, and life itself, among other gross violations of human rights. Copies of the multimedia documentation of the protests, and the full report, OCCUPY NIGERIA: A Documentation of Human Rights Atrocities by Nigerian Security Operatives can be downloaded online, or obtained from S4C office in Lagos.

scene of the shootings.

Apart from in Lagos State, where the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Pen Cinema Police Station, Mr. Segun Fabunmi is facing trial in connection with the January 9, 2012 shootings, and the killing of Ademola Aderinto in Ogba, Lagos, the many deaths



across the country are yet to be investigated and redressed by the Nigerian authorities. In addition to submitting its findings with relevant government departments, including the National Human Rights Commission, S4Cissued press statements urging the authorities to launch high-level investigations across the states, including the Federal Capital Territory with a view to identifying and bringing the erring security officials and perpetrators of the shootings killings, arson, looting and destruction of properties, to justice. Beyond the protests, Nigerians are desperate for a government that responds to their most basic needs: personal security and improvements in the standard of living. They are outraged that government policies and expenditures undermine the provision of both.

From the Streets to the Tables of Engagement

Samuel Diminas, oil and gas expert

Dayo Olaide, development expert

The outcomes of the December 10, 2012 econference, Fuel Subsidy Removal: Social and Economic Policy Imperatives, the robust debates and the intense engagements among a wide range of stakeholders on Spaces for Change’s online discussion forum demonstrate that the removal of petro-subsidies was in fact, a valid and necessary intervention. Led by two expert discussants Samuel Diminas, a US-based expert geologist and oil policy analyst, and Dayo Olaide of the Open

Society Institute for West Africa, the moderated econference debate drew contributions from a diverse group of Nigerians across the globe, including North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Europe. Among other outcomes, we also found that the widespread criticism that greeted the fuel subsidy removal policy stemmed from the lack of effective consultation with the full range of potential rightsholders that are likely to be affected. The government’s reaction to the January uprising, especially its use of military force to suppress the protests is widely perceived as official unwillingness or unpreparedness to engage citizens on its oil sector deregulation agenda. In addition, the policies were not based on an explicit evaluation of their coherence with Nigeria’s human rights obligations encoded in several human rights instruments that the country has voluntarily ratified (ICESCR, African Charter). To make matters worse, information disclosure on important facts related to the processes and procedures for claiming, verifying, calculating and paying subsidies are still locked in secrecy. After more than 6 days of unsuccessful armtwisting, high-level negotiations and intense engagement between the federal government and labour unions, the Nigerian government unilaterally reduced fuel price to N97 per liter. The reduction, inspired the suspension of the strike actions, but the anger among citizens remained unabated. The rushed subsidy withdrawal, the hastily-conceived Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE) policy document, together with the ham-fisted communication strategy are unlikely to resolve the growing risk of instability fuelled by the protests or assuage the loss of public confidence (trust) which President Jonathan and his administration must now work much harder to earn. As a direct result of the protests, a The House of Representative ad-hoc committee on fuel subsidy committee, headed by Nigerian lawmaker, Farouk Lawan was constituted on January 8, 2012 to probe the fuel subsidy regime administered between 2009



and 2011 to try to uncover the cabal that had been feeding fat on the federal government’s Petroleum Support Fund at the expense of the masses. The committee unearthed massive departmental discrepancies and mendacity laden in official subsidy calculations and economics. The committee’s finding also confirmed popular contentions by citizens that the explosion in subsidy expenditure owed to fraudulent practices. Among other shocking discoveries, N999 Million was paid for a record 128 times within 24 hours on the 12th and 13th of January 2009, totaling N127.872 Billion to undisclosed beneficiaries. Regulatory interventions such as the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) which would have made the oil sector transparent and efficient still stalls within the executive arm of government. Again, the protests also forced the government to constitute the Senator Udo Umana-led PIB committee on January 17, 2012, with a mandate to review the current draft of the Bill, and take concerted steps towards fasttracking its passage by the National Assembly. A 6-paged policy briefing paper drawn from the key suggestions, options and recommendations from the econference was shared with both the Farouk Lawan and Udo Umana Committees. The policy paper proposes that oil sector reforms must at a minimum, provide options and roadmap for restoring peace in the Niger Delta and cutting down threats to stock-feeds necessary for existing local refineries. The plan must include a clear restructuring of the governance of the downstream, kick out political patronage that undercuts operations of existing local refineries, combat infrastructural decay (power, storage and pipeline networks) in the sector, legislative impediments (which currently compels the federal government to regulate fuel prices), corruption and widespread insecurity and their impacts on investment flow in the sector. More importantly, Nigeria must put in Hon. Farouk Lawan

place critical policy, legal and institutional regimes for the effective regulation and environmental protection. Citizens’ engagement is crucial throughout the process to reduce face-offs and policy resistance. With this and many other citizen-led actions, it is becoming clearer to the government that it can no longer ignore public views and participation in the design and implementation of critical social and economic policies and programs.

A United Stand against Terrorism!

On January 1, 2012, Spaces for Change’s (S4C’s) televised youth debate, “Boko Haram: Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward” drew the public’s attention to the trigger factors of the deteriorating security conditions in Northern Nigeria. The youth debate, hosted by Galaxy Television, Lagos (UHF 27) featured four Nigerian youths - from the East, West, North and Southern parts of the country - who extensively analyzed the root causes of religious fundamentalism in Northern Nigeria, and proffered strategies for the restoration of peace in the region. The discussants comprising, Victoria Ohaeri, executive director of Spaces for Change; Yerima Shettima, President of the Arewa Youth



Consultative Forum; Favour Afolabi, an entrepreneur and Ndutimobong Enang, a public policy analyst offered youth perspectives, and analysis of the crisis, and offered recommendations for upscaling the strategic engagement of young people in peace-making and peace-building interventions. Many states in the northern part of the country, including the FCT have been the theater of ferocious bombings allegedly masterminded by the Boko Haram Islamic sect. The bomb explosions at the Eagle Square (October, 1, 2010), the Mogadishu Cantonment Mammy market on (December 31, 2010), the Police Force Headquarters (June 16, 2011), the United Nations building in August 2011 and that of the extremely bloody Christmas Day bombings in Madalla, on the outskirts of Abuja have killed scores of people, and left hundreds seriously injured. The increasing wave of terror attacks necessitated the adoption of stringent counterterrorism measures and military action including the declaration of emergency in some of the affected states. At present, there is no independent mechanism to weigh and consider the human rights effects of these security measures in terms of proportionality and necessity. Human rights atrocities perpetrated by both the sect and the Nigerian security forces continue to soar in the absence of any coherent strategy to monitor and increase pressure on the government to take more seriously the mechanisms of democratic accountability and protection of human rights in order to enhance the credibility and effectiveness of their security policies and apparatus. Determined to push the boundaries in monitoring the human rights situation in the Boko Haramaffected states in the northern part of the country,

we thought about new ways of working outside of the traditional models of documentation and data collection, in order to bridge the gap in factual reporting, and analysis of both the root causes and scale of forced migrations and security-related displacements in that region. Additionally, we profiled the specific impacts of the counterterrorism and deterrence strategies employed by Nigeria’s security forces on vulnerable groups such as women, children and the youth, and concludes with an analysis of the legal provisions that afford protection to both the evicted and those threatened with evictions It is for these reasons that S4C creatively employs a critical coalescence of youth reorientation, media advocacy, community engagement and interfaith dialogue to give the youth and local communities a voice in developing violence prevention policies and programs. S4C believes that human rights and security are interdependent and mutually reinforcing objectives. And that interdependence and mutuality must be embedded and reflected in peacekeeping and security interventions in ways that reinforce democratic institutions and values, including pluralism, dialogue, respect for civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, freedoms and the rule law.

FUEL SUBSIDY PROBE: Coalition of Civil Society Groups Demand Probe of Indicted Fuel Subsidy Fraudsters

A coalition of civil society groups met in Lagos on Sunday, April 29, 2012, to review the House of Representatives report on the fuel subsidy management. Spaces for Change participated in the deliberations held at the office of Femi Falana Chambers in Lagos, Nigeria. After an extensive deliberation, the coalition resolved in a communiquĂŠ



as follows:


The civil society groups expressed satisfaction with positions taken by the House of Representatives on the report of the Farouk Lawan committee.

The CommuniquĂŠ signed by Olanrewaju Suraju, Convenor, Abiodun Showunmi, Secretary and Victoria Ohaeri, member urged the President and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to ensure a speedy prosecution of all those involved in the crime against the Nigerian State in order to restore some measure of public confidence in the democratic governance.

1. The groups noted that the President has assured Nigerians that all those found culpable in the review report will be prosecuted. It however noted that there was no timeframe given for the promised prosecution of those indicted. Also it noted the failure of the Senate to issue a report on its own committee hearings and the silence/inactions of the Senate on the House of Representatives’ resolution.









2. Pursuant to paragraph 13 of the Lawan Injustices report's executive summary, the group noted that the four NNPC refineries have installed capacity of 40 million liters per day of PMS, 10 million per day of Kerosine, 8.97 million per day of diesel, 0.62 million per day of LPG and 2.31 million per day of FO. The With the ire evoked by the fuel subsidy probe implication of these is that disclosures, Spaces for Change "with the current refining (S4C) and many interest groups capacity of 53% and the across the country have begun SWAP/Offshore processing to react to the extreme Profoundly alarming is how N999 arrangement of the balance concentration of wealth in a few Million was paid for a record 128 of 47%," the Nigerian hands. Profoundly alarming is times within 24 hours on the 12th National Petroleum how N999 Million was paid for a and 13th of January 2009, totaling Corporation (NNPC) has the record 128 times within 24 hours N127.872 Billion to undisclosed capacity to refine 5 million on the 12th and 13th of January beneficiaries. This embezzled sum of litres per day PMS in excess N127.872 far exceeds the N76.075 2009, totaling N127.872 Billion of the 35 million liters per Billion and 26.629 Billion Naira to undisclosed beneficiaries. allocated to youth development and day required for our daily This embezzled sum of N127.872 education (all Nigerian universities, consumption from the far exceeds the N76.075 Billion colleges of education, and unity 445,000 barrels per day and 26.629 Billion Naira colleges) respectively in the 2012 allocated for domestic allocated to youth development national budget. consumption. and education (all Nigerian universities, colleges of education, and unity colleges) 3. Therefore, it respectively in the 2012 national demanded the immediate budget. development of framework for the prosecution of all the people indicted in the report. It as a matter of For more than four decades, the Nigerian oil sector urgency demand that the appropriated PMS subsidy has been plagued by monumental corruption, for the year 2012 be deleted from the 2012 budget inefficiency, environmental devastation, and loss of by the National Assembly as there is no need for the revenue caused by deliberately mispriced contracts, importation of PMS in the first instance as unraveled



tax evasion, theft of oil cargoes and a very shady subsidy administration. Until the January uprising, citizens either lacked interest or were largely indifferent about oil sector activities, resulting in decades of under-reported and unchallenged corruption and impunity in the sector. In general, a lack of knowledge or capacity to monitor economic development and planning processes by civil society, particularly youth organizations and social

postings and several other web-based debates and discussions, over 1,500 citizens and experts engaged in policy e-dialogues discussing and analyzing the critical aspects and developments in the oil sector, while allowing the youth offer youth-responsive policy recommendations. Beyond increasing popular awareness of the depth of corruption, impunity and poor governance that pervade the management of petroleum resources, the moderated discussions present useful data, statistics and resources that clarify and explain the linkages between the corruption-stricken fuel subsidy regime and social and economic deprivations of citizens such as education, water, food, housing, work and quality healthcare. Industry practitioners and experts are routinely invited into web discussions to provide deep analytical insights into the reports of high-powered probes and officials decisions affecting oil industry operations. Debates often spiral out of control, especially when reactions, comments and feedback colored by tribal, ethnic, religious and political constructs clash with constructive criticisms and unbiased viewpoints. Interestingly, all that diversity of opinion and intense engagements fan the embers of plurality and multi-culturalism that have come to characterize S4C’s online discussion room and

Fuel Subsidy Removal nationwide protests in January 2012. Even babies joined to oppose the subsidy cuts

movements has been observed, which has in turn limited independent scrutiny of the design and implementation of oil sector policies and programs. Using the social media, especially our EConferencing Service (ECS), Spaces for Change convened moderated online conferences and webinar sessions featuring expert lead discussants who are key players in both the local and international oil industry. Weekly blog posts, daily Twitter tweets, hourly Facebook Community



knowledge sharing platforms. S4C’s Policing the Policy (PtP) series is a quarterly policy briefing paper that uses the human rights paradigm to police and analyze social and economic policies and development programs of government. An edition of the PtP, Nigeria and the Fuel

Chatting with “Igodomigodo”: Expanding the Boundaries of Legislative Engagement

In a no-holds-barred online chat with SPACES FOR CHANGE on Sunday, March 25, 2012, Honourable Patrick Obahiagbon, (popularly known as Igodomigodo) the former lawmaker of the Nigerian

Subsidy Overhang: Alternative Actions, released in April 2012, enlarged the space for more excluded and unheard voices to participate in the promotion, evaluation and setting of strategic policy directions on specific social and economic issues that coincide with our thematic focal points: peace and security; housing and urban governance, economic justice and leadership development. At Spaces for Change, we believe that the unprecedented financial mismanagement and horrendous malfeasance entrenched in the Nigerian oil industry in general, and the administration of fuel subsidies in particular, is one issue that must not be allowed to die down. More recently, we are exploring ways of visualizing complex statistics, information and data in order to make it more reader friendly, accessible and easy to use by all segments of the population – from the informal artisans who depend on fuel and as a primary source of energy for their businesses to the policy maker and legislator at Nigeria’s parliament who requires information to guide his legislative undertakings. Our mandate permits us, even compels us, to take a harder stand, as we work towards stimulating citizens interests in oil sector injustices, and trigger discussions towards better governance. Our goal remains the same: Empowering and galvanizing citizens, individuals and communities to defend their human rights within economic policy programs and build their capacity to monitor them.

Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon

House of Representatives, who represented Oredo Federal Constituency in Edo State enlightened 1,200 members of the Spaces for Change network on the rudiments of lawmaking, the legislative processes and procedures at the National Assembly. The interactive session was conducted under the auspices of S4C’s Project Get Involved (PGI) program which seeks to inspire the youth to embrace new ways of thinking and acting by helping them understand the significance of their contribution and participation in public decisionmaking. Known for his progressive contributions to legislative proceedings as well as the use of grandiloquent grammar, he outlined opportunities for engaging the various committees of the National Assembly. Among the key issues discussed was the



current face-off between Herman Hembe, the Chairman of the legislative Committee on Security Exchange Matters and Arunma Otteh, the director general of the Securities Exchange Commission. The scandalous bribe allegations and counterallegations of corruption between them brought to the fore, the need for citizens to understand the nature and scope of the legislative powers that lawmakers can exercise, and how citizens can engage the various committees of the National Assembly in their pursuit for transparency and accountability in governance. Here are excerpts from the conversation:

Patrick Obahiagbon: True, the National Assembly has been buffeted with graft allegations bordering on defalcation and malversation. This gives copious room for mental pabulum given the fact that the National Assembly is supposed to be the moral police man of our society. But the bitter truth however is that corruption has become a national gangrene and must be dealt with holistically. S4C: Sir, what do you mean by 'national gangrene' and how do you think this can be dealt with? For example, what can the Nigerian people do about the situation?

Patrick Obahiagbon: The S4C: Considering the House National Assembly has no The National Assembly has members and the senators are business asking agencies of no business asking agencies representatives of the people, government to sponsor its how do people of a particular probes. That is the beginning of government to sponsor its constituency ensure that their of compromising its attempt probes. representatives reflect their at cleansing the Augean - Patrick Obahiagbon opinions exactly on every stables. And more issue? Simply how can fundamentally is the fact that Nigerians hold their representatives accountable? the anti-corruption agencies must be extricated from executive suzerainty, and be independent to Patrick Obahiagbon: The starting point of holding deal with both the plebeians and political patriarchs our representatives accountable is to ensure that we without fear or favor. vote in those with the requisite capacity for the job. We must question their sybaritic modus vivendi Patrick Obahiagbon: By the way, national gangrene when they are in office rather than adoring and hero means national cancer. Nigerians must habiliment worshiping them. In other words, we must not themselves with a toga of recusancy. masturbate their egoless ego. S4C: Is there a programme of induction in place We must also take advantage of the recall process that seeks to bring 'non legal' members of the enshrined in the constitution and we must be guided honourable house (lower and upper chambers) to by the Burkian apothem that "evil men progress speed on the components of the constitution. It only when good men fold their hands and do does appear that majority of those elected come nothing�. across as 'bench warmers' as quite a number of them have been caught sleeping, 'chatting away on S4C: There have been several scandals in the mobile phones', 'exchanging pleasantries', House of Representatives and no one seems to 'chewing gum', and the like. have been convicted in court or sentenced. In light of the recent scandal involving the Securities and Patrick Obahiagbon: There is no serious program of Exchange Commission, do you think the National induction to get non-lawyers to acclimatize with the Assembly can stand against corruption as a nuances of parliamentary work. Little wonder most reflection what the Nigerian people want? parliamentarians are like fishes out of water.



S4C: The National Assembly asked the Executive Arm of Government to reverse the pump price of petrol to NGN65:00/litre and this was not done. What further actions is the National Assembly doing about it or is just gain saying to show to Nigerians that you people are working? Patrick Obahiagbon: Resolutions of the House consequent upon a motion does not have the force of law. It's only persuasive on the executive and that was why the House resolution on fuel subsidy was treated with levity by Mr. President even though in advanced democracies, resolutions of parliament are accorded utmost respect by the executive organ of government. S4C: But there is no provision for the legislature to compel the executive to listen to the people? Patrick Obahiagbon: The legislature can bring this about when they stop passing frivolous motions that are most times deficient in moral and national fibre. S4C: Can you now help us out with what we can do the make the National Assembly do exactly what the people want, and not what their political parties or godfathers want? Patrick Obahiagbon: Maybe, we should be hostile to zombie parliamentarians rather than indulging them. Yes it has reached that level.

CONTACT US! Address: 3 Oduyemi Street, 1st Floor, Opposite Ikeja Local Government Secretariat, Anifowoshe, Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria Email: ; Telephone: +234-1-8921097; +234-81-84339156 Website: Blog: Discussion Room: Flickr: YouTube: Follow us on Twitter: @Spaces4Change Useful links: You can access or download our research reports and policy papers on the following site:



We are happy to present the maiden edition of Spaces for Change’s newsletter with you, highlighting concise details of some of the work we h...

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