Wole Balogun, Ado-Ekiti
Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has warned that the current use of the various social media platforms by majority of the youths and other internet savvy people is destroying ‘our humanity’ across the world.
She said the disturbing trend has resulted into widespread teenage suicides, especially in the Western world.
She frowned at a recent development whereby many people in Africa displayed their privacy on the social media and thus exposed themselves to harmful reactions and dangers from thousands who feed on such information.
Mrs. Fayemi, as a writer and African feminist, also advocated for the promotion and preservation of African cultural practices that are progressive and positive as against harmful practices that denigrate women and rob children and the girl child of their rights.
The Ekiti State First Lady made the remarks, on Wednesday evening, during the reading of one of her creative efforts, Loud Whispers, at the October edition of the monthly reading of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Ekiti State chapter.
The occasion was graced by distinguished writers and university dons such as world renowned playwright and activist, Prof. Femi Osofisan, Prof. Olu Obafemi, Prof. Sunny Ododo, Medical Doctor and writer Wale Okediran who are former National presidents of ANA.
There were also top government functionaries of Ekiti State Government led by deputy governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, as well as members of ANA from other states and Ekiti people.
Mrs. Fayemi, who read excerpts from Loud Whispers to hundreds of ANA members and Ekiti people present at the venue of the event at De Jewels Apartment on Poly Road, Ado Ekiti, explained the inspirations behind her writings, “I started Loud Whispers to engage online, and to be a able to access information that was not just gossip or salacious materials but information that are of value; politics, economy, relationships, parenting and so on.
“That is how I started Above Whispers and I write a column for Above Whispers every Monday called Loud Whispers.
“If you look at the trends in my books, starting from my autobiography, which was published five years, Speaking Above the Whispers, and my book of essays ‘Speaking for Myself’ and now this publication, ‘Loud Whispers’. I use that as a metaphor as a voice for enabling women or the voiceless have a voice.
“Women are brought up in our society to be invisible, or even if you are visible , you are to be seen but not heard and so it is important for us to give women opportunities to express themselves and to enable them assess leadership positions and to fulfill their aspirations in life.
“So, when I write, I write to address women and I also write to address the society at large to ensure that we minimize the divides and ensure that we create opportunities for everyone, ” she said.
Asked if she would advocate for a course of study to be part of our schools curriculum to guide young ones on better ways to use the social media, she replied: “That is an interesting thought. It is something we can definitely look into, because there is really so much we can do by way of public awareness and sensitization, may be some of these things do need to be institutionalised by way of what people learn in schools.
“I don’t know what the appropriate mechanism will be may be through civic education or social studies programmes, but definitely people need to learn from an early age that there are certain things you don’t do or don’t share with the public.
“And we have a generation that people have grown up not knowing any better, they don’t do it to be malicious or cruel they just don’t know any better it because that is the world that they know.
“I know in some parts of the world it has reached to a very epidemic level where now have young people are now committing suicide because of stuffs that they read online they are being bullied, we were all being bullied in schools but now it has gotten to a level where young people are being bullied online not by just 20 people in your class but by millions of people who don’t even know who you are and never seen you before.
“But they have something to say about how fat or ugly you are and so these young people can’t take it and they start suicide rate and make it higher among teenagers because of the things happening online.
“If you look at the society people, are suffering with a lot of issues, people are lonely, people are depressed, people are looking for outlets to express themselves and the one place they think they can go to is to get support is social media and unfortunately you are using this medium that many people have access to who don’t know you and don’t know what you are passing through or have any stake in your life and they say so many things and make matters worse.
“So, my call is for us to take a step back and stop using that space with caution. It is very useful in terms of disseminating information, advocacy and so on but we should stop using it as a tool to destroy humanity, because that is where we are headed.”
Mrs. Fayemi, who was inducted into ANA by Ekiti chapter chairman, Tai Akogun, also fielded questions bordering on her views as a feminist of African extraction and the African cultural practices, saying, “I make myself a feminist because It is important to locate myself in a struggle that a lot of women are engaged in.
“Feminism is a complex phenomenon. As a women rights activist in the UK and across some countries of Africa, and having worked with other feminists for 10 years, the way l experienced feminism taught me that all the different schools of feminisms we talk about are not
“I am okay with an African culture that encourages self esteem and human dignity but I am opposed with an African culture that insists that my rights as a woman have to be relegated.
“As an African feminists I cannot come up with a theory beyond the realities of my society.
“One of the greatest inhibitors we face in our society in enforcing the rights of our women that we are closely knitted together.
“Such that to enforce penalty becomes hard as you have a situation where people beg for leniency or pardon saying forgive him it is the devil and things like you have people begging for forgiveness for a rapist who raped a 13 year old.
“I don’t have to have the same agenda with a feminist in America because I do not live in such society.
“Many of the liberal feminist agendas that we advocate for in Africa have become obsolete in the western world.
“Such as female child education, preventing female genital mutilation, prosecuting rape culprits etc.
“I believe in upholding our cultural norms and values that are positive and progressive. I will not be an advocate of harmful cultural practices that silence the women, limit peoples’ choices, promote widowhood practices, limiting the opportunities of girls.
“But I am in support of cultural practices that are uplifting, such as respect for community elders and sharing in our community so we see each others as our brothers’ keepers etc.
“I also support our cultural values that shows our uniqueness, such as naming our day old babies in our unique cultural way, such as christening our babies in a Yoruba way of using honey, salt, Alligator pepper etc .”
Mrs. Fayemi also explained her support for sex education for teenagers and encouraging women in politics: ” We need to talk about sex education, the kind that endangers our children and are capable of destroying their future and we need to educate them about these things and have to play our role as parents.
“My support for women in politics comes with a condition that you do well. Women are held to higher standards than the men, there are things that men do and get away with it but women won’t. Women who do not do well in politics limit the chances of other women, ” she said.
The post Social media destroying ‘our humanity’, Fayemi’s wife warns appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.
Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.
President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.
Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.
He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.
He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.
“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’
“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.
“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.
“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.
“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.
“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”
However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.
He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.
“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”
CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers
The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.
“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?
“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.
“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.
“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”
Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.
“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.
“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.
Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike
Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.
Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.
The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.
Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.
Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).
Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).
The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”
On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.
The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.
“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.
The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”
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