A young Nigerian woman, who is helping thousands of sexual and domestic abuse victims, has been named Commonwealth Young Person of the Year.
Twenty-eight-year-old Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi, from Lagos, was presented with the award by Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, at Marlborough House, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s London headquarters.
She also received a prize of £5,000, which she will use to expand her activities in Nigeria.
Oluwaseun, herself a survivor of sexual violence, set up the Stand to End Rape Initiative (STER) to provide support to women, men and young people who have experienced any form of gender-based abuse.
She said: “This award reminds me that when young people don’t look away in the face of injustice, and say ‘no’ to cultural biases, we have the capacity to create change because we are magic.
“Winning this award encourages me to keep working hard to build a safe community for women, girls and men in Nigeria and that my story is valid.
“To my team and I, the award is a reminder that our work is seen, felt and should not stop now.”
Oluwaseun explained: “Our organisation provides medical, legal, mental health and psychosocial support, and empowerment services – depending on the requirement. In certain instances, we provide shelter access and financial support to survivors.
“Having experienced sexual violence myself, I understand the cultural barrier of speaking up, and the lapses or lack of services available.
“This award is a reaffirmation that elimination of sexual violence in Nigeria and other Commonwealth Countries is important and a core agenda of the Commonwealth Secretariat as we work towards achieving a ‘Connected Commonwealth’.”
The Commonwealth Youth Awards for Excellence in Development Work aim to raise the profile and highlight the contribution young people make to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Examples range from poverty alleviation to conflict prevention and resolution, to promoting and enhancing democracy and development.
The Secretary-General, who presented the awards, said: “The Commonwealth has remained at the forefront of youth engagement because we recognise – within the diversity and broad distribution of our worldwide family – the powerful individual agency of young people.
“With many of our nations experiencing a demographic bulge of younger people, partnering with youth becomes ever more important.”
Oluwaseun was selected from 16 finalists and four regional winners. More than 500 people from across the Commonwealth were nominated for the award.
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Lassa Fever kills one, five infected in Kebbi
The Kebbi State Government on Sunday confirmed one death from six cases of Lassa Fever in the state.
Dr Assad Hassan, Epidemiologist at the state Ministry of Heath, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Birnin Kebbi, that the cases were recorded between February and April.
Hassan told NAN that four of the victims were from Birnin Kebbi; while the remaining two were from Bunza Local Governmment Area (LGA) of the state.
“The persons confirmed to be infected with the disease are between 23 to 65 years, and they include four males and two females,’’ he said.
According to him, one of the female patients was the one that died within hours of arrival at the Federal Medical Centre in Birnin Kebbi.
He said the blood sample taken from the deceased tested positive to Lassa fever.
“The medical doctor that attended to the deceased was also infected with the fever but has been treated and discharged from hospital,’’ he added.
Hassan further explained that the last confirmed case was on April 27; and refuted reports that two children had died last week as a result of the fever.
“In response to the outbreak, there has been continuous sensitisation of health care workers on Lassa Fever detection and infection, prevention and control measures within the hospital setting.
“Similarly, advocacy, social mobilisation and community engagement has been carried out in all the 21 LGAs of the state,’’ Hassan said.
The epidemiologist also advised communities to keep food and drinking water in rodent-proof containers and to also bring sick family members to the hospital early enough for treatment. (NAN)
Court sentences kidnapper Evans’ 2 Gang Members to 41 years in prison
Two former members of billionaire kidnapper, Evans’ gang have been sentenced to 41 years imprisonment by court.
During an Ikeja High court sitting in Lagos State on Monday, witnessed Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo sentenced the convicts, Kelvin Emenike Ukoh and Emeka Obasi for the abduction of one Ugoje Jude, a shipping agent, and his staff, Miss Piriye Gogo in August 3, 2012.
The convicts were members of the kidnapping gang headed by billionaire kidnapper, Chukwudimeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans. They were arraigned in 2013 alongside three others: Uche Igbani, 28, Chibuzor Osuagwu, 33 and a 36-year-old woman, Onowu Ngozi, on a 14 count-charge bothering on conspiracy, kidnapping, armed robbery and murder.
Ugoje and another staff, Piriye Gogo were kidnapped by the gang who and were later taken to an unknown destination by their leader, Evans.
Miss Ugoje narrated the entire ordeal before the court including how she almost got raped and how she was saved by the police patrol she saw and flagged after the three men took away Jude while holding rifles.
Jude also testified in court, he said his abductors initially ordered him to pay N10m for his release but after negotiations, they accepted N5m.
Justice Taiwo after listening to the testifiers convicted and sentenced Ukoh and Obasi to 5, 15 and 21 years for conspiracy, kidnapping and armed robbery respectively, while the other three; Igbani, Osuagwu and Ngozi were discharged and acquitted by court.
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