Wednesday, 12 December 2012

U-Report: Ford Foundation Appoints Nigerian As W/African Rep.

Report By: Ford Foundation Media Relations Office

The Ford Foundation today announced the appointment of Innocent Chukwuma as representative for West Africa, serving Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, The Gambia, Mali, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Chukwuma will be based in the Ford Foundation’s office in Lagos and will oversee all of the foundation’s work in the region.

Chukwuma is a globally-renowned advocate for human rights and good governance as well as a leading scholar on police and criminal justice reform in West Africa. Most recently, he founded and led the CLEEN Foundation, a civil society group that promotes public safety, security and accessible justice in West Africa. He has also held various posts with the Civil Liberties Organization (CLO), one of Nigeria’s first human rights organizations. He is the CEO and Chair of the Altus Alliance, a global network of nonprofits, and is a member of the International Society for Criminology.

Chukwuma is a member of the boards of many nonprofits and initiatives against crime and violence around the world. These include the International Centre for the Prevention of Crime (ICPC), African Policing Civilian Oversight Forum (APCOF), Open Society Global Criminal Justice Fund and a member of the Africa Advisory Council of Human Rights Watch.

“Innocent is an absolutely ideal leader to continue the Ford Foundation’s long legacy of support for democratic participation, equal opportunity, and transparency throughout West Africa,” said DarrenWalker, vice president for Education, Creativity and Free Expression at the foundation. “We couldn’t be more excited for him to assume this important leadership position at this moment of incredible potential for the region.”

Chukwuma is the recipient of numerous honors, including the Reebok International Human Rights Award. He holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Leicester in the UK and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nigeria. He also served as a visiting lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he designed and taught a course on management of non-profits in the Global South.

“I am deeply honored to lead the Ford Foundation’s work in West Africa,” Chukwuma said. “Ford has long been an essential resource for social change and visionary leadership throughout the region, and I am incredibly optimistic about what we can continue to accomplish in the important years that lie ahead.”

More than half a century, the Ford Foundation has been committed to strengthening democracy throughout the region. Today, as West Africa is on the verge of a new era of peace and prosperity, the foundation is working with visionary leaders in civil society and government who are expanding participation in the democratic process and accelerating the pace of social change. We support efforts to engage government on behalf of the marginalized and underrepresented, and help civil society empower these communities.

Chukwuma will begin his new position in January 2013. He was selected after a broad international search.

U-Report: 64th Anniversary Of UDHR; CD Says Human Rights, Others Below Average

Report By: Campaign For Democracy South East Region Publicity Arm
The Campaign for Democracy (CD), South-East Region has lamented the below average performance of the South-East in terms of human rights, economic growth, security and employment.

This was contained in a statement issued by CD to newsmen in Onitsha, Anambra as part of the group’s assessment for the 64th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).

The statement was signed by Dede Uzor A. Uzor and Dr Jerry Chukwuokolo, who are Chairman and secretary of CD South-East Region on Wednesday.

``CD frowns at the economic down-turn and close down of hundreds of factories and workplaces in the zone as well as high rate of unemployment within the South-East, which is alarming.

``The contributing factors to these economic down-turn stems from epileptic power supply, insecurity of investors and expatriates as well as high rate of erosion.

``It had led to unprecedented security threat, which has resulted to new dimensions of crime especially kidnapping and sales of babies,’’ it said.

The statement also decried multiple forms of human rights violation against members of the public in the hands of law enforcement officers and government functionaries.

``The institutions include: SSS, police X-squad, IGP monitoring unit, anti-terrorist squad, vigilante groups and other security operatives in the zone.

``They have remained a serious thorn in the flesh of the South-East citizens.’’ It said.

The statement also stressed its concern over the dumping of people in Anambra SSS detention without trial; adding ``From inside sources, over 15 suspected kidnappers are languishing in the SSS detention cell without been charged to court’’.

``While over 40 is been detained in Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Anambra; while the same number of people could be found in Imo, Enugu, Abia and Ebonyi respectively,’’ it said.

The statement called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to overhaul police formations and special units in Anambra in order to align with the present democracy.

``Where people’s fundamental rights are violated through intimidation, extortion, torture and arbitrary arrest and detention with impunity,’’ it said.

The statement also urged the police service commission to make a minimum qualification of first degree for new entrants to the police force.