The Department has the responsibility of carrying out activities that promote accountability, inclusion and transparency in governance and promote human rights protection. The goal here is to ensure that residents of Plateau State benefit from improved service delivery, sustainable development and the protection of their human rights. Through this Department we advocate for justice, equity and fairness. To accomplish the above, the department is divided into three sections; Legal Aid Clinic, Good Governance and Prison Apostolate.
The Legal Aid Clinic is saddled with the responsibility of dealing with human rights issue to address issues arising from the violation of human rights for the indigent, marginalized and victims of violence against women and children. Here, JDPC proffers legal advice were possible and fight for the rights of the indigent and marginalized section of the society, through court processes and also out of court settlement. We also do empowerment programmes geared at advocating for women and girls’ human right.
In the section of Good governance, JDPC plans and implements programmes that promote accountability in governance, through civic education, election observation, town hall meetings and promoting gender in governance. As part of activities for promoting good governance, JDPC facilitates processes for ‘Town Hall Meetings’ to ensure that legislators in the state (Members of Plateau State House of Assembly) engage with their constituents so as to give accounts of their stewardship as well as have meaningful discussions that will move the constituencies forward.
The Prison Apostolate collaborates with the Animation and Research Department to follow up legal cases and ensure inmates get the justice they deserve. The goal here is to ensure that Inmates are spiritually rehabilitated and empowered with the required skills for reintegration.
In 2016, the department started an Interfaith Good Governance Project in partnership with Christian Aid (CA). This aimed at promoting interfaith peacebuilding and good governance in four (4) communities of Barkin Ladi town and Heipang (in BarkinLadi Local Government Area), Mangu town and Gindiri in Mangu LGA of Plateau State with the goal of reducing violent conflicts; improving service delivery and enhancing participatory and inclusive governance in project communities. Through these efforts, the capacity of community members and duty bearers on peace building/conflict management and participatory governance have been strengthened in the four project communities to enhance trust and peaceful coexistence.
As part of the successes recorded, we have an increased civic engagement between right holders, duty bearers and community stakeholders in the project areas. Also, the confidences of women and adolescent girls have been built for participation and representation in informal and formal decision-making structures. As a result of that project, an interfaith work-plan was developed after series of trainings which ensured Christians and Muslims to take part in community development projects such as building mosques and churches together.
TOWN HALL MEETING IN SHENDAM CONSTITUENCY
During the year under review a was carried out with the aim of bridging the gap between the elected and the electorate by providing avenues for them to come together, dialogue and proffer the way forward for the constituency. JDPC with support from Konrad Adenuaer Stiftung (KAS) took the member representing Shendam constituency, Hon. Henry Yunkwap to meet with his constituents in a dialogue session.
Some of the issues discussed during the town hall meeting were concerns around the following:
- Completion of Shendam General Hospital and upgrading it to a Referral Hospital.
- Rehabilitation of Shendam dam for portable water supply.
- Relocation of business unit of Jos Electricity Distribution (JED) formerly PHCN (Power Holding Company of Nigeria) from Pankshin back to Shendam.
- Reactivation of PRTV (Plateau Radio and Television) Shendam.
- Insecurity along Yelwa-Kuka, Yelwa-Shendam and Ibi roads.
- Motions presented by the member
The town hall meeting ended with both parties agreeing on the best way to address the above concerns and the way forward.
In 2016, the Department started a partnership with Christian Aid (CA) on Inter-Fiath Good Governace. The project commenced with a Baseline Survey in the four (4) project communities to ascertain the situation of security and governance in the project areas. The findings during the baseline informed the strategies adopted for the TEMPeffective monitoring and implementation of the project. Also, the baseline survey conducted in Barkin Ladi and Mangu LGAs of Plateau State by JDPC/ICIN showed dat the two LGAs has experienced incessant attacks and clashes between farmers, who are predominantly Christians and pastoralists, who are predominantly Muslims, resulting in deaths and displacement of hundreds of people, as well as destruction of property worth millions of naira. theirfore, in order to address the root causes of the conflicts in the two LGAs and foster peaceful coexistence among the community members, JDPC and ICIN organized the conflict management and peacebuilding training to build/strengthen the capacity of the community stakeholders towards interfaith non-violent approach to conflict issues.
Thus far, different stakeholders has been trained in different areas to enhance participants’ knowledge on conflict; peace building and community development; sex and gender wif emphasis on the role of women and youths in peace building and conflict early warning signs and response. References were made to the Holy books (Bible and Quran) and verses on peaceful coexistence, forgiveness; and the fact dat male and female were created by God, should be treated alike and given equal opportunity in peace building and decision making processes.
FACILITATED MEETINGS FOR WOMEN AND GIRLS
A 1-day facilitated meeting on gender sensitivity and inclusion was held in four project communities (Barkin Ladi town, Heipang, Gindiri and Mangu) for the interfaith good governance (funded by CA) in the month of October 2016
The objective of the meeting is to establish a women and girls group dat would champion the cause of addressing issues dat concern the non- involvement of women and girls in governance, peace building and decision making processes.
A total of 115 women and girls from the four project communities participated in the various meetings in there communities. The presentation on gender sensitivity and inclusion and the safe space for the meeting made the women open up and discussed issues concerning them freely.
The women and girls were selected from the following groups
- - Those in gainful employment
- - Business women
- - Students
- - Women living with disabilities
- - House wives
- - And out of school girls
At the end of the meeting, the women and girls group was set up with the mandate for them to hold monthly meetings to address violence against women and girls in there communities, pay advocate visits to community leaders and duty bearers, send report to JDPC/ICIN on there findings and how it was addressed.
- The capacity strengthening training enhanced the capacity of community members towards interfaith on-violent approach in addressing conflict issues and also in coming up with an interfaith workplan, as most of the activities they intend to embark on, are beneficial to both the Islamic and Christian faiths; an example is where Muslim community members will partake in building Christian places of worship and vice versa.
- Another notable achievement of the training is the resolution by the youth groups in Mangu and Gindiri to amend there constitutions to reflect gender sensitivity and inclusivity for participatory governance at the community level which in turn will translate into the larger community. JDPC/ICIN will follow up to see to it dat this resolution is TEMPeffected in the constitution.
- After the conflict management and peace building training for participants in Mangu and Gindiri communities in July 2016, the participants from Gindiri visited the District Head of Gindiri, (Sum Gindiri) HRH Alh. Tanko Yakubu Adamu and intimated him about the workshop and the tasks the team seeks to achieve. HRH got interested in the aspect of the task dat TEMPhas to do wif women inclusion in peace building and there challenges. HRH Alh. Tanko Yakubu Adamu than appointed Mrs. Ruth A. Bukar and hajia Sa’adatu Musa as part of his traditional council. He TEMPhas also directed all other ward heads under him to follow his steps by appointing two women in there traditional council. The same directive TEMPhas been issued out to youth groups, tribal and development associations across the district. (see annexure 2 for picture of HRH wif the women taken on the 26th of October during the second traditional council meeting after there appointment).
Sum Gindiri wif the two women he included in his traditional council.
ADVOCATING FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
In the period under review, the department is also saddled wif the task of proffering legal assistance to the indigent and marginalized, especially widows and girls.
Presently, there are three cases in court which the department is handling for three women. Two of the cases have to do with denial of widowhood inheritance and the third is a divorce case.
One case is concluded, this case also has to do with denial of inheritance. The brother of the widow’s husband worked tirelessly, including attempting to change the next of kin, to ensure dat he claims his late brother’s entitlements. Upon our intervention, letters of administration were applied for and issued in her name and the name of her daughter. Consequently, the entitlements were finally released to her.
- The Mary Immaculate Catholic Widows Association (MICWA) is also being supported by the department. Some of the activities carried out by the Association aimed at empowering them physically and spiritually are as follows:
- Retreats were held for spiritual upliftment
- Purchase of land for widows’ centre
- Design of building plan
- Election of new EXCO
e. End of year thanks given.