WHAT YOU MISSED AT THE 2020 CAHR AWARDS

Good evening, Nigeria! How are you doing? This is Bekeme on the Good Citizen Radio Show. I hope you are having a fantastic Friday. I hope it’s been a great week for you as it’s been for me. I’m so excited because we had our annual Sustainability in the Extractive Industries Conference this week. I know it sounds grand. But basically, what it is, is just a conference that helps us to look at how we can engage rural communities better, like rural communities in the oil and gas and mining sector. And it’s interesting to note that we have mining sites all over Nigeria. In almost every state of Nigeria, we have mineral resources. So, don’t think of mining as though it is just my business. Most of us come from villages, and in these villages, there are what we call artisanal miners, people who just dig in there and get out whatever they can, right? all the popular minerals, and they sell them. Usually, they’re not properly equipped and so what we do is that we have an annual conference, where we basically gather businesses – big business and smaller businesses, we gather community persons, bring people in government, and we look at how we can create systemic changes in these communities.

So, in the case of the oil and gas, we don’t need that thing called resource curse. We believe that we can use our resources to our advantage. The point of discovering these kinds of resources within communities is not to take advantage of these communities and become lifelong dependence on these resources. it’s really so that we can acquire the profits out of this and use those to diversify our economy. Why, because these fossil fuels are finite, and they have dire environmental consequences. So firstly, you must be careful in the way that you get them out, you have to protect the people and the environment because of the negative impacts. And then when you do get the resources, get them sold at premium rates, and then use those profits to develop and diversify the economy. And so, we have been looking at this thing for years, like how do we manage the value chain? And how do we make sure that women under us are protected? How do we make sure that it’s not some grumpy old man in communities who just take advantage of it because what has happened in the past is that businesses just talk to some kings or chiefs in the community, who most of the time have selfish interests. And they do not ensure that whatever they get from the interaction gets down to the people, and communities have been angry and conflicted.

And so, what we do is that we organise this conference, get a steering committee together, a steering committee is made up of people from business, people from government, community persons and leaders who have a conscience, and we see how we can make this work for people and we have been doing this for nine years and we’ve seen how we’ve brought about change and fostered community inclusion.

And you know, we have seen debates at the National Assembly, because we keep on writing advocacy letters, annually. We keep on engaging the different stakeholders, we even developed a tool it’s called the Community Engagement Standards (CES), you should check our website for it.  So, if you check www.csr-in-action.org /CES, you find this tool. It is a revolutionary tool for engaging communities equitably. Everybody who heard about it for the first time at the conference were like, wow! Like this should go global. And I am sure you can help us make it go global. So, if you are listening. If you have any interest in this matter. Look it up, share it, read about it, and let us see how we can make Nigeria as good as Nigeria ought to be. Another interesting thing that happened this week on Thursday was that we had our second annual CAHR Awards. The CAHR Awards is the Community and Human Rights Award. And because we are good citizens, we thought, how do we appreciate individuals and entities who are doing all these great things in their communities? How do we make them feel that somebody is watching and recognising them? And you all made it easy for us? You all tenth it up, and you voted? And because I am looking at it from last year, we had maybe a few hundred last year. This year, we had almost 10,000 people vote and I’m sure next year we’ll have millions because we’re going to come prepared and give you sufficient time to nominate and vote for the people that you think should be recognised and will reward them. And we are hoping that next year we will have proper endowments and there will be financial gifts, especially for the individual categories.

So, keep on watching, we’ll keep on encouraging you and ourselves to be better citizens because it is through us, there is nothing like this government because we are the people who make up government and for every bad government leader that we take out, there are millions of others waiting to come and pursue bad governance because you think that that is how we ought to be. Just because our present leaders are unconscionable doesn’t mean that you carry on that legacy.

Now, the award categories are seven but there are nine awards giving up because some were given to both companies and individual. So, both the Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti Human Rights Award and the Hajiya Gambo Sawaba Community Impact Awards are giving to individuals as well. So, we have Ken Saro-Wiwa Environmental Management Award, and we have MKO Abiola Community Engagement Award. We have Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti Human Rights Award, we have Mallam Aminu Kano Award for Leadership, Josephine Nkemdilim Equal Rights award, Hajiya Gambo Sawaba Community Impact Award and of course Apostle Hayford Alile Humanitarian Award. All of these had winners and you chose them. I think that the best thing that I got out of this was when somebody sent me a message and said, ‘Oh my goodness, I’m so glad my vote counted!’ I wish INEC was like CSR-in-Action. I am fanning myself because we opened it up to you and you chose and nominated people that you wanted. We screened based on an open platform and saw that some people were just trying to do good. We then opened it up for all to vote. And when you voted, we got an independent cast of jurors, we got Ruggedman, aka Stevens Ugochukwu. We got Shola Schullz Mogaji of Classic FM, we got Emem Okon, a community expert and Dr Mina Ogbanga, who is also a community expert. We had one of our board members who is a communications expert Tokunboh Durosayo and we had Ireti Bakare-Yusuf on board, an activist as well. These wonderful people literally gave their time free of charge. We are just going to play you a recording of what happened. I need you to enjoy this and send us what you think on our social media handles at the end of the day. Now listen and enjoy.

Welcome to the second edition of the Community and Human Rights Awards 2020. My name is Victory Wilson, and I am so excited and really honoured to be hosting this year’s event. The CAHR Awards is designed to acknowledge and appreciate best performing companies and individuals who have taken extraneous steps to correct the anomalies of engagement within communities, primarily extractive communities. And I assure you that we are going to have an incredibly beautiful time together.

Welcome to the 2020 CAHR Awards. Ladies and gentlemen, members of the press, the year 2020 has been a year of mixed emotions, a year of heroes and villains, a year that will be referenced by many for posterity and for remarkable events around the world about the essence of what it is to be human, a human with dignity as we celebrate the second Community and Human Rights Awards 2020. It is important to recognise organisations and persons that have shown themselves to be community builders and human rights defenders. Those who are working to ensure that human rights are not a luxury but is accessible in all the nooks and crannies of our dear country.

 In 10 short years we have hosted our annual Sustainability in Extractive Industries (SITEI) Conference for nine years. From humble beginnings to the most sought-after event on best practice development within oil and gas and mining communities. The SITEI conference, and our Good Citizen initiative, planted the seedlings for what has become the CAHR Awards. Now in its second year, CAHR Awards as with everything that we do, and believe in at CSR-in-Action, is non- partisan and non-tribal and is pro Nigeria, pro citizen, and pro collective development. Our aim is to recognise those individuals and businesses who are seeking not for clout or for legacy those who seek to have a legacy for generations unborn. Popular playwrights Lin Manuel Miranda once said ‘’Legacy is  is planting seeds in a garden you never get to see’’, which brings to mind the song ‘Que sera sera’ which my mother loves to sing when I was a child. ‘Que sera sera, whatever will be will be, the future is not ours to tell, que Sera, Sera. Two things jump out to me from that song. One, everyone seeks self-fulfilment. Two, but even if you cannot see the future, you can do your best to live intentionally. Now there are three other things that I wish to point out about the CAHR Awards.

One, the focus of the CAHR Awards is to showcase the power of the individual person or company and the role that they play in nation building and the fact that we aim to celebrate our diversity as a country. This is why we have taken the time to carefully researched heroes of past and present memory for whom we named our prestigious awards after, and they are Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, the lioness of Lisabi, Apostle Hayford Alile, a veritable humanitarian, Josephine Nkemdilim my mother, the unsung hero in whose purity of spirit and open heartedness believed the times that she lived in, Mallam Aminu Kano, a  non-partisanship leader of excellence, MKO Abiola, the poster child for democracy, Hajiya Gambo Sawaba,, a woman who proved that one can thrive and impact many, regardless of creed, or culture. And finally, Ken Saro-Wiwa Environmental, a man who proved that passion could bring about change.

The awards process for the year featured fantastic entries of projects from individuals and organisations and had almost 10,000 votes cast towards the emergence of the top three nominees in each category. The process for winners was open and transparent. There was a call for nomination. There was an internal review, there was a validation of nominations. And then people commenced voting as we validated, and then there was an independent jury verification. So, congratulations to the nominees, the finalists, and the winners. I know this sounds cliche, but you all are winners. Imagine being nominated for exemplary work out of almost 200 million people. That is amazing. Children are the legacy we leave for the time we will not leave to see, said the famous philosopher, Aristotle, and so be rest assured that your children will eat from the seedlings that you have planted and will be the foundation upon which greatness emanates.

Thank you for choosing to fight for the advancement of peace, sustainable development, and human dignity in our dear country. I look forward to our awards being hosted and celebrated in different parts of the world, and with voting surpassing 10s of millions. What that would tell me is that Nigerians have finally come to recognizing our own, into owning and fighting for their destiny. I thank our overarching and committed sponsor, Ford Foundation, who are helping us to keep a vision and impact growing stronger with each passing year, I thank Global Rights for its commitment to human rights, and for sponsoring the Human Rights Awards. I thank our media partner Zenera Consulting for taking all our activities global. I thank our jurors who gave their heart and the time, at a time when humans across the globe are struggling to retain their humanity. I thank the fantastic team with whom I work across all our expressions to make these things happen. And of course, I thank the good citizens of Nigeria. God bless Nigeria. Please let’s listen to Abiola Baiyewu, Executive Director, Global Rights speak.

Hi, my name is Abiola Baiyewu and I am Executive Director of Global Rights. And I am proud to speak about the Community and Human Rights Award in partnership with CSR-in-Action. Every year, Global Rights works with partners across Nigeria to bring attention to issues of natural resource governance and human rights. It is particularly important to us that we live in a country where dignity and the rights of every citizen is respected, even in business. At the heart of every business is the desire to make profits. But profit is not sustainable, where human rights are violated. No country’s development can exceed the level of its respect for human rights. And beyond naming and shaming, which most human rights organisation are pleased to do, Global Rights is pleased to also praise those who will respect human rights. And that is what the Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti Community and Human Rights Award is about. Thank you and may the best person win.

The CAHR Awards was launched in 2019 at the SITEI conference, where individuals like Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Segun Awosanya of Segalinks, and other outstanding Nigerians were awarded for their outstanding contributions to sustainable development. Now, this year would be no different, as different individuals and companies are vying for several award categories, nine categories to be specific. Now without further ado, let’s move straight to the first award category for the day. Now, the first category is the Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti Award for individuals. This will be presented by Pastor Godman Akinlabi. Please welcome pastor Godman Akinlabi.

Pastor Godman: Thank you very much. It is a pleasure to be at The Community and Human Rights Awards 2020.

The nominees for the Community and Human Rights Award for individual category are Rebecca Sako John, Aisha Yesufu, and Blessing Okojie Eze.

Pastor Godman: For the Funmilayo Ransome-kuti Human Rights Award for an individual Nigerian with an outstanding record in human rights and advocacy. This award goes to Aisha Yesufu.

Aisha Yesufu: Well, it makes me feel that there is so much that I need to do and do more. Like Jim Rohm said ‘If what you did yesterday is looking big to you today that means you are not doing enough.’. And so, what this is for me is that Aisha, you cannot relent on being that person who fights for Nigeria and that there is so much, there is so many things that we need to do. And for me it just says to me that look at the end of the day it does not matter what people are saying as long as we stand on the path of truth and that the truth does not need NAFDAC number and no matter how much people abuse, insult, castigate, come at you, my life, or defame us, we will stand for the truth and the truth will always see us through and for me that is really is everything. I would say I dedicate this to the #EndSARS Youth who came up to stand for their rights and unfortunately quite a number of them were killed, may their souls rest in peace and we will never stop until we get a Nigeria where the son of nobody becomes somebody without knowing anybody and that is very important.

The nominees for the Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Human Rights Award for company are: Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Centre for Rights and Development, Amnesty International Nigeria, Women of Inestimable Values Foundation, Guaranty Trust Bank, Flutter wave, and Guinness Nigeria.

So, it gives me a great privilege and honour to present the Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Human Rights Award in the category of corporate entities in Nigeria. Corporate organisations who have been able to uphold the rights of individual Nigerians in different areas of life, especially this season, that our nation needs to recognise the rights of individual Nigerians like never before. And this award, the winner for the Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti Human Rights Award in the corporate category goes to Social Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP). Please put your hands together for SERAP.

The nominees for the Apostle Hayford Alile Humanitarian Award are John Adesina, Dr Abayomi Durojaye, and Safiya Ibn Garba.

Pastor Godman:  On behalf of CAHR Awards, I present the Apostle Hayford Alile Humanitarian Award, which goes to an individual Nigerian who has done a great job upholding human rights in this nation and also meeting the needs of individual Nigerians in different areas of their endeavour. This award goes to Safiya Ibn Garba.

Okay, the next award is the award for Josephine Nkemdilim Equal Rights Award 2020. Okay, this award will be presented by Dr Nechi Ezeakor. Please welcome Dr Nechi Ezeakor. Put your hands together for her.

The nominees for the Josephine Nkemdilim Equal Rights Award are Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative, She Leads Africa, Willow Empowerment for Grassroots Development Initiatives, and Women in Mining in Nigeria.

Dr Nechi: Thank you. So, this award is the Josephine Nkemdilim Equal Rights Award. And it is given to the individual who has consistently supported gender rights. And the award winner is… okay. So, the award winner is She Leads Africa.

Nominees for the Mallam Aminu Kano Award for Leadership are Dr Abayomi Durojaye, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Rinu Oduala, and Dayo Adeniyi.

Dr Nechi: Thank you very much for the opportunity to present this award. The Mallam Aminu Kano Leadership Award is for the individual who has shown exemplary leadership consistently and added value to various sectors and organisations. And it is not surprising that the award goes to no other than Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Dr Ngozi: I want to thank CSR-in-Action Advocacy and Global Rights for making me part of this 2020 Community and Human Rights Award. By honouring me with the Aminu Kano Award for leadership. I am sorry, I cannot be with you there. But I must say I am delighted. I want to thank you for all the work you are doing, and I say keep the flag flying. Thank you.

Victory: And that brings us to the next award, which is the MKO Abiola Community Engagement Award to be presented by Michael Ugochukwu Stevens, popularly known as Ruggedman.

The nominees for the MKO Abiola Community Engagement Award are empowering women for Excellence Initiative (EWEI), Strategy and Innovation for Development, Amnesty International, Child Shields Initiative, OVH Energy Marketing, Access Bank Plc, and Spaces for Youth Development and Social Change.

Ruggedman: Good afternoon everybody. Okay, the MKO Abiola Community Engagement Award is an award for a company with the most amenable relationship with its community and has a clear process for exclusive engagement and grievance management. This culture of the organisation has yielded positive impacts within the community. And the winner for the MKO Community Engagement Award is okay. And the winner is Child Shield Initiative.

The nominees for the Hajiya Gambo Sawaba Community Impact Award for individual are Safiya Ibn Garba, Martha Alade, and Zion Oshiobugie.

Ruggedman: The 2020 Community and Human Rights Awards is for the individual with the most impact in a community and the winner for this award is… The winner is Zion Oshiobugie.

The nominees for the Hajiya Gambo Sawaba Community Impact Award for company are Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative (EWEI), Strategy and Innovation for Development, OVH Energy Marketing, Access Bank PLC, British American Tobacco

So, the Hajiya Gambo Sawaba Community Impact Award for company is also for the company with the most visible impact in terms of community development. The award goes to Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative (EWEI).

Safiya: My name is Safiya Ibn Garba, recipient of the Apostle Hhayford Alile Humanitarian Award and founder of Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative, recipient of the Hajia Gambo Sawaba Community Impact Award in the company category in the 2020 Community and Human Rights Awards, bestowed by the prestigious CSR-in-Action. Unfortunately, I am not able to be there in person, but cannot miss this opportunity to say how much this means to me and my team. I want to extend my deepest appreciation for the recognition and honour. We will continue to work for the betterment of our communities and nation. And in doing so, model the values which these awards represent. Thank you to the jury, to all who voted for and supported us. And here is to many more years of service to our nation and the continent. Thank you.

 The nominees for the Ken Saro-Wiwa Environmental Management Award are Guinness Nigeria, Nigerian Breweries Plc, The Network of Civil Society in Environment (NCSE), African Clean-up Initiative, International Climate Change Development Initiative, Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN), and International Breweries Plc.

The Ken Saro-Wiwa Environmental Management Award is an award to a company which has the least negative environmental impact. And this award goes to African Clean-up Initiative.

Hello everyone. I want to thank the organisers for this wonderful opportunity to be here. This is me as an Ajegunle boy standing on this global stage. It can only be God. I would like to thank everyone that have stood by us, especially our Africa Clean-up Initiative volunteers across different states. I want to thank our volunteers, I want to thank every Nigerian youth for their support, I want to thank everyone that voted for us, we want to say a big thank you to you. The love we got during the time of voting was so much. Everybody was looking for the link to vote. They were asking us to please give us the link, we want to vote for you. Because we have done so much and it is as if nobody is seeing it, nobody is noticing, but we are here today, only by His grace and grace alone. Thank you everyone. Thank you so much from my wife and my kids to everyone. So much love. Thank you so much. Thank you and God bless you.

Wasn’t that fantastic? Did you enjoy my singing? Congratulations to ACI, Child Shield Initiative, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Safiya Ibn Garba, EWEI, Zion Oshiobugie, SERAP, Aisha Yesufu and She Leads Africa, you all keep on inspiring us and join us on our social media platforms to see more about the Award. You can go to our YouTube at CSR-in-Action and watch the entire video. Thank you so much for listening. God bless you. Bye bye

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