Network of Reproductive Health Journalists
Gets New Executives
By Bashir Hassan Abubakar
The Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria (NRHJN) has elected new officials to run its ongoing campaign on sexual and Reproductive health rights and policies for the next three years.
A press statement signed and issued by the new president Ynka Shokunbi said the new officials were unanimously elected unopposed during the Network’s 2020 Annual General Meeting AGM held virtually on January 22nd 2021
During the AGM, the Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman Dr Ejike Oji who is the Chairman, Association of Advanced Family Planning of Nigeria (AAFP) and Dr Ejike Oji Community Development Foundation appreciated the contribution of the Network to issues relating to Sexual and Reproductive Health and rights and policies in its ten years of existence. He charged the newly elected officers to be upright and committed to uplift the principles of rights of women to their Sexual and Reproductive Health.
Also applauding the election of new executive committee, chairman, Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) and Executive Director, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Agolabi, who is a member of the BOT, encouraged the exco to reach out more in promoting equity and access of women to reproductive health services that enhance their dignity.
She urged the leadership of the Network to put commitment on the front line of media advocacy for promoting gender issues pointing out that, “there is still a lot of work to be done in eliminating gender based violence on all spheres of our lives as a nation”.
On her part, Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Abuja Branch, Dr. Hauwa Shekarau, who is also the Legal Adviser and BOT member, noted that the Network has proven that it is a group to be reckoned with in it’s areas of competence that cut across all sexual and reproductive health issues.
She charged the new executive to continue to strengthen the capacity of it’s members across the country through continued programmes of development and engagements so that more visibility would be given to issues of women, girls and persons rights to making informed decisions and right choices in their sexual and reproductive health.
Those elected are : Ynka Shokunbi, President, Nasir Yusuf Ibrahim, Vice President, Sekinah Lawal, National secretary and Tosin Odusola as Assistant secretary.
Others are Julie Ekong, Treasurer, Nma Okereke, Financial Secretary and Sola Ogundipe, Program Advisor
The office of Welfare/Publicity will be manned by Elizabeth Kah while Martins Ifijeh is to serve as Internal Auditor, with Ijeoma Ukazu as Ex- officio (1) and Joy Olabisi Akpaida Ex-Officio (2) respectively.
The statement also said that the post of Legal Adviser goes to Dr. Hauwa Shekarau ,who is also the current Chairperson NBA, Abuja Branch
Our correspondent reports that the the NRHJN was formed in April 2010 with the support of Ipas, Nigeria as a media advocacy group to be a communication bridge between SRHR partners and the public at a time when it was difficult for the public to appreciate the works of most partners, the importance of sexual and reproductive health rights of women and girls and protection against gender based violence.
The concerted media advocacy of the Network has been instrumental to the birth of VAPP Law and its continued adoption in several states of Nigeria.
The Network has also been on the front line in the Gag Rule campaign, access to Family Planning services/ Contraceptives of choice and education on elimination of harmful practices that violates reproductive health and rights of women especially gender based violence such as rape among others.