Hello friends, hello followers and hello colleagues in Nigeria and around the world!
We introduce you to the start of the joint annual reports, the start of a new performance report and financial report for the year between 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011 and thereafter through to the yearly reports of 1 January 2012 to 31 January 2020. In this report, we cover our activities between mid-2011 w hen we began our online campaign, to 2020 and thereafter, where we introduce a forecast for our 2021 activities.
We look forward to presenting you with a full performance and financial report and every year hereafter, starting with the report of 1 January to 31 December 2021. We look forward to publishing this by or before 1 January each year starting from the year 2022. You will be surprised to know that this is the first ever official performance report and financial report since the formation of UVOBPI in Badagry. On 13 July 2011, we constituted ourselves as an organisation and established articles of association, with our legal headquarters domiciled in Lagos State, Nigeria.
It is worth knowing that the initial drive for UVOBPI started first with an online audience on 11 May 2011. This was part of the self-driven ambition of the founder who mobilised volunteers via online Facebook (FB) activities, with the creation of an online group forum, with the objective to campaign against corruption and human rights abuses, hampering development in Lagos, but in particular Badagrian communities in Nigeria. The activities of UVOBPI emerged within the combination of identifiable covert and overt volunteering operations carried out by ordinary Badagry people, who engaged in covert investigative journalism activities. Scholars from home and abroad, operating independently, joined our FB group forum. The founder of UVOBPI would occasionally mobilise local activities financially in a bid to raise awareness against corruption. The operational focus during this period was to raise awareness concerning the impact corruption has on development through the lens of local communities and drawing the world’s attention to Badagry.
The aim was to enlighten, initiate discussion, raise awareness of the consequences of corruption, and to engage local communities in Badagry and Nigeria in the discussion against corruption. The focus was to connect Badagrians to the world, initiate discussion on the degrading conditions of Badagry and her environs as well as the damaged infrastructure, with the hope to encourage sustainable environment in Badagry. An example is the sand dredging activities that could potentially impact sustainable environment. We drew attention to the Badagry Lagos Expressway’s deplorable conditions, we drew attention to the damaged roads, we engaged Badagry’s people in discussions about unity, thereby drawing attention to the widespread nature of corruption affecting Nigeria
In 11 May 2011, the launching of the FB campaign against corruption, targeted the undeveloped conditions in Badagry communities. The undeveloped conditions, being the result of decades of a lack of willingness to help on the part of the leaders, at the local community, state and national levels, made a lasting impact on me. The receptive culture and engagement of the people was overwhelming when the programmes began. However, I also gathered some negative impressions, the frustration and the poor living conditions of the people in the remote parts of Badagry’s communities, the oppression the people must have suffered at the hands of abusers and the youths of Badagry who must have turned to politicians for solutions as an alternative way out from these deplorable conditions. These impressions have remained with me till this day.
The conclusion to help Nigerians at large was a temptation that grew in me, but I thought to narrow the concept. In particular, the zeal to help Badagry’s inhabitants grew stronger when I carefully observed how some individuals joined the FB discussion forum only to pretend that these deplorable conditions were mythical conceptions. Some disagreed that corruption was indeed hampering the success of the youths and Badagry’s communities at large. I witnessed how some individuals omitted themselves from the group when they realised that the FB group created to help Badagry people was politically neutral. It was heart-breaking when I witnessed some of the dedicated youths of Badagry who were actively participating neutrally with the group were being persuaded by some of these myths and denounced their neutralities for political gains. After I had carefully thought about these mixtures and filtered what I had experienced, I was more convinced that maintaining political neutrality was a useful position to adopt to deal with most of these deplorable conditions identified. Something in me observed that narrowing this concept at a community level such as Badagry could then be generalised in a nationwide context. This I believed when I noticed many Nigerians joining our FB group at home and abroad. Was this a real reason? YES, is my answer.
Following my conclusion, I decided to study the community and the problems they faced in order to enhance my understanding of the situation through covert and overt communications. I delegated tasks to some of the youths of Badagry who visited Badagry’s communities, meeting the people and the community leaders, asking questions, delivering letters, petitions on ground and online. Informing them about the deplorable conditions of Badagry’s environs, the problems faced by Badagry and her people, informing them about the devastating impacts of corruption on development, and plans in Badagry. Following up from these, I finally concluded to deal with the basic needs of the Badagry people. I was at this point, mainly concerned with the question of what is needed to enhance the quality of the youth and the young people of the communities, things that they can engage with, things that can sustain their lives and their future potentials. At this point, I decided that, even if I had many programmes and projects in mind, it would be difficult to engage with them in the absence of financial help. As a consequence, I concluded that the best option was to enlighten the youths and the young people of the communities, drawing their focus to these deplorable conditions and what it meant for their future.
Following this focus, UVOBPI is currently attaining these goals in a number of ways. We subdivide our programmes or projects into five different programmes or project groups with objectives to: (1) uphold, (2) aspire, (3) ensure, (4) preserve and (5) expose. Having studied Badagry’s communities, to us it is absolutely vital to engage programmes or projects in line with the needs, and the ideas of the local population, the leadership context in which these deplorable conditions occur, because my favoured mantra remains focused on the implications of corruption on development agendas. However, corruption is not a new marvel for development, and has occurred many times, but not so many people accept to be fantastically corrupt. UVOBPI aims to bring these discussions closer to home. Doing this within the five programme or project groups, discussed here, with a focus:
- To uphold community strength and ambition.
- To aspire, that is to believe in the people and encourage the creation of a healthy environment for all.
- To ensure leaders at all tiers (i.e. federal, state and local) perform their duties and responsibilities to their citizenry.
- To preserve the history of Badagry and make sure the “firsts” of Nigeria are still standing.
- To expose and fight corruption at all levels of government and human endeavour in partnership with other relevant public and private body(s), organizations and person(s).
This brings me to another crucial discussion. Our ambitions and goals can only be attained together, that is the reason I am determined and certain that networking cannot be compromised. This is not only for the contacts established in Badagry, Lagos, Nigeria, Belgium, Canada, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and the United States at large, but also those who live in Africa at large, other parts of Europe, Asia, and other parts of North America. I have already put in place an integral team of respectable individuals to implement these challenging and thought-provoking projects. For those of you who have represented your views, for those of you who have advised us, we have considered what you want us to include in our approach. As a result, we understand that Transparency-Empowerment-Accountability-Management-Communication-Organisation (TEAMCO) is crucial in the development of our communities, and as a consequence we have turned these “six” words to “TEAMCO”. TEAMCO aims to work on UVOBPI’s five core objectives: to uphold, aspire, ensure, preserve, and expose.
TEAMCO comprises of Badagrians from around the world and in Nigeria with a mission to ensure transparency and accountability. TEAMCO communicates with our people about potential development dangers like corruption, mismanagement and bad administrations. TEAMCO updates our people in an organised fashion and helps them attain sustainable economic development. Most importantly, TEAMCO denounces any form of violence in its approach. In light of this, a number of questions emerge: How can you help us in this challenging environment? How can you be part of this solution? What can you do to help our dedicated team? How can you constructively engage with us? How do we move away from the deplorable conditions faced by our communities to guaranteed project delivery in Badagry and her environs including the rehabilitation of the Badagry Lagos Expressway? It is only through understanding, unity and coming together, forming a coalition and working together as one community.
I would love to draw focus to the people of Badagry living in Badagry, Nigeria at large and overseas to certain things which in my opinion, are mission essential for delivering our projects: We at UVOBPI want to motivate the local population in Badagry to proactively participate in the design of our projects and to create the environment that can make a difference.
Thank you very much for helping us as we renew our energy for UVOBPI and for a better Badagry.
Femi Senu | Author, Associate Researcher
Dip. in Law, BA (Hons) Criminology with Psychology
MSc Terrorism and Political Violence Studies