Activities marking this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women will next Monday, December 10, come to an end. The event which began on that November 25, being Inter national Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women will end on International Human Rights Day (Dec 10), The 16 days of action is set aside by the United Nation for countries to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women.
This year’s event with the theme, “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World, Lets End Violence Against Women,” highlights the role that global militarism and distribution of weapons continue play to in perpetuating violence against women, and the need for peace in homes, the bedrock of any society.
Expectedly, many women groups non governmental organizations, Women Affairs Ministry and gender activists in Nigeria and other countries of the world have organized workshops, seminars, lectures, road walks, and other activities to sensitize people on the need to end violence against women.
One of such is a one-day seminar organized by Women Against Injustice and Violence, a Port Harcourt-based, NGO. The objective of the conference was to bring together key professionals working with women in Nigeria to examine the various forms of challenges in protecting the rights of women in Nigeria and work out specific short-term and long-term strategies for tackling them in line with workable international legal framework and political directions.
Interestingly, a common strand running through most of the papers delivered and contributions from the floor was that to effectively eliminate violence against women and successfully promote their rights, there is need to properly educate women on their rights and invigorate the dying family institution. In her paper, Dr Mariam Iheukwu, a University don noted that many Nigerian women, both educated and uneducated do not know their rights and do not even know when those rights are trampled upon.
She condemned a situation where a woman who is being battered regularly by her husband is forced to remain in marriage because “the dignity of a woman is her husband,” She called for a total embrace of the provision of African Charter which promotes the intrinsic worth and dignity of the African woman.
Other speakers made several useful suggestions. They called on men and women to complement each other since they are equal in dignity and solicited economic and political empowerment of women, eradication of poverty in the country and many more.
Cases of violence against women have becomes an every day occurrence, Some weeks ago, members of Women Initiative for Transparency and Social Justice, a women group, drew the attention of the public to unjust treatment meted on one Mrs. Amarachi Nwafor from Umuebule, in Etche Lo and her five children by her husband’s relations.
According to the leader of the group, Dr. Jennifer Spiff, following a chieftaincy tussle between Amarachi’s husband, Mr. Chibunna Nwafor, and Njoku’s family also from Umiebule, the Nwafor’s family house, vehicles and other valuable properly were set ablaze by the Njoku’s, and the head of the family arrested and kept in police custody, courtesy of the Njoku’s. This rendered Mrs. Nwafor, her new born baby and four other little children homeless.
“Can you imagine, with her husband held by the police, the nursing mother, her new born baby and four other children, have become displaced and impoverished in their own community?, wondered Dr. Spiff.
Similarly, a participant at the seminar narrated how she was being sexually abused and battered by her husband but could do anything about it. Because her family, her husband’s family and even the police saw nothing wrong in what the man was doing. “What really beat my imagination was how the police quickly dismissed my case and told me to go home and settle with my husband, when my neighbor took me to the police after my husband almost beat me to death, she said.
From the foregoing, the pertinent question remains: Who will bell the cat? What do we do. It is not enough to just sit down and lament the bad situation. We need action. The various women groups, NGOs should not stop at seminars and other programmes organized during this 16 days of activism. They should take further steps to ensure that whatever plan of action is reached this period is implemented. This is not a period to blame government for our woes and expect government to solve all the problems. Government alone can not do it.
Therefore, women groups, Ministers of women affairs, female lawmakers and politicians, NGOs, families, churches, town unions, village assemblies and voluntary organizations should get involved in the war against violation of women’s human rights. Let them fight against retroqressive culture, traditions and beliefs militating against women.
Our country Nigeria is now in dire need of peace and security. This can only be achieved when there is peace in the families, the bedrock of every society and to make sure those rights are not trampled upon and women who do not face all kinds of violence every day mainly because of their gender. A happy mother begets a happy family and a happy family begets a happy nation.
Corpse Of Woman Found In Ebonyi Hotel Room
The police in Ebonyi State say they have discovered the body of a yet to be identified middle-aged woman in a hotel room in Abakaliki, the state capital. The spokesperson of the police in the state, Loveth Odah, stated this yesterday.
She said the body has deep cuts on the chest and neck and has been deposited in a mortuary. According to the spokesman, it was discovered at Crown Garden Hotel located along the ever-busy Afikpo road in the capital city.
Mrs Odah, who said that the victim was found in the pool of her own blood, said the suspect had been identified as one Uchenna Awoke.
She said the hotel manager, Emmanuel Eze, the supervisor, and other workers had been taken to the police station for questioning and accused the hotel management of negligence.
“The manager of the hotel, the supervisor and other staff of the hotel were taken to the station for questioning and I must confess to you that the whole thing is negligence on the part of the hotel management. How can a guest be murdered in a hotel room and days after, the management is not aware of the incident.”
“We will investigate the matter properly and I assure you, the perpetrator of the act must be arrested and prosecuted. All we are asking is for the members of the public to avail the police of useful information that will lead to the arrest of the suspect.”
Senate Passes S’East Dev Commission Bill
The Senate yesterday passed the South East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill 2018.
The proposed commission aims at enhancing the infrastructural development of the South East zone, which is grappling with huge ecological challenges.
It also seeks to act as a catalyst for the development of the commercial potential of the zone.
The proposed legislation requires the concurrence of the House of Representatives to become a bill of the National Assembly, and the President’s assent to become a law.
Senators Stella Oduah (PDP-Anambra) and Samuel Anyanwu (PDP-Imo) jointly sponsored the bill read in the Senate on June 22, 2016.
Its passage in the Red Chamber followed the presentation of the report of the Committee on Establishment and Public Service by its former Chairman, Senator Emmanuel Paulker (PDP-Bayelsa), on the floor of the Senate.
The bill, after Paulker’s presentation, was considered clause by clause by the committee of the whole, and amendments made by the lawmakers were read for the third time and eventually passed.
In his remarks, presiding Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, commended his colleagues for a job well done.
In his words, “Every morning we pray that God should give us the grace to do only those things that will promote the peace and unity of this country.
“I believe that we have shown today that we are committed to the unity of this country, and it is this unity that will give us faith in this country.
“This faith will in turn help us to pursue peace and progress,” he said.
Briefing newsmen after plenary, members the South East caucus of the Senate, led by Sen. Enhinnaya Abaribe (PDP-Abia), thanked their colleagues and members of the committee for their efforts.
Abaribe, who spoke on behalf of the caucus, urged the President to sign the bill into law “as soon as we tidy it up and bring to him, in the interest of the unity and progress of Nigeria”.
“This will put to rest the long-drawn agitation in the South East, and the difficulties in the rehabilitation and reconciliation efforts that started at the end of the civil war.
“All things we see always will end up at the negotiating table, which is what we have done,” he said.
The lawmaker said he hoped the House of Representatives would give concurrence to the bill as it went in the Senate.
When established, the South East Development Commission would be the third zonal interventionist body in the country.
2019: Oyedepo Predicts Peace In Nigeria
Bishop David Oyedepo, the Founder and Presideng Bishop, Living Faith Church Worldwide, on Saturday predicted that nothing would disturb the peace of Nigeria and its story would change for the better in the year 2019.
Oyedepo made the declaration at the just concluded annual prophetic gathering of the Winners’ family, christened the “Dominion”, in a satellite telecast of the church.
In the telecast monitored in Abuja, the cleric also declared that 2019 would be a year of “I have Dominion”.
“Nothing will tamper with the peace of Nigeria; the story will change for the better in the name of Jesus.
“Nigeria shall not see bloodshed, the Prince of Peace will continue to dominate in Nigeria, in Africa and Nigeria is declared blessed.
“Anywhere you step, accident is forbidden; death will not come near you and our nation.
“Anything that is of grace in my life, I freely release upon you today.
“God has opened the year 2019 to us, celebrate Him because its our year of “I have Dominion,” he said.
The Bishop added that the year 2019 would be a year of humbling testimonies for Nigeria and pace-setting testimonies.
He further declared that 2019 would be a colourful year for the nation.
According to the cleric, as long as Jesus has the final say on the issues of Nigeria, it will experience greatness.
Oyedepo said that there would be no more cause of alarm in any area of the nation and its citizens.
He advised Christians in Nigeria to delight themselves in the spirit of servant-hood, adding that the spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood.
“The Spirit of Christ is the spirit of servant-hood. As you keep rising on the ladder of leadership, you must retain our spirit of servant-hood, constantly working to add value to others and be kingdom minded,” he said.
According to him, dedication is at the root of dominion, saying: “Sow yourself as a seed by being totally dedicated to God and His Kingdom’’.
He told his congregation that sacrificial giving guarantees the meeting of all their needs.
“When you engage in taking care of the well-being of others, God is also committed to your well-being,” he explained. The cleric admonished Christians would engage in meeting the needs of the needy, every barrier on their path of destiny would be crushed.
“Nobody tampers with your life, your career, your family and goes away with it because you are promoted to God’s kingdom.
“God will stand for your defence in the day of trouble. Every sacrificial giver has a defence around him in the day of trouble always have that in mind,” he said.
He reminded his congregation that the Church is not a building; the Church is a people and the Redeemed of the Lord.
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