The Coalition of Eastern Non-Governmental Organizations (CENGOs), Rivers State, has called for an end to gender-based violence in Nigeria. This took pkace in a media roundtable discussion held in Port Harcourt, recently, by the NGO, to mark this year’s United Nations (UN) Women 16 Days of activism to end the increase in gender-based violence.
The CENGOs Rivers State Coordinator, Barr. Dumka David, who was represented by a member of CENGOs, Pastor James Chukwu stated that in line with the UN women as well as this year’s theme: “Generation Equality: Stands Against Rape,” CENGOs is doing a Step-It-Up Campaign to commemorate this year’s 16 Days of activism to put an end to Gender-based violence in the state and country at large.
The State Coordinator explained that the purpose of the media roundtable discussion and Step-It-Up Campaign is to ensure the media, parents, law makers, religious and traditional institutions, among others in the society, is properly informed on the rising spate of rape and gender-based violence in the society. He added that by so doing, everyone would collectively join forces to advocate for a society free of gender-based violence.
She outlined part of CENGOs’ activities to mark the event, to include; the training of secondary school teachers, counselors and students, so they would in turn become Peer Educator Trainers (PETs) on sexual and reproductive health right in their various schools .
In an interview with The Tide, the CENGOs Rivers State programme officer, Franklyn Nelson, described gender-based violence as violence directed against a person because of their gender, adding that both women and men experience gender-based violence, but the majority of victims are women, girls and boys.
He noted that gender-based violence is inflicted on women and girls by men, saying that it highlights the fact that many forms of violence against women and girls are rooted in power inequalities between men and women.
Meanwhile, the programme officer had said that the media stands as a powerful tool in sensitizing the public whenever things are not going on well in the society.
He therefore, called for ambassadors in the advocacy for the reduction of gender-based violence, was mandatory for all to pass the message that sexual violence against anybody was violence against the law, hence must not be treated with levity.
Nelson said that the essence of the event was to create awareness and advocate for the reduction of gender-based violence in homes, schools, communities and public places, among others, as well as advocating for sexual and reproductive health right, while calling on other NGOs to advocate for the reduction of gender-based violence in the society.
The state programme officer also explained that CENGOs is currently working with five schools in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, where teachers, counselors and students are being trained so they could in turn train students to become peer educators, thereby forming PET clubs in secondary schools to ensure gender-based violence is realistically reduced in the society.
“We want to achieve a situation whereby students in secondary schools are able to build the capacities of others on sexual reproductive health right. Some of the schools include: Government Comprehensve Secondary School, Borikiri, Model Girls Secondary School, Rumueme, Community Secondary School, Nkpolu and Community Secondary School, Amadi-Ama, among others.”
He blamed parents for the escalation of rape and gender-based violence as their silence had helped in promoting the spread of rape and gender-based violence in the society. According to him, “The only thing needed for evil men to continue their evil act, is when good people keep quiet which is simply telling perpetrators to go ahead and molest our children.”
He revealed that there were laws backing women, who are victims of rape and thereby called on parents to break the silence over rape victims by exposing these evil perpetrators as continuous silence only exposes innocent ones to continuous molestation, while perpetrators go scot-free with their evil acts and continue to spread it all over in the society.
By: Sylvia ThankGod-Amadi & Susan Serekara-Nwikhana
Woman Sells Two Daughters For N300,000 In Ogun
A 35-year-old housewife, Blessing Agoro, has been arrested by men of Ogun State Police Command for allegedly selling her two daughters, Semilore Agoro (four), and Deborah Agoro (two).
The suspect was arrested, following a report lodged at Redeemed Camp Divisional Police Headquarters by her husband, Oluwaseyi Agoro.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi disclosed this in a statement, yesterday.
Oyeyemi said the husband reported that when he returned from travelling last Tuesday he couldn’t find his two daughters.
The PPRO said, “The man stated further that all efforts to make his wife tell him the whereabouts of the children proved abortive, hence his report.
“Upon the report, the DPO Redeemed Camp division, CSP Alabi Akinjide, detailed his detectives to apprehend the suspect, who had already been with the camp’s code of conduct department.
“On interrogation, the suspect explained to the police that her husband left home for the past two years, and while he was away, she found it difficult to cater for the two children with her other two children she had for another man.
“She stated further that while she was contemplating on what to do, one Kolawole Imoleayo introduced her to a couple in Port Harcourt who was in need of children. She sold the two daughters to the couple at the rate of N300,000.
“Her confession led to the arrest of the said intermediary, Kolawole Imoleayo. They are both assisting the police in their investigation.”
The Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, has ordered the transfer of the suspects to the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Labour Unit of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCID) for discreet investigation.
Oyeyemi added that Ajogun directed that the children must be rescued and brought back to their parents as soon as possible.
World Bank Trains 54,000 Women, Youths On Economy
The Kebbi State Government has disclosed that over 54,000 women and youths have been trained by the World Bank to be economically active.
The government also revealed its readiness to reciprocate its achievement recorded in rice production in other products such as onions, sheer-butter and soya beans for exportation purposes.
The Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who stated this while launching women and youth export development facility, in partnership with Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), said, the state has comparative advantage in agriculture over other states.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Umar Babale Yauri, Bagudu said, “As you know, Kebbi State is blessed with a population of women who are engaging in rice production and it is now a top talk across the nation due to efforts and support of state governor.
“The state government is trying to reciprocate the achievement recorded in the rice production into sheer butter, onions and soya beans.”
He added that with the partnership with NEXIM, Kebbi State would start the export of soya beans, shea butter and onions.
The Special Adviser to State Governor on Women Development, Hajia Zarau Wali, disclosed that through partnership with the World Bank, over 54,000 women have been trained to be economically active.
According to her, “It is also worthy of note, that the state government in partnership with the World Bank empowered 54,000 women to be economically active through the formation of Women Initiative Group in Maiyama, Ngaski and Argungu local government areas.”
She explained that more women and youths, especially in the rural areas, are actively involved in the production of rice, sheer butter, onions and water melon stressed that they are capable of feeding the nation and exporting the products if they were properly guided.
Wali urged NEXIM to include in their programmes mode of processing and packages of perishable products during their training session for women and youths.
Earlier, the Managing Director and Chief Executive, Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Mr Abba Bello, had commended the state government over it investment on rice production in the state which has increased the IGR of the state.
“Let me commend the investment drive in the state by your administration, particularly the Rice Revolution, which recently led to the unveiling of the rice pyramid as well as the cassava-based ethanol project with huge prospects for production of biofuel and renewable energy.
“Your efforts in this direction have not only contributed to the significant increase in the Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) but have also positively impacted the socio-economic indices particularly in the areas of jobs creation and sustainable development”.
Eve Afrique Red Ball Takes Centre Stage In PH, Sunday
This year’s Eve Afrique Red Ball event with theme: “Together, Ensuring Peace and Development Across the Niger Delta”, is set to take place on Sunday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.
In an interview, the Editor in Chief of Eve Afrique Magazine, Mrs Ivy Davis Etokakpan, said, this year’s Red Ball event is the 10th and will focus on the socio-economic wealth of the Niger Delta region.
She stated that, over the years, Eve Afrique had worked on eight health related issues, but this time, because of times and seasons, “we are focusing on peace and development across the Niger Delta.
According to her, “we hope to achieve this with the cooperation of leaders of corporate organisations in the Niger Delta. We believe that with the cause action on the Red Ball, we hope to do that with our Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Eve Afrique Empowerment Initiative”.
Etokakpan added that this year will focus basically on internship programme for young people by asking partners of the NGO to accept and train secondary school students during holidays in their companies.
She said, “in the past, we used to do vacation jobs in the oil companies, even in our parents’ companies. We hope that our partners would teach our children workable skills. If this is done, the Niger Delta child would know his or her skill and work on it.
“We want these young ones to learn management and accountancy skills through these internship programmes. Our dream is that, in five years’ time, we would have raised a group of’ equipped and empowered Niger Delta youths who in turn will mentor those coming after them. We need to prepare these ones for the future.
At the Red Ball event this weekend, we expect Elsphon Nigeria Alabo (Dr) Emi Membrane-Otaji, Managing Director, to present a keynote address on “Economic Development across the Niger Delta. Also, former MD of NDDC, Mr Timi Alaibe will present a paper on Peace Across the Niger Delta at the event”, she said.
It would be recalled that over the years, Eve Afrique Red Ball has achieved levels of successes over the previous Red Ball events in raising awareness on general health matters, empowerment programmes as a way of giving back to the state and society at large.
Eve Afrique had hosted programmes which include the sickle cell awareness programme, cervical cancer awareness and prevention programme, diabetic management awareness and prevention programme, prostate cancer awareness programme and colon cancer awareness programmes.
Eve Afrique had the mandate of changing the narrative concerning the Niger Delta.
They are on a mission to highlight and showcase the beauty of the Niger Delta and Nigeria as a whole, she added.
By: Ibinabo Ogolo
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