Women under the auspices of the South West Women Arise for Nigeria (SWWAFON) on Friday converged on Akure, Ondo state capital, for their Second Quarterly ‘One Nigeria’ Conference, calling for more women participation in politics in the country.
The women who lamented about the current state of insecurity in the country expressed displeasure over killings, banditry, kidnapping, economic recession and high rate of food prices in the country.
They noted that only peace can guarantee the progress and development of any nation, saying, once peace is gone, everything else hangs in the balance until peace is restored.
In the Communique issued at the end of the meeting which was signed by the President and 1st Vice President of SWWAFON, Dr Hannatu Adeeko and Ifeyinwa Omowole respectively, said that: “We are totally convinced that Nigeria is in dire need of these kinds of interventions at this time.
“It takes wisdom and courage to dare to be different at a time when emotions and harsh realities have beclouded the better part of human reasoning, making most people rather resort to brutish grandstanding and shortsightedness in the clamour for and movement for often ill-defined actions.
“Only peace can guarantee progress. Once peace is gone, everything else hangs in the balance until peace is restored.”
Speaking on the insecurity in the land, they said “From the drums of war sounding across the land, it is clear that a lot of people are aggrieved, owing to the myriads of challenges, especially in security-related, bedevilling the nation.
“Truly, what we face today can be described as a war situation already. Thousands of lives have been lost to needless and inhuman acts of bandits who get emboldened by the day.
“Kidnapping now seems to be a most lucrative job, aside from oil and gas. Criminally minded individuals even connive with others to kidnap themselves just to squeeze money out of their relatives.
“But in all of this, we must remember that beyond politics, no government would watch its administration crumble or deliberately sponsor or encourage bandits and terrorists to shed so much blood as to warrant a state of emergency that could lead to any counter-action.
“We must learn from all that is happening in Afghanistan and other war-torn nations. We must not allow war in this country.”
The women, however, commended Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, for giving room to women participation in politics in the state, calling on other state governments to emulate him in administering their various states.
SWWAFON said “As women, we decided to give honour to whom it is due. In this regard, we have again resolved to single out Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State as the role model for the Nigerian government in terms of women inclusion.
“Where women are put to good and strategic use, peace and growth are the results. The result is showing in all aspects of governance in the state, including security, education, agriculture and other sectors.
“He is the first Governor ever to appoint a female ADC in the history of Nigeria. His SSG is also a woman. More important to add is the fact that all the Vice Chairmen of the local governments in the state are women.
“This is why we are saying that the problem of Nigeria is not about political parties but about the person who can do the job and take us out of the quagmire”
It read further “We as women must come in and prevail on our husbands, on our children, to toe the path of peace and not allow agents of destruction use them to cause greater destruction.
“For communities and countries, peace supersedes everything else. Some tend to have taken the peace that we have been enjoying, at least before the current crisis started, for granted.
“And by this, we are speaking to the consciences of those bent on splitting this nation by all means, through ceaseless bloodletting from across Nigeria. Two wrongs would not make a right, they would only end in disaster.
“All the dreams of Eldorado would quickly evaporate the moment we fold our hands and allow the fabric of peace to be pierced by the sword of the champions of ethnicity.
“So, we must be the voices of reason across our families, offices, communities and wherever we find ourselves to drum it into the ears of the people that war is an ill wind that blows no one any good.
“It is our sincere desire that this quest is sustained and that it yields the desired fruits across the land.
“The drums of war are beating everywhere, fueled by ethnic sentiments. But you have to ask, ‘do these ethnic lines still exist?’ Whatever response you give may end up being a case of perception being stronger than reality.
“The fact that the people of Nigeria have become so intertwined has made it difficult to separate the leaf from the soap, after long periods of embracing each other, as a Yoruba adage has it. Strong strings of nature that have entwined the ethnic nationalities together in Nigeria include socialisation, marriages, business, politics and internal migration.”
The SWWAFON empowered about 40 women during the meeting with the sum of N50,000 each while some widows were also empowered.
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