By: Joy Odor/Kaduna
Interfaith Forum of Muslim and Christian Women’s Associations also known as Women Interfaith Council (WIC) has demanded that statesmen should STOP the culture of using women and girls as objects of war and tools to perpetuate political violence in Nigeria.
The members also berate several unprovoked attacks on communities in parts of Nigeria, as they denounce intra-community conflicts which is fueled by, political rivalry, ignorance, misunderstanding and unrestrained anger.
The Association made the demand at a press conference jointly addressed by the Executive Director, Reverend Sister Anne Falola, General Co-ordinator, Hajiya Amina Kazaure, Muslim Co-ordinator, Hajiya Daharatu Ahmed Aliyu and the Christian Co-ordinator, Mrs. Elizabeth Abuk to commemorate the International Women’s Day (IWD) which is globally celebrated across the world every 8th of March, every year.
Their call comes on the recent 110 school girls abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in Dapchi, Yobe State and the remaining Chibok girls in Borno State, saying no religions, Islam or Christianity are in support of the uncivilized practice.
According to them, it is worrisome that the abduction came similar to the one in Chibok nearly four years ago which clearly shows that no lesson has been learnt on issue of security in schools, thus exposing school girls to the trauma of captivity of the insurgents.
“As mothers of peace, we appeal in tears to the insurgents to release the Dapchi captives and the remaining Chibok school girls, as well as, every person in their captivity.
“As mothers, we are concerned about the reality of poverty, unemployment and violence in our land with women at the center of their fall outs.
“We witnessed one of such in the recent disturbance of the peace in Kasuwan Magani community of Kajuru Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
“While we lament the unfortunate violent conflicts that caused many of our people to flee their homes, we are disturbed also about the precarious conditions of women and children in IDP Camps across the country which exposes them to extreme poverty, exploitation and sexual abuse.
“On our part, we are using this campaign to forge positive visibility and celebrate WIC women’s achievements through our various initiatives like Training of Mothers’ School where we built the capacity of over 500 women on the prevention of violent extremism” they lamented.
The Association however, acknowledged the actions of the government at all levels and international donor agencies targeted at addressing these ills and demanded for more proactive actions in this regard.
They called on the federal government to intensify efforts towards ensuring the immediate release of the school girls and also appealed to the good people of Kasuwan Magani adherent of all religions, irrespective of gender and ethnic group to begin immediate search for reconciliation and give lasting peace a chance.
“We implore government at all levels to prioritize the interest of the populace and their wellbeing, rather than their political ambitions” the stressed.
The Association therefore mentioned that since the last International Women Day 2017, they have trained 37 women and young girls on Skills Acquisition and Empowerment Project for self-employment and economic empowerment.
They promised to continue to provide platforms for women faith associations to continue to work together in building peace and stability in Kaduna State in particular, and Nigeria at large by addressing conflict and issues of concern to women.
The Association also assured to continue to advocate untiringly for a leveled playing ground for women, men and youth alike towards harnessing the uniqueness and experience of every strata of the society in building a just, inclusive and prosperous nation.