Chairman Association of Local Government of Nigeria, (ALGON) Ebonyi state chapter and chairman Ohaozara Local government area has vowed to partner the National Association Women of Journalists, (NAWOJ) Ebonyi state to end gender based violence in her council area.
The chairman, Mrs. Nkechiyere Iyioku, made the vow on Friday during a courtesy call paid on her by members of NAWOJ in the State.
She lamented over the incessant cases of rape in some local governments of the State, even as she was saddened by the culture of silence among victims of rape in the State.
She encouraged them to speak up, while assuring them that there is an enabling law to protect them.
Mrs. Iyioku, reiterated that her office was ready to join hands with NAWOJ to step down the activities of the wife of Ebonyi State Governor to the grassroots.
She stated: “It is good we have the women branch of journalists in Ebonyi because it is not everything that the men would do. When it comes to rape the stigma with it does not allow people to come out openly to speak.
“In my local government for example, about three weeks ago, a man of 70yrs defiled a 3yrs old girl. Do you know one funny thing, almost all the relatives of the man came out, people from Lagos, Abuja from different areas saying they want to settle out of court.
“Alot of things are happening, rape is a common thing in the rural area, I don’t think there is any Council chairman that is not experiencing such in the LGA.
“At times to speak out is a problem, like in my village for instance, they said if a girl is raped and she says it open it would be difficult for her to get married.
“If there is anything you people will do to make sure that it stopped or reduced it will help, because people are dying in silent, some women don’t have anybody to run to when such happens.
“Help us to educate our women to be bold to stand up against many challenges in the society, women are the worst hit when there is crisis and related issues.
“Also, help us encourage women to go into positions, even if it’s not politics, like in ALGON we were two at the state representative, myself and a woman from Lagos, She has finished her tenure and a man is now replacing her.
“Now in the 36 states of the federation I am the only woman in the national executives of ALGON and I’m being carried along well.
“If not for anything at least you will find out that in Ebonyi state women are being carried along. This is the first time a woman is being the ALGON chairman in Ebonyi state, it has never happened and I really thank God for that. I always tell women let us support our fellow women, if you look very well you will know that women cast more votes, about 80% voters are women, imagine when a woman is vying for a position and have this 80% support what will happen.
“I know that my sister will make impact as the NAWOJ chairperson in Ebonyi were people will always remember her administration.
“In ALGON Ebonyi state, if not for anything I will say we have peace within us and that is one reason we were able to achieve nearly completion of the ALGON house and it will soon be inaugurated by the Governor.
“Women are doing alot in the society, the family,they are uniting factor in the home, they are prayer warriors, they are alot of things and are doing very well.
“We will partner with NAWOJ to achieve a better society, I know our partnership with the association will go a long way to help our people especially those at the rural areas.
Earlier, the state NAWOJ chairperson, comrade Nkechiyere Oginyi, commended the ALGON chairman for effectively representing the women folk in the local government, State and nation respectively.
She also chronicled the achievements of the Association in the State after its inauguration in June this year.
Oginyi noted that with the partnership, NAWOJ would be able to reach out to those in the hinterlands.
” As women journalists we know the problems facing women in the society especially in the rural areas.
“Everyday we hear stories of rape, defilement, wife battering and other violence against women, as such, we have decided to move down to the hinterlands to educate these women on their rights. We will also educate the women on the need to speak up and we cannot do that alone that is why we sought for your support” she added.