A coalition of Nigerian women from all walks of life would march for peace on Oct. 1, the country’s independence anniversary day, Mrs Gloria Shoda, the President of National Council for Women Societies (NCWS) said on Thursday.
Shoda said at a news conference in Abuja that the coalition was made up of members of Change Managers International Network, 100 Women Lobby Group in collaboration with NCWS.
She urged women and youths to wear white on Oct. 1 from 6 a.m. till midnight as sign of peace in the country.
The NCWS president said Nigerian women were concerned about the current state of affairs in the country “and we decided to rise with one voice to ensure that the country remained peaceful.”
She, therefore, urged the Arewa Youths, IPOB and Oduduwa groups, as well as other aggrieved groups in the country to give peace a chance and never resort to violence.
Shoda also urged government to seek peaceful means of resolving disagreements.
She said “this coalition was born in response to growing wave of hate speeches and violence against the backdrop of the current ethnic tensions in the country.
“Government at all levels had been tasked with the responsibility of promoting and protecting freedom of expression.
“We hope for a better Nigeria where every individual has equal opportunities to be the best they can be for themselves and their communities.
“Nothing good comes easy; we must make sacrifices and work hard; Nigerian women have declared that we can build the country of our dreams without sacrificing the lives of innocent citizens.”
Earlier, Mrs Anne Addeh, the Executive Director of Women and Youths Environmental Safety and Empowerment Organisation, said the coalition was set to lead the first ever #WhiteBlouseDay campaign on Sunday, Oct. 1.
She added that women were constantly living in fear for the lives of their loved ones.
She explained that “the #WhiteBlouseDay is a social media campaign led by Nigerian Women for Peace to reinforce the message of peace and hope in the country.
“The campaign seeks to notify Nigerians and the international community about Nigerian womens’ demand for peace and zero tolerance for violence and hate speeches.”
Dr Priscilla Achakpa, the Executive Director, Women Environmental Programmes Africa, said “war is not a good thing, therefore, we must be each others’ keepers.
“We are encouraging women to wear white blouse on our independence day because we do not want to relive the negative consequences of the Nigeria civil war.”