Abuja – The Chairperson, Senate Committee on Women Affairs, Sen. Binta Garba, has stressed the need for increased communal interface to check the rate of violent conflicts in the country.
She made the call during Strategy Meeting with Adamawa State Influential Women in the Diaspora on Equal Opportunities Bill and Implementation of Adamawa State Action Plan on UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) held in Abuja on Wednesday.
Garba, who represents Adamawa North Senatorial District says hate speech is taking new dimension in the society “and until there is constant communal interface, irrespective of the two religious beliefs, we may not get to the root cause of the problem.”
She said moral values had gone bad and drug abuse had taken new dimension, adding that “eight out of 10 youths were on drugs.
“Until we as mothers, from our communities, start moving into that aspect, we might not make head way.”
The lawmaker, who was a recipient of the award of “Icon of Development and Strategies” at the event, added that Adamawa women had been collaborating with other organisations to give peace a chance.
She noted that “the women had been telling communities that when they got involved in violence, they
were either destroying property or human lives.”
In her submission, Titi Abubakar, wife of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, said that in conflict situations, women and children suffered the most.
She added that if there was no peace, there would be no progress in the society.
She urged youths to desist from vices, stressing that “we decided to come together as mothers to continue to speak peace. If children were educated, they would know the right thing to do. We want peace to reign in Adamawa and the country at large.”
In a paper presentation, an Adamawa-based Public Affairs Analyst, Dr Edger Amos, said “14.5 million Nigerians were displaced by violent conflicts.
“The UN estimated that it would need 22.5 billion dollars this year to provide funds to governments worldwide to carter for displaced persons.”
He said peace was not something that could be enforced but was a virtue that must be gotten through understanding.
He noted that education was key and as such, women should ensure that girls were enrolled in schools instead of hawking on the streets or getting married at early age.
“If women were educated, it would enable them to contribute to peace in the country.”
Amos also called for strengthening of family values, saying “most of the time, people who perpetrated violence were children from broken homes.
“With stable homes, we are likely to have future generation that appreciates the need to have peace.”
Earlier, Njeri Karuru, the Progamme Manager, Women, Peace and Security of the UN Women, said the Women, Peace and Security Mentors was part of UN initiative to strengthen capacity of women from different issues of peace and security.
“The programme is EU-funded on women, peace and security which is a four-year initiative to bring together several partners including UNICEF, the Federal Ministry of Women Affair, and State Ministries of Women Affairs in Adamawa, Gombe and Plateau states.”
She said the objectives included strengthening the engagement of women in security in all levels of decision making and deepening women’s role in conflict prevention, peacemaking and peace building. (NAN)