By Adesina Wahab
A group, Ijaw Women Connect, IWC, has faulted the meanings some people read into a public lecture recently given by the former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, saying the negative commentaries were not reflective of what the ex minister said at the lecture.
It added that the event was not about people engaging in internet fraud, but about how Ijaw youths should turn out better citizens and worthy representatives of their nation.
IWC, in a statement signed by the President, Rosemary John-Oduone, the group noted that some people, out of sheer mischief, quoted Alison-Madueke out of context.
The group added that Ijaw women would not sit and watch one of their own being unjuslty vilified for adding her voice to a discourse that concerns the Ijaw nation.
IWC noted that the lecture was the high point of a five-week inaugural conference organised by it in conjunction with the Ijaw Nation Development Group, INDG.
It decried the vilification of the erstwhile minister for her frank and audacious speech.
“The attention of the Ijaw-Women Connect (IWC)has been drawn to the several articles and coverage of our beloved and dear sister, Dr. Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke’s presentation at the inaugural global virtual conference of the Ijaw-Women Connect, in partnership with the Ijaw-Nation Development Group (INDG), on Friday 7th August 2020.
“We hereby wish to state clearly that we will not stand by and watch as she is being mis-quoted and vilified in the eyes of the press as a result of her speech, which was frank, audacious and topical, addressing the decay of fatherhood in Ijaw land.
“This event is by the Ijaw people; for the Ijaw people, to address Ijaw issues. It is by no means set-out to be a platform for national discourse, bearing in mind that the outcome will also affect the nation positively. All guests are proud sons and daughters of Ijaw land, passionate about building a strong, vibrant and successful community.”
The statement further clarified that, “her lecture was neither on, nor about Yahoo boys,” but a challenge to the Ijaw men to be a moral-compass for the youths for them to become self-reliant.
While dismissing the minister’s current travails as mere distractions, they promised to stand by her for so long as her ongoing ‘media-style persecution’ lasted.
According to the release, the event had in attendance former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, as Chairman and Special Guest of Honour, and Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark as the keynote speaker.