Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
The wife of Ebonyi State Governor, Mrs Mary-Maudline Nwifuru has rescued 20 girls trafficked to Anambra State for prostitution and also arrested the culprits.
This was as she financially empowered about 15 women who suffered various forms of abuse by their husbands.
Mrs. Nwifuru vowed that she must fight for women, children, and girls and protect them against abuse.
She disclosed this on Monday in Abakaliki, the state capital during the flag-off community sensitisation on the rights of Ebonyi children and the need to stop child trafficking in the State.
She described child trafficking and other forms of abuse of women and children as criminal offenses and warned perpetrators against them.
She noted that women, girls, and children have suffered a lot of abuse and that she can no longer wait to see them passing through what they are passing through in the hands of the perpetrators without the perpetrators being punished in line with the law.
She condemned the depriving of women the right to own their father’s properties and vowed that she will soon move for a law to empower women to own their father’s properties.
“Gender-Based Violence has been eating us up. The cases have been going on in Ebonyi State. Before I resumed office, I saw a post on Facebook in which almost 20 of our girls are doing prostitution in Anambra State.
“Those girls are now in Ebonyi State because we had to pull them out of that place and we have arrested the culprit.
“Child trafficking is a criminal offence and we will not spare the culprits. Our mothers should help stop this menace, we should take good care of our children and avoid giving them out for whatever reason.
“We say no to child abuse, child trafficking, child surgery, and other forms of abuse. Stop maltreating the kids living with you. I am the mother of Ebonyi State and I will fight for every child in this state.
“We are going to train those girls. So, we have experienced terrible experiences in this Gender-Based Violence and that’s why I have to kick off instead of waiting for the launching of my pet project. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
“We will bring up a law and we will work on it to give us our rights, women’s rights to own our father’s properties because the denial of women to own their father’s properties is even the main abuse. We will push for the law with the support of our husbands,” she stated.
In her lecture during the event, the state Coordinator of Gender-Based Violence, Mrs. Faith Vin-Nwanchor, identified lack of willpower as a challenge in the fight against abuses of women, girls, and children and commended Mrs. Nwifuru for taking the bull by the horn.
She described Mrs. Nwifuru as a real and inclusive person who means well to women, girls, and children in society.
“Over time, norms and traditions have made GBV a way of life. Her Excellency has brought us together to fight this menace. We are going to change all the norms that have all the times put us down.
“Through our research, we have noticed that 90 percent of Ebonyi women have suffered or still suffering GBV. This is why we are saying no, let us identify it so that when it is happening to you directly or indirectly, you will be able to identify it,” she said.
The State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Felicia Nwamkpuma, described the event as a pathway to eradicating all forms of child abuse, youth restiveness, gender-based violence and other harmful practices that affect the people in the society and commended the first lady for flagging off the programme.
She said: “This progamme is a pathway in eradicating all forms of child abuse, youth restiveness, gender-based violence, and other harmful practices that affect our people.
“My office has mapped out a well-tailored plan of action for the realisation of the aspirations of this administration when it comes to our policy thrust. I call on our Chairpersons of the 13 Local Government Areas to champion this crusade for a glorious Ebonyi State,” she said.