Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, Professor Joy Ezeilo, SAN, will deliver the Keynote speech in this month’s Ikengaonline town-hall meeting scheduled for Thursday, September 28, 2023.
The Distinguished Law Professor, and Emeritus Dean of Law at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN, will be speaking on the topic, “The Forgotten Victims: Combating Human Trafficking, Sexual Assault, and Gender-based Violence in South-East Nigeria.”
According to a press release by the Editor-in-Chief of the South-East flagship online newspaper, Uche Ugboajah, the two-hour virtual meeting slated for 7:00 pm West African Time (WAT), will be co-hosted by Dr Osmund Agbo; and Dr Chido Onumah.
Participants according to the release are to register ahead of the explosive show via the link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcpcO6urzspHNLGlogzvusw9iA_GEZOB9v-
The release also indicated that upon registration, the link, the ID as well as the passcode for the meeting will be automatically sent to the registrant’s email address.
Professor Ezeilo who is the Chairperson, Sexual Assault Referral Network (SARC); and Founder, Women Aid Collective (WACOL), which provides free legal aid and assistance to women and children in especially difficult situations, will during the town-hall, talk about some of the practical ways to tackle the menace of human trafficking, sexual abuse and gender-based violence in the South East.
Professor Ezeilo has served as a Member of the United Nations Civil Society Advisory Board on Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (Feb 2019 to Feb 2021).
She was appointed in December 2013 by the UN Secretary-General as a member of the 5-person Board of Trustees UN Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking managed by the UNODC Vienna, Austria. She is also the Chairperson of the Sexual Assault Referral Network (SARC) in Nigeria.
She is also a Co-Chair Africa Advisory Committee, Human Rights Watch, Africa Division, and Council Member Human Rights Institute of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
Professor Ezeilo will also discuss some of the global efforts against the monster and how victims could be encouraged and re-integrated into society.
Professor Ezeilo is a versatile legal scholar recognised as a leading authority in international human rights, especially on the rights of women and children in Africa.
She pioneered the developing of a curriculum for the education of human rights, health law and reproductive rights in Nigerian Universities with the support of the MacArthur Foundation, National Universities Commission (NUC) and Faculties of Law.
She also pioneered advocacy and the development of sexual harassment policies for educational institutions and workplaces.
The release also said Commissioners for Women Affairs in all five South Eastern states as well as heads of relevant security agencies involved in the fight against human trafficking and sexual abuse would also make inputs during the meeting.
It further said the meeting would be transmitted live via Urban Radio 94.5 FM Enugu, Omalicha 91.1 FM Owerri; Ikengaonline Facebook; YouTube and other social media platforms.
It will also be relayed live via the formidable platforms of our other media partners.
Ikengaonline monthly town-hall meetings are meant to discuss topical issues affecting the South-East zone of Nigeria in particular, and the Nigeria state in general.
President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Worldwide Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, featured in the August edition of Ikengaonline town-hall where he spoke on the topic, “A New Era for Ohanaeze: Navigating Challenges Embracing Potentials.”
Several other distinguished Igbo personalities have also featured in previous editions of the monthly show.
Rights activist and former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Professor Chidi Odinkalu, featured in the July edition where he spoke on the topic: “South-East Insecurity Nexus: A Holistic View.”
Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies and Founder of Gregory University Uturu, GUU, Professor Greg Ibe, featured in the June edition where he handled entrepreneurship challenges in the South-East.
The Chairman, World Igbo Congress (WIC), Professor Anthony Ejiofor, was on the hot seat in the May edition where he spoke on: “Insecurity in the South-East: The Role of Nigeria Diaspora.”
Former Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Kingsley Moghalu, was the guest on the April edition wherein he handled: “Improving Regional Economy in the Homeland.”
World famous Economist and Nigeria’s two-time Minister for Finance, Kalu Idika Kalu, featured in the March edition and did justice to the topic: “Nigeria’s incoming Government: Prospects & Challenges.”
Former Education Minister, and the current Chairman, Board of Women Political Leaders (WPL), Mrs Oby Ezekwesili, was the guest speaker of the February edition where she spoke on “Women in Politics, East of the Niger.”
Other eminent Igbo personalities have featured on the monthly event since its debut in 2022.
The maiden edition of Ikengaonline town-hall featured the immediate-past Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, in July 2022; while the second edition featured a renowned Political Economist, Professor Pat Okedinachi Utomi, in August.
Former President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo; US-based academic, Professor Okey Ndibe; West African Regional Director, Ford Foundation, Dr Chichi Aniagolu-Okoye; as well as multi-award-winning actress and Director of Communications, Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Monalisa Chinda Coker, had all featured at different editions of the explosive 90 minutes show.
Ikengaonline is a South-East-focused online media outfit which aims at giving voice to citizens of the South-East, parts of Rivers and Delta states, and highlights the challenges facing the region.
Ikengaonline is a publication of Ikenga Media and Cultural Awareness Initiative (IMCAI), a non-profit entity that seeks to promote positive socio-cultural values, accountability and good governance through media and public education.
It is part of the Collaborative Media Engagement for Development Inclusivity and Accountability Project, a multi-level intervention for media independence and government accountability, managed by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism (WSCIJ) and supported by MacArthur Foundation.