The National Woman Leader of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hajia Mariya Waziri has added her voice to the growing condemnation of investiture of ‘most gender sensitive governor in Nigeria’ on Kogi state Governor by the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS).
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, Waziri berated Laraba Shoda-led NCWS for confering an award on a Governor who “condoned the gruesome murder of an innocent indigene of Kogi State, Mrs. Salome Acheju Abuh whose only crime was that she participated in politics.”
Waziri described NCWS conferment of Award on Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state as a show of shame and a reversal of women’s advancement efforts.
She wondered why NCWS chose to honour Bello despite the catalogue of political harassments, social inequality, violence against women, sexual harassment and a host of other negative actions against women in Kogi state.
“NCWS has as its mandate, the responsibility to protect, advocate and fight for women’s rights globally. It simply amounts to a show of shame that this same organization has gone on to present a gender friendly award to Kogi State governor who has no female Chairman in the 21 Local Government Areas of Kogi State, has no female House of Representative member from the state, has no female Senator, has no female State House of Assembly member from the State and has a serving commissioner for water resources in his administration with an active rape case against an innocent young woman named Elizabeth Oyeniyi.
“It is indeed heart-breaking and an affront to all Nigerian women, that in the face of mass abuse and assault of women in Kogi state, an umbrella organization such as NCWS vested with the mandate to protect and advocate for women’s rights, has turned around to reward a man who is known to aid violence against women in his administration with a gender friendly award.
“We therefore call on all women of conscience to arise up against this mindless antecedent that is orchestrated to reverse all progress made by Nigerian women in the fight against propagation of violence against women.
“NCWS as the conscience of Nigerian Women cannot be seen to support actions that are antithetical to the economic, social and political advancement of the women it is mandated to protect.
“We therefore invite all women advancement organizations, Pro women NGO’s, Pro gender International organisations, Ministry of Women Affairs of Nigeria and all women in Nigeria to call on NCWS to retract the investiture on Governor Yahaya Bello within 24 hours and tender an unreserved apology to Nigerian women for such colossal betrayal and embarrassment,” she stated.
Hajia Waziri also called on all women advancement groups to ask the President of NCWS, Mrs. Laraba Gloria Shoba to immediately resign her position as President of NCWS for undertaking such demeaning and utterly humiliating action of rewarding a governor who is known to condone violence against women in his state with an award
She called for immediate disbandment and restructuring of NCWS to serve the purpose of women’s advancement, as the body has lost steam and derailed from its foundational goals of advocating for the advancement of Nigerian women as a pressure group.