BY TAOFEEK LAWAL, Abuja –
As agitations by individuals and geo-cultural groups for the restructuring of Nigeria have become rife recently, women in the Federal Capital Territory have called on government at all levels to come to their aids and make lives more meaningful for their communities which they said lack basic amenities.
The women made this demand at the ‘Women Rising On The State Of The Nation’ rally organized by ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) at the Unity Fountain in Abuja on Wednesday. The women from the six Abuja rural communities of Dakwa, Jiwa, Pacepa, Tunganasara, Kuchiguyi and Kayache said gender equality should not be a woman issue but issue for humanity.
They urged the legislative arms of government to pass the gender and equal opportunities bill (GEO) which they argued will respect the rights of the women. They said the bill when passed into law will uphold women and girls sexual reproductive right and ensures protection against sexual harassment in education, employment and political domains.
Speaking on behalf of their colleagues, Hajara Abubakar, Kande Yakubu and Adamu Amamatu from Dakwa, Jiwa and Tunganasara respectively called on government to provide the basic amenities like schools, pipe-borne water, electricity and most importantly to empower them to support their families.
“Our children trek several kilometers going to schools and it is not encouraging. We have lost some of them to hit and run drivers. We don’t have drinkable water in our communities and there is no power supply. We want Federal Government, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) and the Area Councils to come to our aid,” they stated’
Speaking with LEADERSHIP, ActionAid’s women’s right programme manager, Nkechi Ilochi-Omekedo, said the role of ActionAid is to facilitate process that will attract government to provide basic facilities to the rural people while at the same time complementing government’s efforts by catering for the people.
“What we do basically at our organization is to put into place what is called pilot project to showcase that with little or specific amount of money, you will be able to provide specific services for people. What we do is let people know about what is going on. We have worked in over 200 communities and we select them based on the hard-to reach-communities and we worked with them to provide health care centers, schools, water and basic and essential needs,” Ilochi-Omekedo said.