From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Ogidi women in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State have reacted against rising crime including rape, cultism, drug abuse and other vices among youths in the state.
The women insisted that the time to sit on the fence and watch society deteriorate was over, with the promise of their preparedness to tackle the menace head-on.
In her speech on Tuesday at a 2-day leadership summit entitled: “Inspiring Women to Lead, Engage and Impact Knowledge,” the president of Ogidi Women, (Home and Abroad), Mrs Ify Okonkwo, decried what she described as the growing marginalisation and intimidation women suffer due to their vulnerability.
‘This summit is to reawaken the consciousness of Ogidi women to sufficiently discharge their responsibilities towards curbing criminalities that have eaten deep into the community and society at large,’ she declared.
‘This is not a time to sit on the fence and watch women suffer increasing marginalisation and intimidation as a result of their vulnerability, neither is it time to be docile and unresponsive to these ugly trends.
‘No doubt, without women involvement and engagement in leadership positions, our community will be in imminent danger. We need women to change the status quo in our society,’ she said.
The women leader decried the menace of cultism, following recent developments in Anambra. She said that such notorious gangs must be discouraged in the state, insisting that women and mothers have roles to play in cautioning their wards.
‘Similarly, parents must ensure they pay closer attention to their children to prevent them from indulging in illicit drug intake. The negative effect of drug abuse on our children is staggering. It is often a catalyst for other heinous crimes in our dear community and state,’ Okonkwo noted.
The chairman on the occasion and Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Political Matters, Barr Ifeatu Obi-Okoye, identified poor leadership, poverty, peer pressure, among other factors responsible for the rise in cult gang activities and other vices in the state.
Addressing the audience on the topic “Cultism: The role of women in combating menace amongst youths”, Obi-Okoye urged the women, who he described as home-builders, to rise to their responsibility of moulding their children into responsible citizens.
In his contribution, the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Pharmacist Alex Uzor Onyido, described the event as apt and timely, challenging the participants to ensure lessons learnt ard implemented to justify the cost of organising the conference.