Okwe Obi, Abuja
Despite the atrocities committed by Boko Haram insurgents across the country, the Northern Women Peace Forum, has vowed never to give up until peace returns to the country, particularly in the northeast.
The group’s National Secretary, Yahaya Amina Goya, in a statement, yesterday, regretted that the North which used to be the a safe haven had degenerated into a zone of war and malnutrition occasioned by the random killings.
Goya urged women to join in evangelizing the gospel of peace, love, forgiveness and coexistence so that the region would enjoy peace.
“As a nation we have lost lives, in thousands, over these violent conflicts, be it Boko Haram, farmer/pastoralist clashes, the bandits situation, and the numerous other conflicts across the nation.
“Children have been orphaned, women turned to widows, men turned to widowers. We have lost brothers and sisters, neighbours, friends, acquaintances.
“We have lost people we don’t know in person but we feel the pain of losing a country man or country woman. These people could be any of us. Anyone can be victim.
“These crisis has continued to impoverish our land. Most economic activities have been totally disrupted or destroyed in many places, couple with the global economic downturn, our people have been furthermore seriously impoverished.
“Due to internal crisis today, Nigeria has a large number of internally displaced people living in all across the country, especially in Northern Nigeria. In such crisis you know the people affected the most, these are women and children.
“Children in thousands, the future generation, today live in internally displaced camps growing up without basic education, living in trauma, squalor, that some of these images looked like war torn countries that we once see in countries faraway. Today all these horrible images are all around us.
“Farmers have been stopped from farming because of some of these crisis and this has hit the nation as a whole severally in area of ensuring food security. Some people would simply describe our situation as a nation at war.
“What I painted here so far is gloomy but it is the truth. We must start the process of dealing with this situation by giving the right description to our situation.
“But despite this very depressing outlook of things, we would never lose hope, we would always strive to keep working and talking and engaging all stakeholders in the Nigerian project to find ways to make our nation better.
“And you cannot talk of peace and peaceful co-existence without getting women deeply involved in the process. Women are mothers, sisters, wives, fiance, classmates, doctors, lawyers, engineers, builders, breadwinners etc, and one would say women are the backbone of every society.
“Yet women are the most marginalised. Even in discussing conflicts and how to solve conflicts women are mostly left behind. We must say that over the years the Nigerian government has made efforts to include women in some of these things, but they can do more.
“Women involvement in promoting peace will go a a long way in curbing these menaces we have faced as a nation over the years.
“But, despite this very depressing outlook of things, we would never lose hope, we would always strive to keep working and talking and engaging all stakeholders in the Nigerian project to find ways to make our nation better.”