Women in the South-East have expressed worry over the worsening deterioration of insecurity in Igboland and called for cleansing to boost the socio-economic development of the zone.
The women made the call at a gathering, ‘Nkata Ndi Iyom Igbo’, in Enugu on Tuesday, organised to partner men and youth to ensure that the insecurity bedevilling the nation, particularly the South-East, is quelled.
Josephine Anenih, a one-time women affairs minister and convener of the gathering, noted that Igboland was getting bad.
“What we see on a daily basis in the region are tears, sorrows and blood,” said Ms Anenih, adding that women are the greatest victims of the insecurity wreaking havoc in the Igbo land.
Ms Anenih recalled that the Igbo children, seen as the hope of the future, were all running away from home, and those who remained were roaming the streets due to unemployment.
She said those in faraway places who want to invest in their land were reluctant to come home because of insecurity.
“We have sadly looked on, but it is obvious we all need a team spirit for the wrongs to be righted,” Ms Anenih explained. “We must all look in the mirror to see what held us down and how we can partner for the progress of the third tripod in a Nigeria that seems to be at a crossroads, politically, economically and socio-culturally.”
According to her, the South-East needs to address the insecurity that had made the region lose billions of naira for a region known for its industry and commerce.
The group’s board of trustees chair, Regina Amadi-Njoku, said the conversation was borne out of Igboland’s need for speedy healing. Ms Amadi-Njoku pointed out that no society developed without security, justice and peace.
According to her, women are the daughters, wives, and mothers that fuel the informal sector, yet are the biggest victims of the dysfunctional formal sector where modern development seems to have excluded their input.
Ms Amadi-Njoku said the conference would enable them to rub minds and proffer solutions in unison as they harnessed the ideas of men and women.
“Women play undeniable roles in peacekeeping, arbitration, and the institutionalisation of justice in communities in ways that douse tension and promote peace,” added Ms Amadi-Njoku. “This is possible because, unlike men, women are tripodal in nature; they are daughters, wives, and mothers, and they never totally leave any of those roles.”
She added, “So, they work for peace on all fronts and circumstances.”
Declaring the meeting open, Governor Peter Mbah advocated the inclusion of women in social development, peace and nation-building in the country.