In a significant stride towards upholding the rights of children and women in Ebonyi State, Mrs. Mary-Maudline Nwifuru, the Wife of the Governor, has collaborated with the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to spearhead a community sensitization program. The primary objective of this initiative is to eradicate Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and all forms of child abuse within the state.
During a gathering held for the sensitization program, Mrs. Nwifuru passionately underscored the importance of saying “no” to child abuse in Ebonyi State. To achieve this goal, the Governor’s wife is actively partnering with various Security Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations responsible for handling GBV cases.
“I am resolute in addressing the issue of child abuse head-on. To tackle the problem at its roots, I will direct the police and other security agencies at border areas and motor parks to apprehend any underage child attempting to leave the state,” stated Mrs. Nwifuru firmly. She also issued a stern warning to child traffickers, urging them to leave the state or face the full force of the law.
Furthermore, Mrs. Mary-Maudline Nwifuru confirmed the successful rescue of 20 young girls who had been trafficked to Anambra State for the purpose of prostitution. The suspected traffickers involved in this reprehensible act have also been apprehended and are currently in custody.
Categorizing child trafficking and any form of abuse against women and children as criminal offenses, Mrs. Nwifuru sternly cautioned potential perpetrators that they would face the full extent of the law. She expressed deep concern for the suffering endured by women, girls, and children due to abuse and firmly stated that she would no longer stand idly by while the perpetrators evade justice.
In addition, the Governor’s Wife called upon Traditional Rulers, Local Government Chairmen, and all stakeholders to unite in the fight against inhumane activities. She strongly discouraged the practice of giving underage children away as domestic workers and warned against mistreating such individuals.
During the event, Mr. Uchenna Igwe, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters and Chairman of the Occasion, highlighted the long-lasting effects of violence on women and children. He emphasized that studies have shown that children who witness or experience violence are more likely to perpetrate abuse themselves.
Barrister Felicia Nwankpuma, the Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, pledged her Ministry’s unwavering support to put an end to this menace in the State. She emphasized that Governor Francis Nwifuru considers the welfare of women and children a top priority in his administration, further underscoring the importance of the sensitization program.
With unity and determination, the Ebonyi State Government strongly urges all involved in Gender-Based Violence to desist from such acts, warning that the full weight of the law will be brought against offenders.
Support for the initiative poured in from various individuals, including Mrs. Florence Odunwa, the wife of the Speaker of Ebonyi State House of Assembly, who encouraged parents to refrain from sending their underage children to work as housemaids. Mrs. Kelechi Onah, the wife of the Deputy Speaker, expressed her confidence that the program would play a vital role in putting an end to Gender-Based Violence in the state.
Through the combined efforts of Mrs. Nwifuru, the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, and other stakeholders, this sensitization program is expected to pave the way for a safer and more secure environment for children and women in Ebonyi State.