Nigerian government advised to prioritise girl-child education

By Luqmon Balogun, Lagos

Nigerian government has been advised to take the issue of Girl Child education as a priority, as this would add value to the future of the nation’s development.

The submission was made in Lagos at an event organized by the Center for Black and African Arts and Civilization, CBAAC and Wole Soyinka Center for Investigative Journalism WSCIJ, to commemorate this year’s International Women’s Day.

Participants at the event said that women have made tremendous impacts on the nation’s development and efforts must be geared towards their empowerment.

The guest speaker and wife of former Governor of Cross River State, Mrs Onari Duke said women must be accorded great respect and allow to speak out when in danger.

‘Weak gender’
Mrs. Duke who acknowledged the efforts of women in the global development urged them to demystify the erroneous impression about the weak gender of women.

”The more we speak about it, the more the security agencies, institutions and organizations get attracted to it. And we will find more laws being passed by both state and federal legislatures,” she said.

She, however, advocated for involvement of the youths to make things happen in the community.

Mrs. Duke stressed that, “If there is any practice happening in any community that you associated with, get the information across, especially through the Youths platform and you will see results.”

Mrs Duke, who is also Chairman Board of Directors, Child Survival and Development Organization of Nigeria, said women must believe in themselves and work towards ending some traditions that are injurious to them.

Partners in progress
The Director General of Center for Black and African Arts and Civilization CBAAC, Mr Ferdinand Anikwe emphasied that both men and women are interdependent in the development of the family.

Mr. Anikwe said “A lot of times if the women are not in good position the men suffer it more than the women.”

Mr. Anikwe, who also commended the invaluable contributions of women in the continent of Africa enjoined them to explore positive areas of African culture and do away with others that seem to be affecting them negatively.

“Most of the cultures of Africa are regarded as retarding to women but there are also other interesting areas that can be explored for benefits of women,” he said.

The Director, Exhibition and Museum of CBAAC, Dr. Gloria Chume-Ibe maintained that stronger advocacy needed in order to pass the information to the people who are not aware of their rights.

“The girl child deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. Her freedom to achieve her aim in life should not be bridged in any way simply because she is a female. She needs the freedom and support to achieve her aspirations just as the male child,” Dr. Chume-Ibe said.

According to her, adequate orientation and proper education must be ensured by the appropriate authority.

Another discussant at the event, the Managing Director, Nike Center for Art and Culture, Mrs. Oyenike Davies advised women to be focused in their pattern of business and ensure they never digressed along the line.

In his own address, WSCIJ Board Chairman, Professor Ropo Sekoni canvassed for synergy between men and women for a society free of violence to be achieved.

Professor Sekoni maintain that, “The future of our children depends on both men and women and not men alone.”

He, however, called on the Police to be more responsive to action on domestic violence and issues concerning child abuse.