By Jessica Onyegbula
Dr Uzoaku Williams, National Coordinator, Ending Violence against Women and Girls, on Friday charged Nigerians to remain strong and hopeful, as the country would rise again.
Williams, who gave the charge at a second quarterly meeting of Nigeria Inter-Religious Council (NIREC), in Abuja, stressed that citizens must start playing their roles by taking responsibility to ensure a positive change in the country.
She also emphasised on the need to organise a national dialogue as the most effective and peaceful way for the country to reach a resolution to its problems and resolve conflicts.
”So, let us continue to work together, sit together and dialogue.
“I am a total believer in dialogue and nothing will change my mind because my religion teaches me to always dialogue.
“I believe that no problem is too big to be resolved when we sit down and talk, because even wars are fought to bring peace.
“But if you know you can bring peace without fighting war, then why do you have to take up arms.
“Peace is the most important aspect of our lives because without peace we cannot even worship,” she said.
Williams also urged religious leaders to join in the fight to end violence against women and girls in Nigeria.
She noted that religious leaders must do their best to discourage abusive relationship or marriage and that every human being had the fundamental right to live, not to die through battery of a marriage partner.
She further stressed the need for the society stop the discrimination against divorcees.
Williams urged parents to build a formidable relationship with their children and teach them sex education at a very young age to protect them from learning things wrongly and being influenced negatively by their peers.
”Children of today are very smart, so there is no need keeping certain information from them.
“You must as a parent teach your children how to defend themselves; if you fail to teach them correctly in a bid to protect them, you may lose them.
”Our children now learn from the internet; so, before they learn wrongly, start teaching them all they need to know especially sex education.
“This will help when they face challenges or situations in life,” she added.
The General Secretary, Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), Rev. Evans Onyemara, called for equal opportunity for women in Nigeria.
”Wherever women are found, you will discover that women are not being given the opportunity up to their full potential either by education, employment or appointment.
”This programme is to ensure that we engineer and educate the society to join in the fight towards ending violence against women and girls.
The Senior Pastor, Unity Baptist Church Utako, Abuja, Rev. Sabonyaro Adams, called on stakeholders to create awareness on women and girl child protection, including sexual and gender based violence through different channels.
“As a leaders, we must ensure that there are referral mechanism, trauma healing centres and counselling for cases.
“We should also advocate a developmental agenda that addresses violence against women and girls in Nigeria,” he said. (NAN)