A Non-Governmental Organization, Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative, (EWEI) has condemned in strong terms incessant acts of violence in Nigeria and the world at large.
This is as EWEI believed that unless insecurity, conflict and war ceases, millions of additional families in Nigeria and the world would be forcibly displaced, hence escalating the scale of the already dire global humanitarian situation, which in turn increase the risk of sexual violence and exploitation on women and girls.
A statement issued and signed by EWEI’s Senior Programme Officer – Communications, Mr. Uche Egbe, made available to newsmen in Kaduna on Friday, noted that insecurity in Nigeria has gone full circle in recent years, due to the countrywide emergence and domination of various non-state armed groups.
The statement also noted that emerging evidence alluded to the increasing nexus between bandits and terrorists in Nigeria’s northwest through recruitment tactics and the mutual deployment of logistics and arms, combined with the region’s geographical advantage for carrying out attacks and a similar mastery of the political economy of ‘kidnap for ransom’, used to fund criminal enterprises.
“A medical doctor working with the Saint Gerald Hospital, Kaduna, Dr Chinelo Megafu Nwando, was among those killed by bandits including a 29-year-old lawyer identified as Farida Sule Mohammed, during the attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train on Monday 28 March 2022.
“Their stories and those of whom we are daily losing particularly girls and women are heartbreaking and are slowly draining away the once vibrant way of life we knew.
“With differing rationales, objectives and modus operandi, these actors includes criminal gangs, separatist groups, religious fundamentalists and amorphous kidnappers, dubbed ‘unknown gunmen’ in Nigerian media.
“Now the country’s most pressing security challenge is described as ‘banditry’ by state officials – a composite crime including armed robbery, kidnapping, murder, rape and illegal possession of firearms.
“The activities of bandits directly affects the seven states of north-western Nigeria: Kaduna, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara – and is fast spreading to states in the north-central region, particularly Niger State.
“Estimates put the number of bandits at about 30,000, spread across scores of gangs ranging in size from 10 fighters to over a thousand.
“On the global front, recent estimates indicated that 54 per cent of people in need of assistance from the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine crisis are women. More than 2 million Ukrainians – the vast majority women and children – having fled to neighbouring countries, and others displaced within the country.
“These numbers are expected to increase significantly as the offensive continues. As women continue to bear different and additional burdens of war and violence, they must be represented in all decision-making platforms on de-escalation, conflict prevention, mitigation, and other processes in pursuit of peace and security for the people of Ukraine and all over the world.
“This has gone on long enough,” the statement stated.