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Open grazing: Anglican women drum support for Southern Govs

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Praise Necherem

The Anglican Women Conference, Diocese of Awka, Province of the Niger, has affirmed its support on the recent declaration by Governors of 17 Southern States on ban of open grazing of livestock in their respective states.

The women argued that the move would curb the problems of food insecurity and farmers/herders’ clashes.

In a Communique at the 35th Awka Diocesan Women Conference, held at St. Mark’s Church, Aguluzigbo, Anocha Local Government Area of Anambra State, themed: “The Name of the Lord is a Great Tower,” the women also called on President Mohammadu Buhari- led administration to urgently tackle the worsening spate of insecurity and unemployment in Nigeria.

“President Buhari should make security a priority in his administration; especially by addressing the attacks by herdsmen on farmers and their farms.

“The federal government should also be more proactive in the security of lives and farms of Nigerians, as women and children are the most vulnerable in security and food concerns,” the women stated.

While blaming growing trafficking in persons to absence of enabling environment, the conference also called on government to address rising youth unemployment, and to encourage vocational training and skills acquisition for youth empowerment.

Speaking on the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in Anambra State, the conference urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to resist all forms of compromises to ensure fair, free and credible polls. It also enjoined politicians to eschew bitterness and all forms of electoral malpractices.

In her presidential address, President of the Mothers’ Union, Women’s Guild and Girls’ Guild, Diocese of Awka, Anglican Communion and Province of the Niger, Mrs Martha Chioma Ibezim, regretted prevalent incidences of herdsmen attacks on farmers across the nation. 

She said: “There is a need for government to be more proactive in the security of lives and farms of Nigerians, as our women and children are the most vulnerable. The government can do more to restore the confidence of farmers this farming season.

“Nigeria has gone down badly in the security of lives and property. Blood is wasted every day in the North, South, East and West. We call on our president and the political leadership to prioritize security, and restore the hopes of mothers and children in the country.

“Without adequate security of lives and property in Nigeria, no meaningful development can take place. Business thrives in a secure environment. Academic works in higher institutions and even in the middle and lower schools, take place effectively when the environment is secure,” she said; adding that, “sound education does not take place where kidnapping, cultism and all manner of vices occur.”

Wife of the state governor, Chief (Dr) Ebelechukwu Obiano, commended Archbishop Ibezim and his wife, Mrs Martha Chioma Ibezim, for their dedicated mission in empowering women in all ramifications.

She also praised their uncommon interest in the growth and development of women in the diocese and province, by engaging them meaningfully in skill acquisition, trade and education. 

Represented by former chairman, Post-Primary Schools Service Commission, Anambra State, Lady Joy Ulasi, Mrs. Obiano charged the women to step up their prayer lives, saying, “the society is facing turmoil, and it’s only a dedicated woman, deeply rooted in prayers that can overcome.”

The State Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Lady Ndidi Mezue, praised Archbishop Ibezim for remaining dedicated to issues concerning women.

While also commending the archbishop’s wife, Mrs. Chioma Ibezim, for her steadfastness in championing the course of women, Mezue noted that the yearly ADWOC conference had assisted in repositioning the women and exposing them to the best ways to lead good Christian lives. 

Earlier, in his sermon, Archbishop Ibezim encouraged women to pay more attention to the responsibilities of motherhood and child upbringing. He said the theme of the conference was very captivating and wants women to always look up to God. 

According to him, only the righteous and those whose foundation were based on salvation given by Jesus would see God; adding that women should go back to re-examine their lives, and to train their wards in the virtues of Christian faith.

The chairman, 2021 Diocesan Women Conference, Prof Lady Christy Okoye, encouraged mothers to empower their female children with education, morals and other spheres of life, so they would not go astray; even as she told the women to make their female wards their close friends, and to monitor their movements.

The ceremony featured launching of the Christian Family Magazine, presentation of profile mother, Ezinne Hannah Adogu, who is 99 years, as well as cutting of conference cake and special renditions, among other activities.

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