The Women Arise for Change Initiatives and the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Center (WARDC) in a statement jointly signed by the Leaders of the two groups; Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin and Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, condemn in strong terms, the continued terror attacks on Nigerians and call on the government of the day to live up to her responsibility of protecting lives and properties within the republic.
The duo made this call yesterday, while responding to the most recent bomb blast on the outskirts of the Nigerian capital Abuja, which killed scores of people during rush hour on Monday morning, several dead bodies were seen all over the scene of the blast few minutes after the explosion, turning the park to a gory site. As at yesterday, over 71 people were reported dead with about 130 receiving treatment at various hospitals in the FCT.
Beyond this incident on the 14th April 2014, 100 young schoolgirls were also abducted in Borno State. In condemning the attack, the two rights activists accused the Goodluck Jonathan Government of failing to successfully address the insurgency while warning politicians across divides to stop playing politics with human lives .
According to Dr Joe Okei-Odumakin, ‘Innocent Nigerians are being killed on daily basis, We cannot continue to fold our hands as citizens, Nigerian citizens must hold the government accountable for the numerous killings and wanton waste of lives of innocent citizens.’
As noted further by Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi ‘ the government has the responsibility to protect human lives within its territory. Thus it is critical for the government to do all within her power to ensure that these killings stop; armed conflict retard economic growth and limits the enjoyment of human rights, therefore, should not be tolerated in any form by the government’.
The two groups further condemn the terrorists for the abduction of the 200 girls and their continued target of innocent women, children and girls; stating that ‘ Women and girls have been victims of these conflicts. The insurgency has exposed this group of people to destitution, physical and mental insecurity. We are concerned that when women and girls are abducted in this manner during conflict, they are often exposed to untold hardships of sexual violence and bodily assault as part of the spoils of war.’
Nigeria has adopted the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and 1820 which address, amongst others things, the need for state parties to take steps to prevent further violations of women’s rights in conflict situations, and to protect and ensure women’s participation in post-conflict reconstruction processes. We call on the government to derive methodology to protect women and children in conflict areas.
We also demand that the government ensure the release of these innocent girls and others that have been abducted by the terrorists in the past.
Dr. Joe Okei- Odumakin. Dr Abiola Akiode Afolabi
Women Arise. WARDC