On 7 September 2017, women from across Nigeria met in Abuja to discuss the need:
- for a platform (NGWomen4Peace) for women to voice their concerns about key issues which negatively impact on us, our children and our families and
- to organise women to promote a stronger sense of ownership and belonging in the country and build our confidence to contribute positively to making a difference to the present alarming trajectory of our country.
#NGWomen4Peace is a movement of women and women’s groups representing all parts of Nigeria concerned with the current state of affairs and focused on ensuring that Nigeria remains a country of peace, prosperity and participation for all.
We have observed the following:
- An increased wave of hate speech and inciting statements,
- An increased spate of violent conflicts around the country, and
- That women, who bear the brunt of the violent conflict, are not consulted when ethnic, religious and political groups publish their statements which threaten the peace and security of Nigerians.
- That despite almost two decades of activism women are still not proportionally represented in politics, peace and security decision making and governance
We acknowledge the efforts of the security sector, the humanitarian community, CSO, religious and traditional authorities and individuals who are trying to manage the problem. We have mobilised to add our voices and assert our rights as citizens, as mothers, as women and as one half of the population of this nation in pursuit of peace, dialogue and deescalation.
We are not begging. We are not asking. We are insisting. We are demanding
DIALOGUE & DEESCALATION
An immediate cessation of all hostilities across the country and a demand for all stake holders and state and non state actors to begin a process of deescalation and dialogue that will include women in proportional representation as active participants, negotiators, referees, observers and peace keepers.
The are numerous violent conflicts ongoing all across the country – in the north east, in north central, in the south east, in the south south, a nation wide conflict nomadic pastoralists and farming communities.
Nigerian women demand that all violence end immediately and all parties and stakeholders begin a process of dialogue. Whatever the demands – restructuring, devolution, inclusion, marginalisation, secession, religious freedom, ethnic protectionism – they can and must be negotiated. We will no longer tolerate the blood of our children be spilled to sustain untenable positions of violent insurrection and dominance in a democratic federation.
No Be Fight. We are a civilised and modern nation. We will dialogue and we must start with immediate deescalation.
We call on Arewa Youths, IPOB, Boko Haram, Oduduwa, Ohaneze, the Federal Government and its agencies.
Increasing women’ s active and full participation in politics, peace and security negotiations, decision making, conflict resolution and peace agreements. There are over 200 MDAs in Nigeria and women must be proportionally included and represented in all. For immediate action –
- The newly formed House of Representatives committee saddled with the responsibility of fostering national unity led by the Deputy Speaker, Hon. Yusuf Sulaiman Lasun should appoint a female representative as its deputy and of the nine other positions at least half should be filled with women.
- Project Steering Committee for the implementation of the 54.5 million euros support project for the North-east inaugurated in August 2017 should have at least 50% female membership, line ministries that are on the committee must nominate women to fill their position.
- The National Judicial Council (NJC) under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, established a Corruption and Financial Crimes Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO) to monitor judges and courts handling corruption and financial crimes cases in the country. The membership of the committee is almost entirely male, with a lone female representing the NGO sector. We demand a review and women to be immediately take 50% of the membership.
- Immediate implementation of Chapter 2 Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria especially section 14(3) and (4) on Federal character to immediately implement representative inclusion of women in all federal, state and local government agencies and a 50% affirmative action policy.
We will in collaboration with our members and allies over the next 30 days continue to identify and various committees, bodies and institutions where women are not adequately represented and demand inclusion and nominate capable women for inclusion. We will use legal means and judicial process as appropriate and various other means of protest and pressure where appropriate.
Zonal and State Working committees of NGWomen4Peace will also articulate and announce specific demands that will be pursued at the zonal and state level to ensure dialogue, deescalation and inclusion of women and respect for the constitution and rule of law. These plans will be announced in a series of press conferences over the next week.
We will assess the response to our demands and our strategies for their enforcement over the next 30, 60 and 90 days and continue to adjust our actions to ensure compliance and update the press and our fellow Nigerians on progress towards peace and women’s inclusion in governance, conflict resolution, peace building and decision making.
We live in hope for a better Nigeria where every individual has equal opportunities to be the best they can be for themselves and their communities. Nothing good comes without hard work and sacrifice but we, Nigerian women, declare that we can and must build the country of our dreams without sacrificing the lives of innocents.
We continue to build a critical mass of women and women’s groups in a grand alliance of women waging peace and will launch the White Blouse Campaign for Peace to build women’s solidarity, visibility and support for our movement.
- Iheoma Obibi – Alliances for Africa, Imo State
- Esther Eshiet – After School Centre for Career Development, Akwa Ibom
- Mabel Ikoghode – Girls Power Initiative, Delta State
- Dr. Alice Musa – University of Madugiri, Borno State
- Dr. K. Kwari – University of Madugiri, Borno State
- Ayisha Osori- Self, Kaduna State
- Azeenah Mohamed – Independent, Nassara State
- Patricia Onyekwelu – WILPF Nigeria, Enugu State
- Ifeyinwa Omowole Nigeria Association of Women Journalist, Lagos State
- Ballason Gloria – House of Justice Kaduna State
- Osai Ojigho – Self, Delta State
- Nnenaya Emeremadu – CARA Development Foundation. Imo State
- Jemila Barkindo – Women Peace and Security Network, Adamawa State
- Amy Oyekan Monii Development Consultant, Delta State
- Ify Malo – Clean Tech Hub, Anambra State
- Eleanor Nwadinobi – Gender Expert, Abia State
- Olufunke Baruwa – Nigerian Women Trust Fund, Ekiti State
- Priscilla Achakpa – Women Environment Program, Benue State
- Blessing Usie – Open Society Justice Initiative, Delta State
- Felicia Onibon – Change Managers International Network, Edo State
- Edna Mathews-Njoku – Joel Women Youth Development Initiative, Imo State
- Ndi Kato – NNidari Empowerment Foundation, Kaduna State
- Natasha Akpoti – Builders Hub Foundation, Kogi State
- Lesley Agams – Consultant, Abuja FCT
- Mariam Aldu – Self, Adamawa State
- Amina Salihu, Gender and Security Consultant
- Blessing Duru – Program Manager, Alliances for Africa
- Ogechi Ikeh – Program Officer, Nigerian Feminist Forum