By Priscilla Osaje
Abuja – The National Orientation Agency (NOA) has call for the involvement of women in decision making process to enhance national development.
Dr Garba Abari, the Director-General of NOA made the called at a ‘stakeholders’ engagement workshop tagged “Building a People of Peace; focus on gender prospective’’.
Abari said that the contribution of women should not be underrated especially in this present time.
According to him, women and children are the worse victims of insurgency.
“The challenge of insurgency has estranged fathers and mothers from their children and wives from their husbands as we continue to hear gory details of the evil perpetrated by the insurgents.
“Family and entire community have been fractured; people have lost sources and means of livelihood.
“In one of my peace building engagements at Konduga, Borno , women and children were victims of insurgency.
“It became clear to me that peace building architecture that does not centralised the role of female gender in peace building effort in a sustainable way, will only achieve limited success.
“We need to create platforms to enable women who have been affected by the various forms of violence pervasive in our society to contribute towards finding solution pathway to peace.
“It is for this reason that we decided to take a gender focus in our quest to build a people of peace across the length and breadth of our great country Nigeria,’’ Abari said.
The NOA boss stressed that peace was a vital pre-condition for meaningful development.
He explained that the responsibility for creating peaceful environment could not be left to government alone.
The Director-General urged the media to propagate the message of peace properly by looking at fact, what Federal Government was doing and set to do on the deployment of capacity build a peaceful nation.
Earlier, Former Director- General of NOA, Mr Mike Omeri, said that peace building was key concept of the government.
“Prosperity and wealth always go to regions where there is peace and harmony thereby creating great development for the region.
“NOA should be properly empowered to do the job they are suppose to do; the agency is capable and available.
“This nation belongs to all of us; we should make less noise and take concrete actions involving women to enhance development,’’ Omeri said.
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin represented by Brid.-Gen. Christina Thomas, in his goodwill message, said women should be encouraged participate in activities that would bring about peace in Nigeria.
Olonisakin called for gender perspective in every issue that would ensure their protection by giving them the chance to contribute to nation building and development.
He said that in peace building, women were expected to play a vital role to enhance effective development and sustainable peace.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Baratai , represented by Brid-Gen. Preye Fakrogha, Commander of National Association of Women Corp, said that the re-position of women due to the role they play should be put into consideration.
He stressed that “the major problem we have in the country is the youth not the women, but giving women the opportunity to showcase their ability will go a long way in the development the country.
The event attracted personalities from Ministry of Education, Ministry of Communication, Christian Association of Nigeria, Federal Road Safety Corp, National Broadcasting Commission, National Council for Women Societies and many others.
High point of the event was a drama presentation titled, “Inter-tribal marriage’’ performed by NOA drama troupe.