ABUJA – The publisher of Phenomenal People magazine, Evelyn Onyilo has expressed sadness over the death of chairman of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) FCT chapter, Hauwa Shekarau, describing it as a blow on gender rights movement in Nigeria.
Onyilo, a former President of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and founder, Initiative for Women’s Accelerated Development in Africa (INWOAD) while describing the late Shekarau as a trailblazer, friend, sister, human and women’s rights advocate, extolled the late former FIDA national president’s contributions to Nigeria’s development.
In a statement she personally endorsed in Abuja on Friday and made available to Sundiata Post, Onyilo observed that the late Shekarau contributed her very best in making the world liveable for the downtrodden and less privileged.
She said, “It is indeed with deep pain and sadness that we from Phenomenal People magazine received the news of the death of our trailblazer, friend, sister, human and women’s rights advocate Barrister Hauwa Evelyn Shekarau.
“This is a blow not only to the gender rights movement in the FCT but to our country generally. Barrister Hauwa Evelyn Shekarau has contributed immensely to national development in many spheres including her legal profession, politically, her state, community, and women’s rights specifically women inclusion in governance and campaign against gender based violence.
“She lived a purpose driven life of making the world a better place for all especially the poor and downtrodden.”
Going memory lane, Onyilo recalled how closely she worked with the late Shekarau when the latter was the FCT chapter Chairperson of Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA at a time when she (Onyilo) was the National President of NAWOJ in 2002 in the advancement of the campaign against gender-based violence.
“Barrister Hauwa became close to us at the time I was National President of NAWOJ in 2002. She was FCT FIDA Chair. We worked closely in the Coalition for the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill which was then in the National Assembly. Her tireless efforts together with other key stakeholders led to the passage of the VAPP Act in 2015.
“Since then, we have worked together in many gender related advocacy groups and even some political affiliations. She was kindhearted, warm and humble. She would support any worthy course with her time talent and treasure.
“As Country Director of Ipas, Dr. Hauwa Shekarau gave support to our NGO, INWOAD right from its formative period,” she noted.
While joining other women rights advocates in the country to mourn the late Barr. Shekarau, Onyilo said her death will create a huge loss to the gender agenda in Nigeria.
She prayed God to comfort the grieving family of Shekarau.
The Chevening alumnus died last week after a brief illness.
Shekarau was a gender advocate, human rights activist, a professional mediator and a conciliator.
She had over 25 years post-call experience in women and child rights policy and advocacy, conflict resolution, social research, sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Shekarau graduated from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria and served as a board member of ActionAid International Nigeria and Nigeria Women Trust Fund, League for Human Rights, El-Shaddai Widows Outreach, among others.