By Adeola Ogunlade
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in collaboration with the Christian Council of Nigeria (CCN), has flagged off an enlightenment campaign week in Lagos focused on ending violence against women and girls.
The President of Christian Council of Nigeria, Most Rev Benebo Fubara-Manual announced this at a press conference at the United Evangelical Church, Sururlere, Lagos.
The project tagged: The Role of Faith-Based Organisations in Ending Violence Against Women and Girls, will run in Lagos beginning from July 19 through July 25, 2021. This phase of the project has Sokoto, Adamawa, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Lagos, Ebonyi, and Cross River States as focal states.
He said that CCN has joined the effort because “we realise that violence against women and girls is not what the churches or faith-based organisations alone can solve; it calls for multilateral efforts and initiatives and every form of support is a move in the right direction”.
He said, “We believe that this collaboration will assist many non-religious persons to discern clearly how they have been trapped in the same declining culture and do all that they can to stop this evil.
“We are supported in this move by the Students’ Christian Movement as one of our most active associate members. For us and for UNICEF, this is in furtherance of our previous collective effort between 2017 and 2019 in ending violence against children with the support of USAID and the European Union”.
Speaking further, he said, “We shall engage in mass street rallies and meet with significant political and government figures who can initiate positive changes in this regard. We shall hand out fliers and stickers that would send out our messages and pray to our one and only creator and redeemer in our churches so that by the grace of God we shall see an age in which violence against children is ended.
“We are not convinced that the governments of the nations of our world are sufficiently tackling the challenges with respect to violence against women and girls. Clearly, our country is not winning in this battle. But it should win,” he said.
Fubara-Manual said, “We have all it takes to have a secure country and to end all forms of violence especially those against women and girls. The political and social systems are not skewed in the favour of women and girls but rather against them.
In her words, the National Coordinator, UNICEF National Coordinator to End Violence against Children in Nigeria, Mrs. Uzoaku Williams said that the church is making frantic efforts at creating a safe space for survivors of rape in parts of Nigeria.