23 February 2011

Nigeria: Jos Crisis - Women Threaten Mass Protest

Jos — A group of women under the aegis of Women Without Walls Initiative (WWW1) in Plateau State said it would adopt what has happened in Tunisia, Egypt and still ongoing in Algeria, Iran, Yemen and other parts of North Africa and the Middle East as a last option to call on all stakeholders attention to the plight of women and children whom they said are being killed in their sleep without any serious actions by government to protect them.

Pastor Esther Ibanga, who is the President/Facilitator of the group, stated this while addressing journalists in Jos.

She added, "It's a crying shame too that despite the prevalence of women and children as victims in the prevailing crisis situations, neither tier of government had deemed it fit to include women representatives of affected communities in virtually all the panels of inquiry and/or commissions that have been set up till date.

"In the same vein, we find it auspicious to request that the peace keeping assignment of the Special Task Force ought to benefit from a high population of women soldiers, who are convinced will be more sympathetic towards the plight of women and children in conflict areas. We appeal to government to henceforth address this anomaly".

The leader of the group, who spoke on behalf of the women, called on the Plateau State Governor to ensure the full and competent functioning of the "Operation Rainbow" in a manner that portrays impartial and effective policing of the state, especially in vulnerable areas. The WWWI, which is a non-governmental group, commended the women groups, both Christian and Muslims, which it said, "Have conducted peaceful rallies and protests in recent times to call attention to the happenings in Jos, Plateau State. "We firmly believe that the time has come for women to come together in unity, and to present a common front for the attainment of a common goal - to individually and collectively work for peace in our land, and to demand and pursue the protection of precious human lives and property, without any discrimination whatsoever."

The group urged the Special Task Force to discharge its duties "with the fear of God, who has assigned them the sacred responsibility to safeguard lives without fear or favour."

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