Abia state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu, has thrown his weight behind the advocacy for the protection of the rights of women and children, especially the girl-child.
The governor made this known when he received a delegation made up of a coalition of women and women’s group led by his wife, Nkechi Ikpeazu, at the government house, Umuahia.
Mr Ikpeazu, who pledged to assent to all progressive legislations that protect the rights of women and the girl child once it gets to his desk, called on parents to be vigilant and monitor the activities of their children to prevent abuses by those entrusted to care for them.
“It is dangerous to leave a girl child with people you can’t trust. A defiled child is a destabilised child. I enlist my support to this movement and all the legislations that protect our women and children against abuses will be assented to once they get to my table,” he said.
The governor urged women to be more vigilant, stating that most reported cases of molestation of the girl child were as a result of carelessness of mothers. He acknowledged that being a 21st century mother can be challenging but noted that the “African woman is well equipped for the challenge”.
Reacting to the call for more women to be given elective positions, the governor encouraged women to rally round their own whenever they come up for election and make bold statement through actions.
Earlier in her remarks, the wife of governor, Nkechi Ikpeazu, said the support from the executive branch led by the governor would help to correct several anomalies that militate against the well-being of women and the girl child.
She informed the governor that the coalition, which is made up of religious women group, academic women, bureaucrats, women lawyers, female politicians, business people, widows, human rights advocates, professional groups, women labour groups, senior citizens, as well as women leaders in communities and traditional institutions, had paid similar visits to the legislative and Judicial arms.
“We had visited the House of Assembly, the Judiciary and the state police command on this mission to ensure that the rights of women and the girl child are respected.
“Our Advocacy visit to you today is part of a systematic effort at receiving commitment from stakeholders towards elimination of these right abuses,” she said.
Chidinma Alozie who represented Female lawyers Association (FIDA), Roseline Ndimele and Victoria Akanwa also spoke during the visit.
The delegation included wife of the deputy governor, Vivian Chukwu, wife of former head of state; Aguiyi Ironsi, wife of the speaker; Gloria Kanu, wife of the deputy speaker Ndidi Ndukwe, Commissioner for Women Affairs and a host of others.