From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
Women of Etche Local Government Area in Rivers State have restated their commitment towards participation in politics and governance at all levels, including community governance.
The commitment was made during a town hall meeting and sensitisation campaign for Rivers East Senatorial District branch of Women in Governance Network (WIGN) organized recently at Ulakwo Etche by Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development, CEHRD in conjunction with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Nigeria.
The women who were drawn from different communities in Etche and its environs said their experiences during the COVID 19 pandemic lockdown in the state and other parts of the country shows that without participation of the citizens in governance in form of demand for accountability and respect for the rule of law, governments will turn themselves into an enemy to the people.
They said they will constantly demand accountability, good governance and rule of law as that amounts to a form of participation in governance.
The women commended CEHRD for bringing them together again and enlightening them on the need to adapt to the situations created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sharing their experiences during the lock down periods, the women lamented that the measures rolled out by the government to contain the spread of the virus brought so much pains and hardships on the citizens.
They stated that sources of livelihood of many people were deliberately destroyed by agents of the governments in the process of implementing the lock down measures.
Queen Agba, CEHRD Program officer who facilitated the meeting commended the women for their resilience and urged them not to be overwhelmed by the challenges thrown up by the pandemic.
She explained that the meeting was aimed at creating awareness on Covid19 and the preventive measures as rolled out by the government, mitigating issues that may affect women participation in politics due to Covid19 and to arm women with tools to put them on front view in political participation amidst the pandemic.
She urged them to abide by the social distancing measures and constant washing of hands and sanitizing as specified by the government. She further urged the women not to allow the COVID 19 situations to dampen their resolves to be active citizens.