A group under the auspices of Nigerian Feminist Forum (NFF) has demanded compensation from the state government for continuous demolition of personal houses, malls and shops without due process and compensation, after collecting levies, taxes, and instituting compulsory payments.
The group said the conflicting government policies had rendered many people homeless and without a steady source of livelihood, even as some have taken to crime and criminality.
The NFF Focal Person, Ms Chinonso Okechukwu stated this on Monday in a communique made available to the newsmen in Owerri, Imo State capital shortly after a one-day town hall meeting with zonal stakeholders and the ministry of gender and vulnerable groups.
The women group also gave an insight on the dangers of rising insecurity and extra-judicial killings in the state and advocated for sustained efforts to check the trend.
A copy of the communique, which was obtained by our correspondent, read in part, “This has further resulted in displacement of people like commercial tricycle operators, food vendors, small business owners amongst others and a surge in violence against women and girls (VAWG), drug abuse, cultism, and insecurity. ”
“The NFF believes that leaving women out of peace and security processes has hindered communities from finding long-lasting peace. In times of conflict, women’s vulnerabilities and unique needs are often forgotten during negotiations, which limit the effectiveness of both peace and security agreements, and humanitarian responses in eventuality. ”
The group observed that Imo State and southeast have come under heavy attacks and insurgency since the outbreak of covid-19 and invasion of the Owerri Correctional Centre. ”
It also expressed the need for the signing of VAPP bill to protect people and provide a legal instrument for the prosecution of peace breaches. Human rights violation, teenage pregnancy, rape, gender-based violence, are high during conflict periods.
“When women are part of peace process, they know and include real victims of violence, conflict, and insecurity in the compensation process. “The release stated.
Speaking earlier Blessing Azubuike, Director of Gender in the Ministry of Women Affairs and Vulnerable Groups, advocated for women involvement in peace and security processes, and the measures that can create spaces for women in peace building.
She said every country is expected to develop a national action plan towards the implementation of the UNSCR 1325 while states are obliged to further develop a State Action Plan (SAP) aimed at localising UNSCR 1325.
The merchants and different artisans working within the space counted their losses shortly after bulldozers turned their items, shops into rubble around 8am yesterday.