The International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, Rivers State Branch, has marked her 2021 FIDA Week celebration. The association held a three-day sensitization/awareness campaign to sensitise the public on the dangers of hard drugs and ways to curb the menace of incest in the society.
The event, held at the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA building, Moscow road, with the theme “FIDA Rivers @ 34 moving beyond the pandemic” and sub theme, “curbing the menace of incest and drug abuse in our society: from rhetorics to action” featured lectures and interactive session with resource persons.
Representatives from various professional bodies such as the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA, the Nigeria Bar Association NBA, the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Rivers State Chapter, Women advocacy groups, undergraduate students of Law Faculty, Rivers State University, among others, took turns to encourage the fight against hard drugs, incest and sexual violence.
In her welcome address, the acting-chairperson of FIDA, Rivers State Chapter, Nnenna Igbokwe, said that the past 34 years of FIDA, Rivers State had been devoted to great service to humanity.
According to her, “the number 34 symbolizes three things, firstly, it symbolizes ambition for which FIDA strives to continually set high goals and meet the high expectations demanded of it. It also signifies being open minded and not being adverse to change as FIDA Rivers has sought to do by continually adapting and developing itself as we can all attest to especially during this public health crisis and the lockdown period. Lastly, it also means innovativeness and we can agree that FIDA keeps on breaking barriers and developing new ways to serve humanity.”
Speaking on the theme, moving beyond the pandemic, Mrs. Igbokwe said “2020 was a time that tested the resolute nature of humanity and this association was no different. However we rose to the challenge and found ways to ensure that we contribute our own quota to the fight against corona virus and ensure that our aims are still carried out.
“It is time to move beyond the limitations and challenges encountered due to this health crisis and forge ahead stronger than ever and that is why this year’s subtheme focuses on curbing the menace of incest and drug abuse in our society.
“Incest is a crime and not a family matter, the rate of incest in our society in recent times is truly appalling, we noticed that sexual violence within the home increased, persons that are supposed to adequately protect the children are now the ones violating them. A place where children should be safe and secured has turned to a place of horror for them. She added that drug abuse is a contributory factor to most of the sexual violence in the home and society stressing that no sane man will sexually molest his children.
Speaking with TNN in an exclusive interview, the public relations officer of the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbumgbada, urged members of the public to join in the fight against drug abuse, warning that it is no respecter of class nor person.
Ogbumgbada said “we have to see ourselves as stakeholders and ensure that we do our best, put in everything we can to make sure that the problem of drug abuse is reduced to the barest minimum. A lot of people feel unconcerned, like the case of where you see another family’s corpse, you carry shoulder high and feel unconcerned until it happens to you.
“Drug abuse is not a respecter of class, or personality or tribe; it is a problem that can go into any family, even the rich and poor, everybody suffers the problem of drug abuse if you let it come into your family, so, we will encourage people to do everything they can to fight drug abuse, at whatever level you can, whatever resources you can put into it, and however you can influence the situation in ensuring that drug problem is reduced to the barest minimum it’s a good thing we should all engage in it.”
Chairperson of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, Rivers State Chapter, Mrs. Susan Serekara-Nwikhara, who was represented by her vice, Daba Benebo commended Rivers FIDA over her unwavering commitments in advocacies and protection of the rights of women and the Girl-child in the society.
According to Benebo “the consistent interventionist roles of FIDA had brought succor to womanhood in contending with the glaring challenges of obnoxious and dehumanizing practices in the society.”