By: Wisdom Acka
The Association of Wives of Traditional Rulers in the Federal Capital Territory
(AWTR), has condemned the increasing violence against women in the nation’s capital, Abuja.
President of the Association and wife of the Ona of Abaji, Hauwa Kulu-Ibrahim expressed the group’s displeasure during a press conference organized to mark this year’s International Day of zero tolerance for female genital mutilation in Karshi, Abuja.
The President, who was represented by the Association’s Secretary and wife of the Chief of Karshi, Halima Abubakar, decried the high rate of sexual and gender-based violence prevalent in the FCT.
She revealed that the Palaces received over 1000 reports of various forms of violence against women, hence the decision to publicly speak against it.
Abubakar disclosed that Gwagwalada Area Council topped the chart of the reported cases with over 900, followed by the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), which had 22 cases, while Abaji and Bwari got 12 and 5 cases, respectively.
Abubakar, who reminded community elders that young girls within their domains needed help, advocated an end to all forms of violence against women, including female genital mutilation, as well as early and forced marriages.
Harping on the importance of harnessing the traditional justice system in combating sexual and gender-based violence in the FCT, the President noted there could not be any serious solution to the fight against the menace among the poor natives without strengthening the administration of traditional justice in the FCT.
According to her, the adoption of the justice system in resolving those issues became necessary because, it “enjoys the confidence and respect of the victims and offenders, who reside within the community and naturally regard it as the first point of the report for domestic abuse or gender-based violence by the inhabitants.
She said, for effective traditional justice administration in Abuja, her organization has trained traditional rulers’ wives and palace secretaries on how to support victims of such violence and has provided reporting tools and visual reporting of such violence, among others.
While calling on members of civil society, international organizations, ministries, and dependents in the FCT Administration to support the NGO in combating the crime and ensuring the full development of the potentials of FCT indigenous women whom she decried were facing the double jeopardy of marginalization gender-based violence.
Project Coordinator, Promoting the Rights of the Original Inhabitants, Hannatu Usman Nga-Kupi, while speaking earlier, advised the women to always report any violent act against them or their children, especially the girl-child to the nearest palace.
The project Coordinator, who is also the wife of the Sa’Peyi of Garki advised the women to always make sure their girl-child received education and were given skills to know their rights and for self-sufficiency.
She further revealed that some of the culprits, who abused minors received severe punishment including imprisonment.