Omu of Anioma/ Okpanam Calls for Inclusion of Women in Security, Peace, Issues

A revered traditional ruler in Delta State, Omu of Anioma/Okpanam – Her Royal Majesty – Obi Martha Dunkwu, has called for the inclusion of women in the issues of peace and security, saying that is the only way to secure peace in Nigeria.

The Omu stated this when members of the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), Nigeria led by the Natiomal Coordimator – Chief Mrs. Bridget Osakwe, paid her an advocacy visit in her palace at Okpanam.

She said no nation can grow without women.

The traditional ruler took time to adumbrate the historical development of the Omuship system.

According to her, “Omuship started 822 years ago. But when I became Omu 20 years ago, we were just five in number and I was the youngest.

“Our forefathers who established the Omuship gave spiritual guidance to the Omu who were given shrines. As such, the Omu was not expected to have an husband. If she had an husband, she would have to relinquish the marriage. My work is 70% spiritual.

“Our forefathers saw women as complementary and not competition. They placed a cause over 800years ago that anyone that removed the Omu system will not progress”.

The Omu of Anioma said men oppresses women in this contemporary times, saying if the men do not want any woman to function, she cannot function. She added that in the days of old, the forefathers respect women.

Obi Martha Dunkwu commended WANEP Nigeria for their role in reducing the fears of women in the society through capacity building, thereby making women to have voice in issues that concern them.

The Omu said the reason women are afraid is because they are are not empowered educationally, socially, and financially.

She said “there’s need to build up the women, which WANEP Nigeria is already doing. Women indeed hold the key to peace and security”, she said.

Speaking earlier, the National Coordinator of WANEP Nigeria said they will always run to the Omu as a role model. She said the purpose for the advocacy visit was to seek solution to problem of peace and security in Nigeria.

“You are the first traditional leader we’ve visited. Our plan is to present the findings from our monarchs to the appropriate stakeholders. WANEP has been in the forefront in ensuring that the voices of women are heard in issues concerning peace and security in Nigeria.

“The establishment of the network has been a response to the growing pathologic civil based violence and war in West Africa caused by mismanaged socio-political structures and systems. WANEP`s niche is built on its ability to facilitate a platform for concerted structural and social reforms amongst societies in West Africa sub region. It works towards achieving this through streamlined thematic programs.

“The thematic areas include: the Women in Peacebuilding, the Non Violence and Peace Education, Research and Documentation, Democracy and Good Governance, and the Early Warning and Early Response”, she said.

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