• Sunday, July 14, 2024
businessday logo


Be advocates of justice, equity, Osinbajo tells Nigerians


‘Speaking up’ has become a popular phrase used to encourage victims of sexual violence to break the silence since Nigeria woke up to the facts, but while that remains a viable step to addressing the impasse, the wife of the vice president, Dolapo Osinbajo, has encouraged Nigerians to go beyond that and be advocates of justice, fairness, and equity.

The vice president’s wife made the charge at the graduation ceremony for out-of-school girls empowerment program in Lagos, on Wednesday.

Osinbajo reminded her audience that an abuse of any form was wrong and an offence to the collective humanity of society.

“It is important to me to use every opportunity to remind us all that abuse of any form, rape molestation, domestic violence, exploitation, slavery and such like are all wrong and they are offences against our collective humanity. Whenever you see or hear, whenever you know of abuse, please speak up, and stand up.

“Beyond speaking up against abuse, and standing up to resist and reject abuse in our community, we ought to be advocates, persuading as many people as possible to take the high road, the path of good, of right, of justice, of fairness, and of equity,” she said.

Over 300 out-of-school girls were graduated at the event, organized by Spotlight Initiative and supported by The Women Helping Hand Initiative (TWHHI).

‘Out-of-school means girls who have been through secondary school, but are wasting away due to one reason or the other. The organisers told BusinessDay that they had successfully completed a vocational programme which sought to empower them economically.

The training covered bead-making, scarf-dressing (popularly called gele tying), pastries, sewing, event decoration and event planning assistive services.

As each girl received her certificate of participation and start-up kits, Osinbajo who is also the chairman of TWHHI watched with gladness and undisturbed about pressing national duties.

“Today, this hall was generated by the students that participated in the party support services, the drapes, the flowers were done by them. For the beadwork on fabric participants, each of them was given a pair of slippers to bead and sell today. There is an exhibition on the tables at the back, please make sure you patronise them,” she said, soliciting patronage for the girls’ craft.

Explaining why the event was important to her organisation, Olasunbo Alaken, director of TWHHI said women were at a disadvantage to many things happening in the society, stating that many women are going through lots of problems.

“It is important because it is actually what we do to help ladies, women, girls. A lot of things are happening in the society which is at a disadvantage to women, girls and ladies. So, our actual initiative is to help women, abused women and their children.

“A lot of women are traumatized today; a lot of women are going through a lot of problems. If we give them start-up packs like this, it goes a long way in helping women not to be victims of abuse again,” Alake said.

BusinessDay understood that, prior to the graduation, the empowerment initiative which taught girls how to be independent women and protect themselves, took place in Yaba and Ikorodu communities.

“What we normally do when we want to start this programme is to go to local areas where we know a lot of women are at a disadvantage. We talk to the leaders in the communities, they send us the names of girls and women that don’t really have jobs or opportunities like others in society. So what we normally do is to give them training on what to do that will help them at least to be able to do something,” Alake explained.