Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has charged the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ, to champion the campaign against violence on women and other obnoxious practices in the state.
Banigo gave the charge yesterday when members of NAWOJ, Rivers State Chapter, led by its Chairperson, Mrs. Lillian Okonkwo, visited her at the Government House, Port Harcourt.
The deputy governor noted that violence against women was poorly reported in the media and called on NAWOJ to sensitise the people on the dangers associated with violating women.
“You have to create the needed awareness and liaise with other agencies you are working with to sensitise the people on the enabling laws that will make people treat their fellow beings with respect and dignity,” she insisted.
She also urged NAWOJ to speak out on the ills of the society such as homosexuality, cultism, prostitution and human trafficking among other vices.
According to her, “such ills have eaten deep into the fabric of the society and urgently needs to be addressed by professional bodies and organisations like yours. I will encourage you to speak up against trafficking and also sensitise our young girls on the social ills that are becoming more rampant. You have to save our girls from dying prematurely,” she asserted.
Banigo emphasized on women participation in politics, while urging NAWOJ to enlighten women to go for elective positions, to enable them contribute to policy making.
She, however, stated that the state government would partner the association to promote professionalism through training and retraining of media workers to enhance performance.
Earlier, the chairperson of NAWOJ said the association was committed to achieving professional excellence, and as a non-governmental organisation, it deals with the social wellbeing of women and children in the society.
Okokwo said in actualising the dreams of its founding fathers, the association in the state had collaborated with the Nigeria Medical Women, FIIDA, GADA and WPSN and members of OBSTEC in carrying out campaign projects on the elimination of violence against women and girls.
She requested for periodic training and capacity building for her members and promised to partner with the Governor Wike-led administration to deliver the dividends of democracy to Rivers people.

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