“Women should not be seen as victims of conflict that need to be protected but as agents of peace and prosperity in the society”.
Mrs Rashida Yahaya Bello, Wife of The Governor of Kogi State stated this at the inauguration of Women Peace Council held at Glass House, Government House in lokoja.
Mrs Rashida Bello while expressing her joy that she participated in the program stated that women should be supported to play a central role in preventing violence and in restoring peace in conflict affected communities.
She also said that the women peace councils which is made up of 60 women peacebuilders drawn from Lokoja, Dekina, Igalamela-odolu and Yagba West local government areas of the state are expected to create a platform for women to play substantive role in peace building and to build a movement for conflict prevention and responses to sustain peace efforts in Kogi State and beyond.
The Wife of Governor of Kogi State, Mrs Rashida Yahaya Bello was represented by the secretary to Kogi State Government, Dr. (Mrs) Folashade Ayoade Arike.
She reiterated that the initiative will no doubt create opportunities for women to gain leadership skills and contribute to advancing gender equality in our society.
She further stressed that the State government reaffirms her commitment to provide necessary support to the women peace councils and other initiatives that support the advancement of peace and development and stability in the state.
In her remarks, the Chief of Party, Mercy Corps, Mr Maurice Amollo, expressed that the program is strengthening capacities of local leaders including women to promote gender sensitive mediation practices and build the confidence of women to engage in formal dispute resolution mechanisms. He also said that it promotes positive parenting to build youth resilience against violence extremism.
Mrs Amina Akano-Bello, who is the Senior Program Officer emphasized that the program was to promote peaceful coexistence among women and to adress gender based issues .She also said that women are custodians for maintaining peace in the society.
In a vote of thanks, The Hon. Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hajiya Fatima Buba appreciated the Governor of Kogi State and his wife Mrs Rashida Bello for their love and support towards the people of the state.
She promised that her office will always be ready to support and partner with Mercy Corps Women Peace Council to achieve set targets.
Present at the event were the State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Hon. Kinsley Olorunfemi Fanwo, Members of The State Executive Council, Representative of The State Head of Service, the Program Manager, Mercy Corps, Rahama Baloni among others.