A group under the aegis of Equal Access International (EAI) has trained women in Plateau State on leadership, empowerment and advocacy to take ownership of securing their various communities.
The training tagged: Enhancing the capacities of women towards effective participation and leadership in civilian security in targeted communities of Plateau State, held at Crispan Hotel, Jos.
Deputy Country Director of Equal Access International, Gad Peter while giving an overview titled: Securing Nigeria Communities Project, said, “This Project is what we call ‘Securing Nigeria Communities’, part of our effort is to increase the participation of citizens, especially in Kano, Plateau, Benue and Kaduna States, in what we call ‘civilian security’.
“We are encouraging the citizenry to take ownership of their security and work with the conventional security to support them in early warning/response, and other appropriate steps to prevent the breakdown of law and order.
“Part of the project is to work with women, youth, security agencies, traditional and religious leaders, and other stakeholders”, he explained.
“But our focus basically is on women and youths, because we think they suffer more during violence and they have the population to be able to effect those changes we are looking for”, he maintained.
According to him, “These women would be trained on the issues of advocacy, leadership, early warning/response, peace building and safety; and it is expected that once they go back to their communities, they would be able to cascade the training and be able to have more people speak in support of that.
“We are advocating for increase women security, because most often in all our local and state government, hardly do you see women in the security meetings.
“So at every level the women and youth are shortchanged, and we think they need to form a strong presence there, so we are enhancing their capacity to achieve that.
He added that Access Equal International has trained youths from the aforementioned local governments.
The Deputy Country further stated that, the organisation will soon train heads of security agencies, vigilantes, among others in the affected local government councils; for them to understand what it means to work in synergy to secure their various councils.
In his remarks, the Director General Plateau Peace Building Agency, Joseph Lengman, commended the organisation for putting up the training, saying it was “apt especially in the times we are in now”.
Lengman who was represented by the Agency’s Director of Programmes, Godwin Okoko, maintained that, “Some of the gaps today we are witnessing in our communities and the country as a whole, is as a result of our failure to have brought together women actively in terms of participation in things that we do that are stationed around peace and security.
“If we have been doing what we are doing today in the last ten years on the Plateau in terms of active women participation, I’m sure we wouldn’t have hard the problems we are facing today”, he explained.
He urged the participants to ensure they step down the training in the various communities they represent.
Also speaking, a former Minister of Water Resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, express delight with the organisation for putting up the training, and the willingness of the women to attend the training.
She emphasise that they step down the training in their various communities.
Participants were drawn from flashpoint communities in Barkin Ladi, Riyom and Jos South LGAs, ten women from each councils.
A similar exercise has been done in Benue and Kaduna States, while that of Kano will kick off next week.
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