The Amazon of Ijaw and Niger Delta Women Emancipation struggle, Award winning Girl Child Activist and President General of IJAW WOMEN CONNECT Worldwide, COMRADE ROSEMARY GRAHAM- NAINGBA in an exclusive interview with our Correspondent, Oyagiri Chime-emele declared that the narrative of the Niger Delta struggle has changed from that of war war to the use of the mighty sword of the Pen.
She called on the women to stand resolute in their quest to liberate the region and especially the Ijaw Nation adding that to do otherwise is like running from one’s shadow.
The activist appealed to the bigger media houses to help in publicising IWC activities.
RA： May the public meet you, please?.
ANS： My name is Rosemary Graham-Naingba, the President General of Ijaw Women Connect, Worldwide.
RA：IWC is an organization for the emancipation of the Ijaw women and Girl Child, so far how has it been in achieving this lofty objective？
ANS：Ijaw Women Connect (IWC) Worldwide, is a socio-cultural, non partisan, pressure organisation. It is a Pan Ijaw Women organisation that governs the Ijaw Women all over the world.
IWC, emancipates alongside other Ijaw pressure groups in pursuit of equity, fairness and justice.
So far, I can state categorically that we have made alot of progress by changing the narrative of the modern struggle in engaging our youths, women et’al to fight an intellectual war as the pen is bigger and better than war war.
We have significantly changed the face of the Ijaw struggle, because women can now be bold to marry strength with the youths and elders to advocate for a better Ijaw Nation and Niger Delta at large. I think it’s a plus to IWC Worldwide.
RA：How do you intend to achieve in this year what you could not last year？
ANS：Definitely, those things we couldn’t achieve last year, as humans we are working tirelessly towards getting it right this year. As we know, this administration was encumberedwith alot of challenges and the economy was down for nearly a year or so. Therefore, most sectors were grounded as a result of the economy meltdown. Every work has to do with funding, so we pray for a stable economy and government to enable us actualize some unfinished projects embarked upon last year.
RA：There is an increase in rape and other crimes against the Girl Child, what measures do you intend to put in place to curb this menace against humanity？
ANS：We have always worked in partnership with FIIDA in Bayelsa State and other parts were IWC is structured in the case of rape and child molestation. These are social vices that has destroyed the society and we frown seriously at it and we ensure that the female lawyers takes such matters up by first rescuing the victim and then the culprits don’t go unpunished.
Measures we have adopted to curb this very disturbing menace is by way of organised talk shows in schools and communities to educate parents to help watch their girl child and teach them the basic things. When to resist an opposite sex trying to molest them et’al. The basic thing is give them the needed informations to guide them.
RA：Ijaw Girl Child like in many other clime lags far behind its male counterpart, do you have plans in place to close the gap？
ANS：Yes, and we all know the truth that opportunities are not open to girls unlike the males. Even for elections, women are shortchanged. To me I see it as a social disorder that needs urgent attention. Women are more competent and better leaders than men. It’s genetic. Hence we are nation builders. Women put life in everything, I mean everything.
RA：What is your take on the seeming ill treatment meted out on girls in respect of outside wedlock childbirth and in some cases pregnacy being denied.
ANS：Well, for me i think is a family thing and in such cases environmental judgement. I wouldn’t encourage young girls having children outside wedlock, because they ought to first know the societal disadvantage it will create in them and also sometimes it may even end their education.
But my advise to most girls and the families who suffers such fate is for them to hold on and pick up the broken pieces because at the end of the tunnel there is always light. You never can know what potential lies in such girls. Probably a teacher and giver of knowledge, a nurse or even a leader in the near future. So the act of discrimination is totally a wrong way to help solve this societal problems.
RA：What is your relationship with the media in terms of giving the needed publicity to your efforts？
a. So far I would say fair, though not as much as I want it. I think it is time for the likes of Channels Television and other bigger media houses to begin to identify the roles IWC has played in the peace building and conflict resolutions we have engaged in the region to be able to attract even foreign media and create strong relations
RA：The Ijaw Girl Child is still crying for wants and lack, how do IWC intend to clean their tears and end the cry？
ANS：We have always tried our best by giving scholarship to the less privileged Ijaw girls desirous of having good education and we will continue to support this idea because it is only through education that we can fight our battles of Injustice and marginalization.
RA：Recently Greater Evangelism World Crusade, Ahoada East Local Government Area honoured you with an Award, what is your take？
ANS：First i thank the Church of God for recognising my selfless sacrifices and services to my people. It gives me peace to note that I am being watched and reassures me that I am not alone in this fight against injustice but that God Almighty is with me. It was truly a surprise and I treasure it so much and I will continue to support and serve God and humanity as the Dorcas of our time.
RA：So, what is your new year message of HOPE to your women and Ijaws in general？
ANS：Never give up. Giving up means running away from your shadows. Strength as we all know is the only product of a struggle. Let’s keep the struggle alive until Nigeria is redefine by way of RESTRUCTURING. A new Nigeria were the Niger Delta plight is achieved. 100% resource control and ownership is the hope I wish to have that is possible so all believers of the reasons why we emancipate for a better Niger Delta should have this hope.
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