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Kaduna women lament rise in number of widows, orphans


Southern Kaduna women on Saturday met, decrying the high rate at which married women are becoming widows and children being displaced as a result of incessant attacks across the southern part of the state over the years by suspected herders.

The women, under the aegis of the National Women Wing of the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union, lamented that women and children were worse hit by the insecurity which had claimed the lives of their husbands.

The National Coordinator of the Women Wing of the SOKAPU, Jemutu Katarma, while speaking at the group’s maiden meeting, which was held at the SOKAPU Secretariat, Barnawa, Kaduna on Saturday, noted that the over 200,000 internally displaced persons across the area were women and children.

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According to her, women and children make 90 per cent of IDPs.

She said, “My dear sisters and brothers gathered here, my leadership happens to come under a period of severe security and economic hardship in Nigeria and Southern Kaduna in particular.

“Women and children have been the worse hit. Today, we have over 200,000 IDPs in several informal makeshift camps both in the state and outside and women and children make 90 per cent of this number. Most of them have been made widows and orphans.

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“There are children in Southern Kaduna who have missed schools for five years because they have been forced out of their villages after their parents have been killed or rendered too poor to provide basic school needs in the new places they escaped to.

“Thousands of our IDPs are not only unable to feed, but are also in serious need of medical care.”

Concerned by the development, Katarma said, the union was desirous of training and empowering the women and children in the various IDPs camp across the southern part of the state.

“The present leadership of the National Women Wing is desirous of not only achieving the objectives of SOKAPU, but the plight of our IDPs is also topmost in our priority.

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“We are creating awareness and enlightenment on the right of women and their civic responsibilities.”

The National President of the SOKAPU, Jonathan Asake, commended the Southern Kaduna women for their various endeavours across the country while expressing SOKAPU’s readiness to complement their efforts in order to achieve their vision for the people of the area.

Asake, who was represented at the event by the SOKAPU’s spokesperson, Mr Luka Binniyat, also expressed concern over the plight of IDPs.