The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria has added her voice to the increasing calls against violence and all form of sexual harassment and intimidation on women and children across the country.
Ministers of the Church, their spouses and other stakeholders took to the streets of the city of Calabar, the Cross River State capital in black attires to lend her voice against those vices.
They carried banners with various inscriptions chanting; “Enough is Enough, No more Violence, No more Rape!”
The Clergy Men and Women and their spouses who are attending an annual PCN retreat in Calabar kicked off the peaceful walk from the prestigious Hope Waddell Training Institute through the Cross River Governor’s office at Diamond Hill to the popular Watts market, and the Murtala Muhammed Highway and terminating at the Church auditorium saw women and men chanting, clapping and singing in various groups with banners.
Speaking to our Correspondent; the Deputy Clerk Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Right Reverend Solomon Okoro said that the peaceful march offered the Church the opportunity to lend their voice against the critical issues that had been silent in the society for a long while.
According to him;
“…Today is actually a strategic day because the Church is lending a very strong voice to a very critical issue in the public, the issue of violence against women and children is a very critical issue but had been very silent and the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria today, the Ministers and their Spouse’s in their 2020 Minister’s Retreat have decided to make this statement by this walk for life, saying No to such violence against women, children and even men….”
He went on to say that; “We have moved round the city of Calabar and we announced to the City that the time has come when we must put an end to violence against women and children.
Those who are victims of violence need to speak up; don’t keep quiet; find someone to express yourself, and the law enforcement agencies should make it more conducive for women and victims of violence to speak up. We must raise a voice continuously until the awareness become strong in Nigeria. We will not accommodate violence against the vulnerable, the strong should not intimidate the weak.”
The Right Reverend Solomon Okoro warned that there was no room to accommodate violence against women and children and whatever people have as excuses why they perpetrate violence against women and children are not acceptable reasons, in the homes; husbands should not beat their wives saying the woman have said this or that to them, you don’t have the right to beat that woman, if you cannot slap yourself you shouldn’t slap another person. There is no excuse for violence against women and children.” He said.
For her part; the Wife of the Prelate of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Elder Mrs Chinyere Nzie Eke said one way to tackle this societal menace is the need for people to learn how to show sincere love toward one another.
She said “People should learn to love one another, love others as you love yourself. When you have sincere and deep love for another person you will not harm such a soul, you will not show any form of wickedness because their is love in your heart.”
” There is also the need to know that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God, if you see the image of God in another person, you are seeing God. Whatever thing you will not like another person to do unto you, don’t even try to do it to another person.”
In a related development,the Coordinator of the Campaign , Very Rev. Ikechukwu Anaga explained that the essence of putting on Black attire was to mourned with those who have suffered abuses and harassment over time and are passing through emotional and psychological trauma.
“…We are looking forward to a time in our society when there will be no violence, our children will walk the streets of our country without fear, our women in their various homes will have rest of mind without anybody smacking like their husbands or somebody who feel their are of weaker sex, there is nothing like weaker sex we are created in the same image. They carry the image of God just as men also carry the image of God.”
He however called on Ministers of the gospel to use the scripture to interpret to their congregations to desist from all forms of violence and abuses while the Government and Non Governmental Organizations must increase the drive and campaign to curtail the menace of violence in the society.