By Mosunmola Ayobami, Kwara
The former gubernatorial candidate under Labour Party (LP) in Kwara State, Comrade Issa Aremu has suggested that declaring and handling violence against women as a pandemic would bring about the desired result.
He said the social vice, if named pandemic would be easier to manage and reduce the occurrence to the barest minimum.
Aremu gave the advise at a Programme organized in commemoration of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) with the theme: “I choose to challenge” held in Ilorin on Monday.
“My advice is, we should handle these challenges just like we’ve handled COVID-19, treat them as a pandemic, including gender-based violence and violence against women, rapists,if you call it what it’s you will be able to manage it.
“So if we can tame COVID-19, we should be able to tame banditry and insecurity”
According to him, “It’s obvious we are here because of International Women’s Day.
“It’s an occasion to celebrate women worldwide and I’m happy Nigeria is part of this global trend and the celebration is very significant because this is the first international women’s we will be celebrating under a pandemic.
“This time last year, the pandemic was taken shape and now it’s a reality that we need to cope with and the theme for this year is that all of us should choose to challenge.
“My advice is that we should use today’s occasion to challenge ignorance, a conspiracy theory about what is real. We should choose to challenge ignorance with science”
“Let me use the opportunity to commend the federal government on the effort to manage this pandemic very well even though we have lost 2000 citizens officially to this pandemic, with hundred of thousands been infected.
“But if you also look at other countries like America, Nigeria has done credibly well in managing this pandemic, America has lost about 500,000 citizens to this pandemic.
“This is about leadership as Donald Trump has spent a lot of time reading conspiracy theory, denying science and in the process, they recorded more fatality.
The former Labour leader in the country commended the Presidential Task Force (PTF) for an effort in raising awesomeness as well as the arrival of a vaccine.
“And the lesson of the pandemic is that, we should learn to look inward. We are importing petroleum product, we are also importing vaccine.
“I think everywhere in the world, people are talking vaccine sovereignty. I want to advise the ministry of Health to spend more money on capacity building on how we can produce the vaccine,as we have done before.”
He said this year’s International Women’s Day was also taken place at a time we have produced the first female Director-General of the World Trade Organization(WTO) which he said pointed to the fact that Nigerians are excelling.
On security, he noted that there are three major challenges facing Nigeria today.
He highlighted that the first is security, the second is security and the third is security, emphasising that security is the main challenge.
“On the farmers/herders challenge, let address what the problem is. The problem is food security. Even now, Nigeria is food-dependent. Media should challenge our government to focus on development, ” he said.