Women from all walks of life have been urged to join hands and fight corruption to a standstill.
Ambassador Ridhwan A. Mustapha, former Deputy High Commissioner, Nigeria High Commission, Pakistan made the call at the 9th Annual Al-Habibiyyah Women’s Forum held at the National Mosque Abuja.
The forum with the theme “The role of women in eradicating corruption” addresses the underlying role the woman has to play to curtail corruption in the society.
Ambassador Mustapha who is also the Chairman of the occasion, commended the Al-Habibiyah Women’s Forum for organising the event at this crucial time as the society cannot grow if corruption is allowed free reign.
He said corruption had eaten deep into the system making life difficult for citizens. He explained that Nigeria is not meant to be a poor nation but corruption keeps bringing it down.
The former Deputy Commissioner said the hydra headed monster known as corruption can only be defeated when all hands are on deck, and people shun the old practices.
He noted that the holy book says “corruption has enveloped the earth and the sea”, adding that it has become widespread because of the greed of man.
The Chairman explained that the natural consequence of corruption is poverty, which Nigeria is currently experiencing as can be seen in health, education, security and transportation sector.
He said the hope of Nigerians lies in heeding the words of Allah and retracing their steps. He prayed that Allah prevents the country from going beyond the level of corruption.
The Chairman recalled with nostalgia how peaceful and enjoyable the country was in the old days.
He however stated that corruption is never a reason for violence; rather he advocated dialogue to eschew corruption.
Amb. Mustapha said the full force of the effects of corruption can be seen when you travel out of the country. He explained that down to street signs which should give directions; corruption has crippled that effort.
Also speaking, the National Chief Imam, Al-Habibiyah Society of Nigeria, Imam Fuad Adeyemi, urged women to always question the source of their husband’s income, as this will go a long way to curtail corruption.
The wife of the Governor of Nassarawa State, Hajia Mairo Al-Makura said corruption must be fought head-on.
She noted that most women promote corruption at home either by beefing up their market lists or by lying. She urged women to start from their homes and training their children to also shun corruption.
Delivering her goodwill message, the Ameera of Daru Ni’m, Hajia Falmata Wakil urged women to train their children in the ways of Allah to help raise a corrupt free generation.
The Lead Speaker of the event, Hajia Salatu Sule, explained that corruption goes beyond embezzlement adding that corruption can be seen in almost all walks of life.
Hajia Sule said the fight against corruption should not only be focused on the leaders but the masses as well.
She said women are not victims of corruption but are major actors in the scene; as some of them mount pressure on their husbands to provide things that they can do without.
She encouraged women to try to prevent or eradicate corruption by looking inwards rather than pointing fingers at others. She urged women to be pacesetters in the fight against corruption noting that when women consistently follow the right path, others will join in.
The representative of the Proactive Gender Initiatives, Mrs Esther Uzoma stated that we are what we eat, watch and listen to. She said the woman of today must seek knowledge as no one can do more than they know.
She added that women should not stay in the background but rather should strive to know their rights, “ know the constitution, that is the only way you can enlighten others”
She finally urged women to be aware of what their children watch as this can highly influence them.
Mrs Uzoma finally emphasised that the feminisation of men has given rise to corruption, and called on the men to take their rightful place in the society.
The representative of NASFAT, Hajia Mardiyah Ajila, urged women to imbibe proper home training in their children to curtail corruption. She advocated for reward and punishment system in the upbringing of a child.
The representative of NAWOJ, Hajia Rafat Salami urged women to be the voice of reason for their spouses as a means of curbing corruption.
Hajia Salami also used the opportunity to call for more support for women Journalists who report stories on corruption.
She also noted that female journalists who work odd hours to expose corruption should be protected. She vowed that Journalists would continue to strive hard to expose corruption in all nooks and crannies.
The event was attended by representatives of Nurses and Midwives Association, Nigerian Association of Women Journalists NAWOJ, Catholic Women Organization CWO, Women in Da’awah, Proactive Gender Initiatives and Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria FOMWAN