By Lucy Ackanyon
Wife of the Benue State Governor, Dr Eunice Ortom wants the traditional institution in Benue State to review cultural practices and laws that are inimical to the development and peace of vulnerable groups, especially women and the girl-child.
Dr Ortom made this call at a meeting with the Tor Tiv, Ochi’Idoma and other traditional rulers in the State Wednesday, at the New Banquet Hall of the Government House, Makurdi.
The governor’s wife particularly appealed for the abolishment of practices against widows, such as property inheritance and drinking of water used to bathe corpse, to prove a widow’s innocence in the death of her husband.
She emphasized the important role of the traditional institution as custodians of culture and tradition in shaping progressive cultures and changing the retrogressive ones solicited their partnership and support towards addressing this menace.
In his address, the Tor-Tiv, his royal majesty Prof. James Ayati, lamented the absence of customary courts in the enforcement of traditional laws, adding that the traditional institution needs to be empowered to to fight the barbaric practices.
On his part, the Ochi’ Idoma, represented by Chief Baba Odangla stressed the need for the implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law, while HRH Oga Ero, said attention must also be paid to the issue of violence again men and pledged the support of the Igede people to the fight.
Earlier, Chairman state Sexual and Gender Based Based (SGBV) team, Dr Magdalene Dura, noted that the focus on women in the fight against SGBV is due to its prevalence among women.
Dr Dura told the leaders to device traditional strategies address the anomaly.
The event which was convened by the first lady as part of activities to mark the 2020 “Sixteen Days of Activism” Against Gender Based Violence which began 25th November was heavily attended by traditional rulers in the state.
The 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign runs from 25 November to 10 December, yearly.