From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom on Thursday pledged his support for the State Action Plan on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325.

Declaring open the launch of the Benue Action Plan on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 at the New Banquet Hall of the Government House, the governor promised to support the full implementation to include women in the security processes, peace and mediation.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Governor, Prof Anthony Ijohor, Governor Ortom said his administration would continue to support the project with the highest sense of responsibility and subject to the availability of funds.

He explained further that with the state housing over one million persons who have been displaced from their homes by conflicts, it is hoped that UN Women will help the state to support the IDPs in the camps and to use the necessary strategies to curtail the attacks by the herders and return them back to their ancestral homes as soon as possible.

‘I am willing to support the return of peace to the state and to use the instruments in this Action Plan to achieve this goal. It is with joy that I launch the Benue State Action Plan on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in the name of God, the Father, God the Son and God, the Holy Spirit,’ Ortom said.

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Earlier in her keynote address, the wife of the state Governor, Mrs Eunice Ortom expressed the joy that Benue is one of the 15 states of the country that have developed the action plan on United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.

She noted that peace is highly important for development and the inclusion of women and girls in this process can tame the tide of insecurity because women as mothers, sisters, cousins, wives, nurses, teachers and friends know more about their communities and their involvement will contribute greatly to peace.

‘I hope that, with the establishment of the State Implementation Committee (SIC), the Women Mediators Network (WMN), the women peace NGO networks, the HE for SHE ambassadors, the state is poised to work assiduously for the success of the UNSCR 1325 implementation in the state.’

In a remark, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Tabitha Igirgi, disclosed that 100 women drawn from across the 23 local government areas of the state have been trained as mediators to intervene and bring peace to their communities.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Taken, was represented at the event which was attended by international partners and traditional rulers, among others.