- The National Union of Road Transport Workers has expressed its commitment to ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in its motor parks
- A visit to the leadership of the union by Connected Development has kick-started advocacy on the issue
- The NURTW also used the opportunity to address the criminal activities ongoing in some of its parks across the country
FCT, Abuja - The national secretary of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Comrade Kabiru Ado has lamented that criminal elements like kidnappers, now take advantage of motor parks to carry out nefarious activities in various states.
Comrade Ado was reacting to the recent abduction of a 23-year-old student inside a commercial tricycle along Janbulo and Rijiyar Zaki area of the Kano metropolis on Tuesday, October 5.
He, however, said the NURTW is strengthening its security and sensitization drives in various motor parks across the country to prevent a reoccurrence of such situations.
Ado made the comment when a delegation from Nigeria's foremost civil society organisation, Connected Development (CODE), paid him a courtesy visit on Thursday, October 7 to seek the partnership of the NURTW in addressing the harassment and intimidation of women in motor parks.
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The delegation was led by Hon. Abdullahi Adamu Candido, the Executive Chairman of the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), who is also a He for She advocate decorated by the United Nations CODE's champion of Sustainable Development Goals.
Speaking during the visit, the Chief Executive Officer of CODE, Mallam Hamzat Lawal said:
“Today we are paying you a courtesy visit led by the AMAC chairman who has been our great supporter and friend to introduce to you our new project and seek collaboration between AMAC, the National Union of Road Transport Workers, our project partners OXFAM Voices in partnership with Boys Quarter Africa
“This project seeks to empower survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) who have been exposed to some of the misgivings around SBGV.
“Particularly, we want to use this opportunity to enhance the work that you are doing. If you remember our first conversation, you mentioned sensitizing the public around what the NURTW is doing.
“We believe this project provides a unique opportunity and platform where people will be opportune to know more about NURTW and most importantly, engage with you as we lead this conversation on SGBV.
“It might interest you to know that the major places where SGBV happens are in the markets and in the motor parks. In most cases when women go to the market or when they want to use public transport, they are being harassed and intimidated.
“We believe that this stigmatization against women is something we can work closely with you.”
He said one of the goals for CODE is to help set up a Gender Responsive Desk in NURTW motor parks.
He also proposed town hall meetings between people who use motor parks, the ticketers, the loaders, and all other stakeholders.
He said CODE intends to carry out the town hall meetings in the FCT, Enugu, and Lagos states in the first phase of the advocacy.
Responding, Comrade Ado asked CODE to extend the town hall meetings to at least six states representing the various geo-political zones of the country.
He assured that the NURTW will partner with CODE to ensure that the programme is successful.
He also promised to invite CODE to the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the NURTW, where the leaders of CODE can sensitize the state leaders of the union on the advocacy.
He further advised CODE to print a manual on SGBV specifically targeted at NURTW members in pidgin English and the three major languages in Nigeria.
On his part, the AMAC chairman, Hon Candido said:
“My job as an advocate against the crimes and criminalities against the female gender is to see what we can do together with the NEC of NURTW so we can get it right.
“We are not accusing any institution, but crimes and criminalities can be found in all places, but public nuisance and crime can be found where they are not supposed to be.
“What is the purpose of a crime in a motor park where people are just assembling to pick a bus and travel?
“We felt it is better to partner with the management of this institution.”
The highlight of the courtesy visit was the signing of CODE's pledge card by the leadership of the NURTW as a sign of their commitment in supporting the campaign.
Nigeria's National Gender Policy under review
Meanwhile, the federal government is currently undergoing the review of Nigeria's National Gender Policy.
She added that the African Development Bank is supporting the national gender policy situation analysis with support from the ministry's consultant Professor Olabisi Aina.