Women of Ogidi in Idemili North Local Government of Anambra State have lamented increasing cases of violence, rape, cultism, drug abuse and other vices among youths.
They said this was not the time to sit on the fence and watch the society decay, pledging their preparedness to tackle the menace.
Speaking on Tuesday at a two-day leadership summit with the theme: “Inspiring Women to Lead, Engage and Impact Knowledge”, the President, Ogidi Women (Home and Abroad), Mrs. Ify Okonkwo, decried the growing marginalisation and intimidation the women suffered, occasioned by their vulnerability.
She said: “This summit is to reawaken the consciousness of Ogidi women to discharge their responsibilities towards curbing criminalities that have eaten deep into the community and society at large
“This is not the time to sit on the fence and watch women suffer increasing marginalisation and intimidation as a result of their vulnerability, neither is it the time to be docile and unresponsive to these ugly trends.
“No doubt, without women involvement and engagement in leadership positions, our community will be in jeopardy. We need women to change the status quo in our society.”
Okonkwo added: “The menace of cultism is glaringly seen and felt, following the recent development in our dear state. Such notorious groups must be discouraged. Here, women and mothers have roles to play in cautioning their children.
“Similarly, parents must ensure they pay closer attention to their children to prevent them from indulging in illicit drug. The negative effect of drug abuse on our children is staggering. It is often a catalyst for other heinous crimes in our dear community and state.”
The Chairman of the event and Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Political Matter, Ifeatu Obi-Okoye, identified poor leadership, poverty, peer pressures, among others as responsible for the growing rate of cultism and other vices in the state.