It is not always that a government ministry in Nigeria gets genuine plaudits for doing well. But the Anambra State Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Welfare qualifies to be commended for effectively and diligently doing its job. Under the leadership of its commissioner, Hon Mrs Ify Obinabo, the ministry has been leading by example on how a government ministry should be relating to the public.
The commissioner, a journalist-turned politician, has always been prompt in responding to emergencies, no matter who needs help or who blows the whistle. Under her watch, the government has intervened in many cases of child abuse, wife battery and similar issues, to the extent that now, many people have learned to trust the government and have also realized the need to give prompt information on any case of people being victimized.
The latest was the case of child prostitutes involving a former chairman of the Anambra State Chapter of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, who enlisted underage girls from notably, Ebonyi State, to prostitute in a brothel in Awka. The girls were aged between thirteen and nineteen. That such could be happening under the supervision of someone who calls himself a lawyer is very appalling. The girls were brought to Awka in the guise of being given jobs only to end up as prostitutes.
The ministry has also intervened in such famous cases as the alleged beating of a woman to death by her husband who was a transition committee chairman. The position of the husband as an appointee of then same government as the ministry had not deterred the Women’s Affairs and Social Welfare Ministry from taking action; something that might not have been possible in the wider Nigeria.
There was also another famous case of a child severally abused by his guardians as if nobody could do anything. But, thanks to the alarm raised by neighbours, the ministry went into action and saved the child from probable death if she had continued to stay with those people.
There are numerous other cases in which the Obinabo-led Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Welfare intervened and salvaged the situation. This is how a government ministry should be acting, being that such shows that the ministry is accountable to the people.
We want to use this opportunity to therefore say kudos to Hon Ify Obinabo and her able team for their good work so far. What they have been doing edifies their government and assures the populace that whatever they bring to the ministry will be genuinely responded to.
Obinabo has done noble and has shown that journalists can really lead by example when given the opportunity, rather than just being armchair critics. We are happy with the ministry.