DEPOWA President Marks One Year in Office, Echoes UN Chief's Call: 'No Room for Sexual Exploitation and Abuse


To mark her one-year anniversary as the 15th President of the Defence and Police Officers' wives Association (DEPOWA), Mrs Oghogho Gwabin Musa has hosted the barracks teens and youth to re-echoed the voice of Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary General in stating that, “Sexual Exploitation and Abuse have no place in our society”, called on the appropriate authorities to investigate and address same when any of these menaces is reported. Indeed, perpetrators ought to be held accountable.

The seminar and celebration took place today at the General Gabriel Abayomi Olonisakin Multi-purpose hall, DEPOWA School, Mogadishu Barracks, venue for the one-year anniversary to deliberate on the menace of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse which is prevalent in the society, as many occurrences go unreported and the barracks community and its environs are not exempted.

In her remarks, Mrs Musa said "having recognised the severity of the consequences of abuses and we aim to work towards reducing its prevalence within our communities and immediate environs. We also thought it necessary to sensitise the youth on the menace of drug abuse and how to avoid it so they can have a promising future. 

"In all of these it is important to know who you are, know what you want to achieve in life and develop some personal values that would guide you into achieving your goals. We have therefore invited seasoned resource persons to guide our teenagers and youth on these topics so they can adopt the lessons from the sessions into their daily living and eventually attain the future they desire. 

She pledged her unwavering support to any victim who reports any form of sexual exploitation, or any attempt to be initiated into the use of illicit substances within our domain. 

Today, the President DEPOWA has not only gathered us here to mark her one year in office, she is also impacting the lives of the youths with a seminar on preventing sexual exploitation and abuse which shows her strive for excellence and meaningful footprint in the lives of children and youth in the barracks community and beyond. 

Reflecting on the past year, the positive impact of the 15th President DEPOWA which can be seen and felt by all and sundry. Her vision, dedication, and hardwork has helped to steer the association to enviably height and celebrating this milestone also serves as a reminder of the contributions of the revered 15th President of DEPOWA. 

Upon her assumption into office, Mrs Oghogho G. Musa has made remarkable efforts in empowering the wives of fallen heroes and vulnerable youths within the barracks community and beyond. 

The DEPOWA Skills Acquisition Centre has been transformed with the state-of-the-art equipments and gadgets, which the participants are currently using to learn and horn their skills. She also constituted committees of experts in education, welfare, health and fitness, who are responsible for overseeing activities in their area of command, these have0 helped her vision for the association come to live which is evident in her stewardship.

"Over the past one year, Mrs Musa has done as much as she could to make positive impacts in the lives of women and youth especially the vulnerable within our sphere of influence. As we all know, DEPOWA is the melting pot that unifies wives of serving officers’ in the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police Force and it has witnessed remarkable achievements from the various spousal associations that make up DEPOWA and they will continue to impact lives within and outside the barracks communities in diverse ways.

The activities of DEPOWA within the past one year have focused on adding value in the lives of women and youth especially in the areas of healthcare, fitness, education, agriculture and skills training. All of these align with Mrs Oghogho Musa's vision of “Seeing Women and Girls Become Productive and Contributors to Family and Society Driven by Deep Sense of Values and Hard-Working Spirit”. 

She pledged not to relent in her efforts to keep touching lives in ways that are necessary. "As such, we have deliberately articulated a forecast of programmes carefully lined up for execution towards renewing the hope of a better life for members of our communities as we begin my second year in office. " she said

The first Resource person, Mrs Chika Anozie who spoke on the Dangers of drug abuse during teenage years, said, its increased risk of addiction,  Impaired brain development, it resulted into Mental health problems (depression, anxiety, psychosis) and Poor academic performance,  Social relationships problems, Increased risk of overdose and death, Legal problems and causes accidents and Injuries. 

Mrs Anozie noted that the UN office on drug and crime says, over the past 10 years,  there is 20% increase in drug abuse and Africa has been projected to experience the largest  growth in absolute numbers of drug users and again in the next 6 years, 10 out of 20 users will be Youths,  that's 2030 4 out of 10 youths have been projected to be drug users. And another statistics says, Drug Abusers in Sahara Africa is expected to increase roughly by 150% by 2050.

She urged teenagers to Say No to Drugs. Teenagers with lots of untapped potential should not allow drugs to lead them to a wasted life. Shun the temptation of drug abuse. Not to allow peer pressure to lead them to a wasted life.  A drug-free life is possible. 

Another resource person,  Mrs Olajumoke Ganiyat Jenyo,  who delivered a lecture on Sexual Exploitation and Abuse gave ways to prevention and response. Sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA) are critical issues that affect individuals globally, irrespective of age, gender, or profession. These heinous acts not only cause physical and emotional harm but also have far-reaching effects on the well-being of the victim and the community at large.

She noted that SEA is a serious violation of human rights and can have significant and lasting physical, emotional, and psychological impacts on the victims. It can happen in various settings, including at home, in the workplace, barracks, schools, and in communities

Mrs Ganiyat Jenyo initiated Strategies for Prevention by Awareness, to develop self-awareness, Dangers & Trends,  Build a support network, strong bonds with family and friends, and healthy street coping measures like sports,  music,  art or volunteering, walks,  deep breathing air journaling. She urged them to be active in activities at religious centres,  build self-esteem and not allow people to put them down and be accountable. 

Dignitaries at the first anniversary of President DEPOWA, Mrs Oghogho Gwabin Musa were the NAFOWA, and POWA Presidents and representatives of NAOWA and NOWA presidents.

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