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To stop the bloodshed, the federal government should improve security; end impunity for assailants; and hasten livestock sector reform. State governments should freeze open grazing bans. Violence between Nigerian herders and farmers has escalated, killing more than 1, people since January The conflict has evolved from spontaneous reactions to provocations and now to deadlier planned attacks, particularly in Benue, Plateau, Adamawa, Nasarawa and Taraba states.

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In her inaugural speech to the Eastern House of Chiefs, Ekpo showed her brand of political savvy by opening on a note of conciliation. Any woman who wanted to purchase salt had to first register with the Association. The importance of equal access to education was also a major issue for Ekpo and she emphasised this fact to the Assembly on April 22, during a debate about the Appropriation Bill which would set funds for each sector.

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Well-known for her uncompromising language, she was never one to disappoint her audience. However, due to the politically sensitive nature of the issue in the region, she proactively cautioned the Chiefs not to play any games with her statements or to quote her out of context. Incidents such as the Labour Union General Strike and then the Enugu Colliery killings, fuelled these tensions.

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An example of the electoral regulations issued in by the colonial government for elections into the Legislative Council of Nigeria was as follows:. But her ambitions were not limited to local politics. The world was just emerging from the end of the Second World War and was still reeling from shortages of essential commodities, especially salt. Sweet-talking In her inaugural speech to the Eastern House of Chiefs, Ekpo showed her brand of political savvy by opening on a note of conciliation.

At times you find one, at times you find none.

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He told the hearing:. In Novembera labour union dispute was raised by the Nigeria Africa Mineworkers Union at the British-owned Enugu Collierywhich had coal mines in places such as Obwetti, Udi and Iva Valley, over unfair dismissals, wages and poor working conditions. Although Ekpo pledged collaboration with the Members of the House Chiefs on matters which would improve the Eastern Region she did not hesitate to speak her mind when she disagreed. Feminist leader Margaret Ekpo [File: DRUM Magazine, Spectrum Books Limited] Mobilising women with salt Ekpo sought to mobilise women in Aba, and its neighbouring towns by touring and speaking about the importance of women forming associations as platforms to resist discriminatory colonial policies.

A frequent traveller, Ekpo had just completed a trip to the United States. By Tayo Agunbiade.

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Already if you look round the Eastern Region today you do not find many women serving in any of these boards. However, Nigerians were not allowed to treat Europeans. These regulations stayed in place until when Adult Taxpayer Suffrage was introduced. The Kashmir village that outlawed dowries. But when police opened fire on the protesters and their supporters at the Iva Valley coal mine, 20 coal miners and one bystander were killed. We will not want to take your feathers or your crowns or your caps; and we will only cooperate with you.

Electoral regulations for Nigerian women were implemented on a piecemeal basis.

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I pay tax. During the debate, Ekpo referred to her earlier statements where she said she believed women should pay tax. Ekpo was born in Creek Town, Calabar, in southeast Nigeria in She attended primary and secondary school, but her plans to benefit from the few educational opportunities available for girls and women at that time were dropped when her father died in At the age of 24, she married John Udo Ekpo, a medical practitioner. And on October 1 that year, Nigeria gained its independence.

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During the inquiry that followed the slaughter of 20 protesters during the strike, Ekpo made her name as a no-nonsense feminist who did not mince her words. Ekpo participated on behalf of her husband who could not attend because of his work as a civil servant. Women in the Eastern and Western Regions gained full voting rights in and respectively. For example, on May 3,the matter of Payment of Tax by Women was on the legislative agenda in the House of Chiefs. The Constitutions, laid down by the British Colonial Government, allowed the three regions to create legislative structures known as the Regional House of Assembly and House of Chiefs.

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Girls who fled Boko Haram attacks are being enslaved and raped by human traffickers who then sell their babies. Grief grips South African town after gruesome vigilante killings. As with other departments in the colonial service, medical service departments discriminated against Nigerians in terms of promotions, working conditions and wages. By the time Nigeria returned to civilian rule inshe was 65 years old.

She won. How a police unit established to combat armed robbery became synonymous with unlawful killings, torture and extortion. These institutions were political in nature and became vehicles to increase the participation of Nigerians in their own affairs. In the s, Nigerian women were still not allowed to vote.

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Though Ekpo made history as a female NCNC delegate, as well as with her women-centered legislative debates in the House of Chiefs, her loyalty to the party did not go untested. Each institution had the power to nominate Special Members as representatives of particular interests. Her second victory inspired other women in the region to participate in electoral politics.

I will resist any attempt by any of the Hon members here to leave this house and go to incite the women to the effect that I said that women should pay tax. But, in northern Nigeria, women had to wait until for the right to vote and stand for election.

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Ekpo continued her political campaigns in Aba on behalf of her party in the hope that she would be nominated as a candidate to contest the regional elections scheduled for Her chance to stand for election finally came inwhen she received the nod from party he to be the candidate for Aba Urban North constituency in the Eastern House of Assembly regional elections. In JanuaryEkpo was appointed as a Special Member to the Eastern House of Chiefs, which was a particularly conservative, male-dominated institution.

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I seize the opportunity to extend our gratitude to our ex-Premier who has not forgotten the women. Women were able to secure seats on the Aba Urban District Council — breaking the male political monopoly of the local council and securing a voice in local politics. Her mass mobilisation of women over the years had paid off as they came out to vote for her and Janet Mokelu.

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More from Features. Killings at Enugu Colliery Ten years earlier, a tough-talking Ekpo had eye-balled the colonial authorities during the November Enugu Colliery strike. After exchanging pleasantries with the women, Ekpo urged them to stay in high spirits and launched into political campaign rhetoric. Along with her colleague, Janet Mokelu, she was one of only two female members. The miners protested, and markets and shops were closed in neighbouring towns and villages as local women ed them.

Men and women should serve on that Board. The other Hon Lady by my right pays tax and numerous other women in the region do pay tax according to their yearly income. So I am asking that when scholarships are to be distributed, they must be distributed equally to boys and girls. It marked Ekpo out as an astute political player.

I want to warn them that if they dare go outside this House and into the rural areas to incite the women against us, we will put up a very strong resistance. Ekpo sought to mobilise women in Aba, and its neighbouring towns by touring and speaking about the importance of women forming associations as platforms to resist discriminatory colonial policies. Later, the couple returned to Aba in eastern Nigeria, where her husband commenced his medical career at Aba General Hospital, while she set up a domestic science training school.

As Nigeria swung back and forth between military dictatorships and democratically-elected governments in the years that followed, not much was heard about Ekpo.

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The result was to mobilise women under one major socio-political body. For Ekpo and Mokelu it was a rare feat for women to participate in public decision-making processes and an opportunity not to be missed.

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Now returning to her base in Aba, eastern Nigeria, she was about to deliver another speech from her political armoury. She died at the age of 92 on September 21,and was buried in a special mausoleum built by the State Government at the Hawkins cemetery, Calabar, on December 9, As part of the memorialisation of her name, the state government renamed Calabar Airport, the Margaret Ekpo International Airport. It was only the Eastern and Western Regional Premiers who invited a few women to be a part of their delegations.

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But the party hierarchy still did not want to put female candidates forward, and Ekpo was firmly rejected. Biden defends Afghanistan pullout amid airport chaos.

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Inshe accompanied him to Ireland, where she finally had an opportunity to pursue higher education, enrolling at the Rathmine School of Domestic Economics in Dublin. Universal Adult Suffrage was implemented in Lagos inbut only rolled out through the rest of the country on a regional basis. Therefore, I am asking that women should form a majority in the Broadcasting Corporation because if you listen to your radio and you hear a certain female voice coming to announce the news to you, you will certainly sit up to hear the news. For example, government hospitals were built for the colonial officers and medical services were only accessible by Europeans and, later on, their Nigerian employees.

Many others were injured. But it still excluded many women. According to The Nigerian Citizen newspaper, which published proceedings from the enquiry, which began on December 12,among several of the testimonies it heard was that of Mr FR Kay. Kay was a senior British colonial administrator in Owerri Province, in the mid-west of Nigeria.

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At the height of nationalist agitation for independence from British colonial rule, disaffected Nigerians began convening community meetings to discuss racial discrimination in the colonial civil service. Ekpo supported the payment of tax by women — when it was fair. Ten years earlier, a tough-talking Ekpo had eye-balled the colonial authorities during the November Enugu Colliery strike.

He had thought it fit to place two women in this House of Chiefs to represent the interest of women, and so, our gratitude goes to him. If the parents did not educate her well, she could not have been doing very well. The electorate clearly appreciated her efforts and she was returned to her parliamentary seat by voters in the regional elections.

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