Insecurity, killings may lead to shortage of husbands in Southeast – Truth Commission 

“These women could remain unmarried or wait out their productive years in search of a suitor who has likely been killed."

Insecurity, killings may lead to shortage of husbands, Southeast, Truth Commission 

Insecurity, killings may lead to shortage of husbands,  southeast, truth commission Restiveness and killings in Anambra and the southeast geopolitical zone in general will lead to a shortage of husbands and deny women the opportunity of having spouses.

The declaration was made in the report of the Anambra Truth, Justice and Peace Commission (ATJPC), the Executive Summary of which was made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Awka.

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It noted that restiveness and killings had resulted to a structural problem of demographic sustainability, because women were finding it difficult to find mating partners.

The report stated that women were some of the worst hit victims as they had suffered and might continue to suffer from killings, rape, loss of husbands, and loss of sons and denial of livelihoods.

It noted also that thousands of young people had been killed since 1999 when restiveness became pronounced in the region, just as many had fled the rural areas.

“The killings from the on-going violence in Igboland generally and in Anambra in particular due to violent crimes and claims of agitation have once again disproportionately affected the stock of young males in the region.

“It has reduced the likelihood that women will be able to find suitable mating or marriageable partners while also increasing the likelihood that females will end up unmarried and reproductively unfulfilled.

“It will further swell the number of unmarried women in the region, particularly among those who reside in the homeland and have limited interaction outside the boundaries of home.

“These women could remain unmarried or wait out their productive years in search of a suitor who has likely been killed.

“They may feel intimidated about giving birth to a child outside marriage for fear of being labelled wayward and humiliating their families for birthing children into illegitimacy,’’ it declared.

The report recalled the case of Amaka Igwe, the lawyer who was killed in Onitsha alongside her husband.

It also recalled the killing of Harira Jubril near Umunze in Orumba South Local Government Area on May 25, 2022 alongside her four daughters.

It stated that the killings had resulted into destitution or dependencies among men and had led to economic impoverishment for many women, mass widowhood and enforced childlessness.

It noted that in rural or farming communities, polygamy had remained prevalent and women’s access to land depended on their relationship with the men in their lives.

The livelihood consequences of the killings for women could be very severe, it stressed.

“Married women who have no sons can lose access to land and to subsistence in a political economy in which re-marriage can be quite difficult for a woman with children.

“Naturally, the additional stress of this kind of life on top of the trauma of the disappearance of the husband or bread-winner can lead to diminished outcomes for physical and mental health.

“As many communities devolved subsequently into more generalised forms of atrocity and violence, hospitals and healthcare facilities had been destroyed in the restiveness.

“Healthcare workers had become afraid of showing up for work and access to reproductive healthcare and facilities had become more rarefied in the rural areas.

“Unlike most other parts of Nigeria which have a problem of girl-child school enrolment, Anambra leads the states of Southeast Nigeria in a unique regional problem of diminishing boy-child school enrolment and retention,’’ it stated.

It noted that women typically contributed to the livelihood and education of their children, but with their sources of income cut off, their children were denied access to basic nutrition and to social services.

The report stressed that consequences of insecurity had negated previous progress made on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Anambra as young boys abandoned education and fled their communities for fear of being killed or abducted.

The United Nations created 17 world development goals called the SDGs in 2015 with the aim of peace and prosperity for people and the planet, then and into the future.

The goals have 2030 as their attainment target date

Anambra’s 14-man ATJPC was inaugurated in June 2022 to investigate insecurity in Anambra and the Southeast in general.

It submitted its final report to Gov. Chukwuma Soludo on Wednesday.

It had Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, a Human Rights Lawyer and former Chairman of Nigeria Human Rights Commission as its chairman.