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Umuada Ndi-Igbo in Diaspora join in the campaign against the ambiguous section 29(4) of the Nigeria Constitution, a clause that recognizes women of less than 18 years old to be of full age thereby promoting and encouraging child marriage. Millions of girls in Nigeria are forced into marriage before they turn 15 years old. This is obviously a violation of the Child Right Act of 2003 and a total violation of the Human Right....

We are extremely concerned about the impact and consequences of child marriage on girl child such as denial of childhood and adolescence, health problems, physical and sexual abuse, all of these and much more, have profound psychosocial and emotional consequences on girls. Therefore, we write to the Senate to let them know our stand on this issue and to make it known that Umuada in Diaspora will not relent until it is corrected.

Click on "Read more" for our letter to the Nigeria Senate President. You can read more about our fight against child marriage on Nigerian Vanguard Newspaper of August 13 2013. Please visit our site often for more recent news.

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Recent News

UMUADA NDI-IGBO IN DIASPORA INC. RAISES FUNDS FOR BREAST CANCER RESEARCH AND CURE, AND FOR SCHOLARSHIP: EMPOWERING CHILDREN THROUGH EDUCATION.

NATIONAL SECRETARIAT OF UMUADA NDI-IGBO IN DIASPORA, INC. & TM.

Office of The Founder/National President.

April 3, 2015

To: Gen. Muhammad Buhari,
President-elect, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

CONGRATULATIONS, GENERAL BUHARI! CONGRATULATIONS NIGERIA!!

Dear Gen. Buhari:
The People of Nigeria have spoken very loud and clear. We needed a change, and you are that change. Thank God, that much anticipated political change has come in the most peaceful manner ever imagined in our beloved country that has a long history of post-election violence.
This victory was definitely not a smooth ride. However, you met the challenge with determination, strength, and total confidence. The PEOPLE OF NIGERIA saw how determined you have been to provide solutions to the most troubling problems facing our great country — widespread corruption, insecurity, poverty; deteriorating standards of education, healthcare delivery and non-existent utilities. It has simply been very difficult for Nigerians and the world at large to understand why there has been so much poverty and chaos in a country well blessed with abundance of natural and human resources.
The proud and hardworking people of Nigeria have, through the ballot box, identified you as the man who can be trusted with bringing that much needed change to Nigeria — Africa’s last hope! Congratulations on your well – deserved victory!
There is no doubt that the task ahead is a huge one. However, with good focus, determination, hard work, dedication to office, and (above all) God’s guidance and blessings, it can be done. Yes, IT WILL BE DONE! It is our prayer that:
1) You put together a “NIGERIA WINNING TEAM” cabinet composed of very skilled, experienced, selfless, hardworking and trusted men and women
2) Take steps to re-organize, better fund and bring back the lost pride and glory of our military that was once the pride of Africa
3) Take steps to wipe out the barbaric Boko Haram criminals from Nigeria
4) Take all necessary steps to bring back our kidnapped Chibok girls
5) Take steps to stamp out 419 and other forms of fraud in Nigeria
6) Take steps to make sure a few individuals don’t take all our wealth, while the majority of our citizens remain poor. Why should a Nigerian Senator earn more than the President of the United States of America?
7) Take every step necessary to improve funding for universities, teaching hospitals, and other institutions, so as to encourage research and quality
8) Make plans to diversify the economy of Nigeria, so we do not have to rely heavily on oil
9) Take steps to mend and build bridges of understanding, and reduce tension between the NORTH & the SOUTH, and between ISLAM & CHRISTIANITY. We should start to see ourselves as NIGERIANS first, before anything else;
10) Encourage foreign investment by SWEEPING away corruption with the brooms the PEOPLE have given you;
11) Take steps to encourage women participation in government and national development, since women are mothers of the nation.
Mr. President-elect, our wish list is really long. It is not our intention to add to the stress you may already be going through right now. Just that we are all very excited to see this day of peaceful transition of power in our beloved NIGERIA, and the need for us to add our own five kobo to the national discussion.
We, at Umuada Ndi-Igbo in Diaspora, Inc., an umbrella organization of Igbo women in the Diaspora & headquartered in the USA (California), do pray the Lord Almighty to give you the guidance, wisdom, protection, fortitude, good health needed to lead us into prosperity. We stand solidly behind you and offer our unalloyed support, in the very best interest of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. After all, we have no other country but NIGERIA.
Kindly extend our profound appreciation and gratitude to your soon-to- be predecessor, President Goodluck Jonathan, for conceding defeat gracefully, and therefore preventing any chaos and destruction of property and lives that was already on the horizon. We are proud of the two of you. Nigeria has finally arrived!
CONGRATULATIONS, sir! CONGRATULATIONS, Nigeria!!
Long Live Nigeria! Long Live Africa!!

Sincerely,
AdaOzo Grace Agude (AdazuruIgbo Gburugburu)
Founder/National President,
UMUADA NDI-IGBO IN DIASPORA, INC.

On October 11 2014, members of Umuada Ndi-Igbo in Diaspora Inc. California branch (Los Angeles and Inland Empire chapters) displayed and celebrated the most magnificent event of all times in the city of Los Angeles as they raised funds to benefit Breast Cancer Research and Cure and scholarships for students entering colleges for the first time in 2015. During this event, the Founder and National President of the organization Lady Chief Mrs. Adaozo Grace Chinonyelum Agude addressed the distinguished guests and spoke passionately about the reason for the fundraising event. She explained the need to support Breast Cancer Research and cure as well as empowering our Children through Education. She recounted how Umuada Ndi-Igbo in Diaspora Inc. has always participated in various humanitarian activities and urged our guests to continue to support us in our quest to improve the lives of the less privileged in our society. Also during the event, with the assistant of the National Executives, she inducted forty-two new members into the organization to become full-fledged members of California branch. The process of executing the said project had already begun. On October 26 2014, the two chapters met to discuss the implementation process so updates on the progress of the project will follow as they unfold. Meanwhile we are happy that membership in Umuada Ndi-Igbo is growing rapidly as many chapters are springing up in other states in the United States of America, including Africa, Europe and Asia.

Umuada Ndi-Igbo in Diaspora Inc. will continue to empower women across the globe to be the best they can be and to continue to make significant impact in the great society in which we live. We will continue to maintain our motto: Love, Peace, Unity, Respect, Progress and empowerment.

Long live Umuada Ndi-Igbo in Diadpora Inc. God bless all of us.

Chief Mrs. Uloma Ihenachor- Obata uloadimma

National Vice-President.

Child marriage: Umuada Ndi-Igbo in Diaspora writes Senate

SIR, I am writing to you as a bona fide citizen of Nigeria and also as Founder/ National President of Umuada Ndi-Igbo in Diaspora, Inc. (a not for profit women organisation with headquarters in California, USA).

I want to take a moment to first express my sincere appreciation to you and your fellow law-makers in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for all the work you do to foster democracy and create an environment conducive for both foreign and domestic investment in our beloved country, Nigeria. Many of us have been following with very keen interest the progress our country is struggling to make towards democracy and in the development of her physical infrastructure.

I am particularly happy that we have not had any interruption in the governance of our country since the Nigerian people decided to embrace the doctrine of power through the ballot box, as opposed to power through the barrel of the gun over a decade ago. We understand that democracy doesn’t always come easy — not even in the most advanced countries of the world.

But because it is the bedrock of real lasting progress and /or development, we have no other choice but to embrace and nurture it to the best of our ability as a nation. You, the law-makers are obviously at the vanguard of the sustenance of democracy in our country.

Whether or not democracy takes root and thrives in Nigeria depends on you, members of the Senate and House of Representatives. This means the way and manner in which you get yourselves to the Senate, the type of laws you make, the nature of relationship you establish/maintain with the executive and judicial branches of government, the way you relate with your constituencies/the citizens of Nigeria should all be guided by the overall and best interest of ONE progressive Nigeria.

In other words you, the federal legislators hold the key to Nigeria’s future! Incidentally many of our senators and members of the House of Representatives do not appear to understand just how important their portfolios are to the prosperity of our country.

Lately we have heard so much about a purported bill in the Senate regarding legalising marriage for under-aged girls. My blood and that of the other members of my organisation was already boiling. We were already planning massive rallies across the USA and Nigeria, to express our distaste for such inhumane and insane proposition.

Fortunately, and thank God Almighty, that Senator Ike Ekweremadu, the Senate’s Deputy President and Chairman of its Committee on Constitution Amendment, clarified the issue in a timely manner at a press briefing in Abuja on July 23, 2013. Senator Ekweremadu is an honourable man. I respect and trust him very much.

I, therefore, have no reason to think that he might not be telling Nigeria the truth this time. That notwithstanding, I still had to do my own homework and found that the Senate failed to remove Section 29 (4) (b) from the Constitution, rather than added anything new to it. Section 29 states:

*( “29. (1) Any citizen of Nigeria of full age who wishes to renounce his Nigerian citizenship shall make a declaration in the prescribed manner for the renunciation.

(2) The President shall cause the declaration made under subsection (1) of this section to be registered and upon such registration, the person who made the declaration shall cease to be a citizen of Nigeria.

(3) The President may withhold the registration of any declaration made under subsection (1) of this section if-

(a) the declaration is made during any war in which Nigeria is physically involved; or

(b) in his opinion, it is otherwise contrary to public policy.

(4) For the purposes of subsection (1) of this section.

(a) “full age” means the age of 18 years and above;

(b) any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age.)*

No big deal, one may say. But what worries me is why we should have a different age for males and females when it comes to renunciation of Nigerian citizenship, and why should it be senators from a particular region of the country that want to ensure that the clause “any woman who is married shall be deemed to be of full age” stays /remains in the Constitution? Is it a shortcut to legitimizing under-aged marriages for girls?

No matter the motive behind this move, one thing remains clear. This whole issue has brought to light the dark side of some senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that some of us did not know before now. I don’t know for you, but as a proud Nigerian I am ashamed to know that a senator would take a 13-year-old child for “wife”! I mean I’m sick to the stomach!!

Hon. Senate President, this is no longer a private matter. It is not even a cultural or religious thing! A lawmaker sleeping with a child young enough to be his granddaughter!! If this is not pedophilia, then the Senate should please give concerned Nigerians their own definition of child molestation.

You expect us to stay quiet in the face of this very despicable act of serial raping of a child? Where is the collective conscience of our nation? Shouldn’t this child be going to school like her other age mates across the globe, to prepare her for a better future? Shouldn’t it also be the responsibility of our law-makers to protect such unfortunate children from predators like the senator in question?

As a concerned Nigerian and head of a group that stands up for the rights of women and children (Umuada Ndi-Igbo in Diaspora, Inc.), I am calling upon you, Hon. Senate President, to cause the Senate to investigate this matter and bring out the truth. We are living in the 21st century, and Nigeria cannot afford not to protect her own children.

My organization will be deliberating on this issue very soon, and possibly liaise with other women rights groups, especially the Women Empowerment and Legal Aid (WELA), through its founder, Mrs. Funmi Falana, to urge the Senate to review its decision by deleting the controversial section 29 (4) (b) of the constitution. I do also support Mrs. Falana’s ultimatum to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN), to prosecute Alhaji Ahmed Sani Yerima (Senator from Zamfara State) for marrying a 13-year-old girl.

Mr. President, once again, many of us appreciate the good work some of you are doing. But I hope you take this call for action very seriously, for we shall not hesitate to mobilize all Nigerian women against the senate, should you (the senate) fail to protect our children against any form of sexual abuse under any guise or form, even if it were perpetuated by one of their own.

Wouldn’t Nigeria be better off if only our senators and other elected officials could worry more about the very high unemployment rate, lawlessness/insecurity on our streets, runaway inflation, dilapidated healthcare infrastructure, deteriorating standards of education, etc; rather than wasting our precious time and limited resources in scheming to marry helpless under-aged children?

Thank you very much for your service to our great country. Thank you too for your understanding and anticipated positive response to this matter.

Long Live our great Children and Women of Nigeria!

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Mrs. ADA OZO GRACE AGUDE, Umuada Ndi-Igbo in Diaspora, Inc. (USA)