A comprehensive research study was carried out amongst 30 women of Childbearing age who have experienced Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) in River State

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Biography of Tamunomie Wariboko Kelvin- WPSN Male Champion  

 

Tamunomie Wariboko Kelvin is a male champion with the Women in Peace and Security Network (WPSN), Port-Harcourt, Rivers State. He has an Ordinary Level (1997) certificate and previously worked with John Holts Nigerian Holding Limited (2000-2007) and Uniglobal Construction Company (2010-2013) within the Niger Delta as a construction worker. He specializes in boat constructions as his major occupation.

He is currently (the acting PRO of Igbisi Kalama, Igbisi Kalama comprises of the following communities; Tarikoro Polo, Ibitein, Setari, Belema Polo, Ingokala Polo and Amagboribipi Polo also known as Ibadan) a freelancer working on issues relating to community good governance, peace building on cult related issues, community based mediation and the protection of women, girls and children’s rights in his immediate local communities. His desire to advocate and defend the rights of the marginalized started in 2009 when the water-front communities were to be demolished. A development organization (social Action)  approached the communities and provided human rights trainings for them on the rights to housing and from there he realized the existence of human rights and understood what it means to be a voiceless and marginalized minority. He pledged to use this knowledge gained to help the less privilege and voiceless in these communities.

He started with community mobilizing and sensitizing on human rights by talking to community members on their human rights and noticed that they were willing to listen to him. As a result of the work he does to protect children especially the girl-child, he was introduced to the Child protection Network (CPN) in Port-Harcourt and did some pro bono work with them for a while.

As a result of his fierce passion on protecting women and girls from violence, he decided to go on his own as a pro bono women’s and girls’ rights activist at the local level. Wariboko had developed a relationship with his immediate communities and pledges his support to defend those who are on the right side of the law. As a past community chairperson for Tarikoro community under the Igbisi kalama clan, he had been interested in working against discriminatory practices and violence against women and girls. He introduced the involvement of women in community led dispute resolution processes by encouraging women to sit alongside the men which raised a lot of objection from his fellow men. He advocates that if women are asked to vote during election then they should not be engaged for that process alone but given the opportunity to participate in decision making as well.

His exposure to the WPSN was during(a mobilisation and capacity building training for the Women in Peace and security Network in 2014, as part of the NSRP funded project titled, Promoting Multi-stakeholder Collaboration to Reduce VAWGs in Rivers State. He was identified as a male champion because of his track record with the Child Protection Network in Rivers state) a community sensitization project in 2014.

(since then he has been exposed to series of trainings, on peace building and conflict management and election violence prevention, fund raising and legislative advocacy, and trainings for paralegals by JEI, he has al;so represented the Women in Peace and Security Network on radio programmes and round table discussions)

As an impact from the WPSN led initiative, Wariboko quotes’ through the WPSN, I have been exposed to more issues on women and girls’ rights and developed a working relationship with the Police, Ministry of Social Welfare, Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) and the Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN). I now see them as partners to collaborate with in handling cases on violence against women. They tell me what to do and this makes my work easy’

 Being a male champion of women and girls’ rights of course has its challenges. Wariboko’s present challenge is the lack of resources to effectively work with as he commits his personal funds to take the cases he handles to a reasonable conclusion. He is currently the Chairperson of the Vigilante Association in his community.