‘Why I fight for women’- Nigerian Rights Activist, Emeka Ugwuonye opens up

Emeka Ugwuonye

Nigerian Rights Activist and Lawyer,
Emeka Ugwuonye, has finally revealed why he’s defending women in
Nigeria. In his lengthy Facebook post, message the Due Process Advocates
founder revealed that he lost his father and his widowed mother
single-handedly raised him and his six siblings.

Here’s what he wrote;


I was raised by a widow. Ebemma is her nickname. I was the first child.
Growing up, Ebemma and I were more like an elder sister and younger
brother, though she was my mother, because she was only 18 years older
than I.
As a widow in Igbo land, Ebemma suffered persecution and
harassment just because she was a woman and a widow. I saw it first
But despite all that, Ebemma stayed strong. She stayed
focused. She stayed smart. She was able to train her 7 children to
university level, making her the first parent in my town whose children
are all graduates. Ebemma is also the first parent in my place that has
two lawyers, one medical doctor and engineer as her children. She was
also the first widow in Enugu State to train her son at Harvard Law
School. Yet, she did not go beyond primary school. No other parent
achieved this feat in my state, I would assume.
Ebemma never lived
in the city until I was already in America. Now, she is an American
citizen and she voted for Hilary Clinton. Though she never earned salary
in her life, as such, she now earns social security benefits as a
senior citizen of America, in the amount of over $1000 per month.
case you forgot, Ebemma is a woman. So, can you understand how I feel
when you try to tell me that women are not as good as men or that they
cannot lead a family? Can you understand how I feel when you beat a
woman?: In fact, each time you beat a woman, I see you as someone
beating a daughter of Ebemma. I feel like “killing” you. The fact that I
was too young to help Ebemma when she was persecuted causes me to want
to double your punishment if I catch you beating or persecuting a woman.

When I was young, I promised Ebemma that if I grew up, I would protect
her from all gender-based persecution. But when I finally grew up,
nobody dares persecute Ebemma. They now all call her Mama, even people
older than her. Since nobody is persecuting her now, I am searching
around town for any man persecuting any woman. I will see Ebemma in such
woman and I will come after him. Even if that is the only thing I
achieved in this world, I want to make sure that nobody can persecute
Ebemma’s daughters.
So, now that you understand me, I think we are
settled. Don’t beat your wife or maltreat a woman just because she is a
woman. If you do so, you have to prepare to deal with me. And always
know that I will always have the ability to cause you a lot of trouble –
whether I am “disbarred” or not. In fact, I will be more deadly if I
were to be disbarred, because in that case, I will not come after you
with the law. I will come with “guns”.
By Emeka Ugwuonye, writing as Emeka, not as Founder of anything.


Because of her level of education, Ebemma does not understand that men
and women should be equal. Despite her own experience, she still
believes that men are superior. That is the irony. If I were to tell
Ebemma that men and women should be equal, Ebemma will quote the Bible
to me to suggest that men are superior to women. I would smile and leave
her alone. She is Ebemma and for me she is always right, at least until
I leave her presence.
The question is not whether Ebemma
is great or whether she is good. Remember that I don’t need any proof
of that. The question is whether the persecution of women or the claim
that women are inferior to men is true. I only used Ebemma as an example
of the women. I want us to focus on the women and the injustices meted
out against them. The question is whether women could be head of
Ebemma taught me everything. She taught me how
to cook. She taught me how to farm. She taught me the most important
things I know. She taught me how to show empathy for those who are not
so lucky or those in pain. I can cook any food that a Nigerian can cook
(plus the ones that an average Nigerian doesn’t cook). Because I was the
first child, I also learned how to babysit infants because I baby-sat
my brothers.”


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