me-at-mbr4KINGDOM MEN AFRICA NETWORK, a Lagos, Nigeria-based ministry to men, has described the global war against gender-based violence as misdirected and therefore needs urgent rethink.

In a statement signed by the ministry’s Chief Vision Steward, Reverend Remi Akano, commemorating this year’s United Nations-initiated 16 Days of Activism Against Violence Against Women, it says well-meaning as most of the activities are, they are fighting the symptoms rather than the disease. Read full statement here –

According to Kingdom Men, “Years of engagement with the men-problem globally has however taught (us) that the disease is not violence against women or against anybody else for that matter; that is a symptom. It is as much a symptom of the disease as are sexism, crime, fatherless babies, high divorce rate or even poor public governance and corruption. The disease is male identity crisis – exacerbated over time by zero or scant awareness of its existence; neglect, and lack of or inadequate understanding of its ramification.”

The ministry, founded in December 2009, posits that all expenses have been concentrated on cleaning the water downstream when upstream, at the source, is where the problem flows from, which means that no matter how often you clean downstream; the stream will never be clean.”

Quoting a Facebook post of one concerned young lady, the ministry wrote: “…Who stands for the men; Who teaches our young men to become responsible adults; Who prays for the men; Who is ready to tell this men how to be a man, a father, a brother, a friend; What standard is built for them to be the kings they were originally created to be? Everyone is all about the woman folk, leaving the man to discover what he has no idea about…”

Continuing, Kingdom Men said: “that is the issue all of us – families, churches, communities, governments and even the international agencies have yet to grasp; it is the one issue which, if we were to face squarely and urgently, will reduce and ultimately remove other problems.”

We recognise, says the ministry, that “men are the problem, and men are the answer. We are fully aware that everywhere in the world today, men are responsible directly and vicariously for ALL the social, political and economic challenges mankind face – through their actions or omissions as men, husbands, brothers, fathers and leaders. That is the reason for our existence.

The ministry further stated that the acute awareness of this situation “is the rationale for all our activities, including but not limited to the Fix the Men, Fix Nigeria Initiative, which was formally launched at a small media event on International Men’s Day 2014 (November 19) with the hashtag #fixthemenfixNigeria and #fixthemenfixthenations. That initiative is designed to redirect the attention of all concerned to the disease, in order to reduce the focus on the symptoms.

Among its objectives is to step up public campaigns to draw attention to the need for the nations, beginning with our country, Nigeria, to pay serious attention to the spiritual health and psychological make-up of the men; and the contribution of social, economic and cultural pressures to the status quo.

In this connection, Kingdom Men noted with enthusiasm the role being played in Nigeria by an NGO known as Voices for Change (V4C), which has undertaken a research project and published a report titled: Being a Man in Nigeria, and continues to engage with men’s groups across the country including the ministry.

Asserting that a lot more effort is required at all levels to rethink strategies for comprehensively turning around the social, political and economic conditions of our nation; Kingdom Men recommended the following:

“That men and men issues begin to receive the same attention that women and children are getting including instituting a UN-recognised International Day for Men, since the existing privately instituted one, (November 19), is hardly ever noticed;

“That governments, donor agencies, corporate bodies under their corporate social responsibility schemes and private foundations seriously consider funding studies on Men issues and provide financial support for ministries like ours in the pursuit of our mandates; so that, together with others, we can refocus on Men; restore them to positive masculinity thus reawakening in them the innate ability to be real men who manifest as better husbands and fathers; better sons and brothers and ultimately better community and national leaders.”

Kingdom Men is fully persuaded that these are the cost-effective and sure-fire ways to end gender-based violence as well as virtually all other social, economic and political problems because only MEN who get their identity right and who are well-equipped to handle external pressures, can create a societal ambience for women to fulfil their destinies and contribute their immeasurably high quota to lifting the nation – without hindrance.”

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