The residents of Lagos, South-West Nigeria woke up yesterday, 25 November, to find an ‘Orange man’ on the streets carrying the message, ‘Say NO to Violence against Women’. The ‘Orange man’, a human mannequin, was let loose by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Lagos, to mark the 2013 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the beginning of ‘16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women’.
The appearance of the ‘Orange man’ as early as 6:30 in the morning, generated so much interest and excitement amongst members of the public as they took turns to have photo sessions with him, using their mobile phones. The ‘Orange man’ was sighted at Surulere; Alfred Rewane (formerly Kingsway) road and Awolowo road areas of Ikoyi, Lagos.
According to the National Information Officer and Officer-in-charge of UNIC Lagos, Mr Oluseyi Soremekun, the appearance of the ‘Orange man’ was one of the Centre’s contributions to ‘Orange the World in 16 Days’ and unite to end violence against women in Nigeria.
The ‘Orange man’ ended the day at the Fountain Heights Secondary School, Surulere, Lagos where an elaborate programme involving 237 participants was held to mark the Day. At the event, seven media organizations (including three Television Stations); four Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO); and six secondary schools were in attendance.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr Soremekun noted that women and girls were entitled to freedom from violence and under no circumstances should they be deprived of such freedom. Violence against women and girls, according to him, was a violation of human rights.