Ambode Stages Peaceful Protest against Sexual Violence


· Vows to use highly placed persons as scapegoats

By Gboyega Akinsanmi

In an all-male campaign against the rising spate of gender-based violence in the state, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Thursday joined anti-sexual violence crusaders to protest against all forms of violence against women.

Ambode, who was accompanied by the Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, and Special Adviser on Sports, Mr. Deji Tinubu, among others, urged security agencies to come up with at least eleven highly placed individuals in the state to be used as scapegoats.

Also, the governor led hundreds of anti-sexual violence campaigners to the State House of Assembly, displaying placards with diverse inscriptions: “We say no to abuse, violence against women. Women are not objects; respect and treat them right. Stop rape and abuse…”

After another procession of anti-sexual violence crusaders within the assembly, the governor emphasised the need to make some scapegoats, saying using highly placed individuals that perpetrated such act as scapegoats would serve as deterrence to others.

He said: “It is time we took the bull by the horn in tackling this menace of sexual and gender based violence in our society. Research and countless reports have indicated clearly that women are significantly more prone to being victims of these crimes.

“There is also an evident trend of suppressing the voice of these victims due to the fact that these acts are perpetrated largely by men. We should not take for granted the potential exponential effect of having emotionally and psychologically damaged women in a society.

“The effect could transcend to their children who grow up in an environment, thinking this is the norm. Several programs ranging from the provision of legal aids, shelter and psychological counseling services have been designed to assist these women. These are sufficient.

“The state government has realised that the programmes are not enough. While these are essential to eradicate sexual and gender-based violence, we must address the violent behavior of men when it comes to rape, domestic violence and child abuse,” Ambode noted.