UN, EU, NGF to Fight Gender Based Violence

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Chuks Okocha in Abuja

The United Nations (UN) and the European (EU) Union have jointly applauded the efforts of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) for imposing a state of emergency on Gender Based Violence (GBV) towards addressing the various indignities that women go through in their own homes and that is now becoming rampant in all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.

This commendation came yesterday at the United Nations building at the Central Business District in Abuja during a meeting organised at the instance of the UN between the UN, EU and the NGF, on a program code-named the Spotlight Initiative.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss possible areas of partnership between the initiative and the NGF. Although it was essentially a physical meeting, the representatives of the European Union attended virtually from the UK.

The Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi who led the NGF to the meeting commended the UN and the EU for the initiative which he described as a game changer when considered in relation to what the world is going through, especially the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, Fayemi added that this initiative couldn’t have come at a better time, coming on the heels of the last NGF meeting where all the governors took conscious steps to mitigate the unwholesome incidences of rape and other Gender Based Violence in the country. He was accompanied to the meeting by the Director General of the NGF, Mr. Asishana Bayo Okauru; Alhaji Abdullateef Shittu, the Executive Director, Research; Dr. Abdulwahab, Ahmad the NGF Health Advisor and Hauwa Halliru, Technical Assistant to the DG NGF.

Fayemi said there are other related issues that the governors are looking at including the Child Rights’ Act and that have plagued the country in the past and they are being seriously considered for action.

Fayemi said although the federal government had taken steps in the right direction in solving these problems, some states have not been able to domesticate them due to certain cultural and sometimes religious implications.

Fayemi disclosed to the partners that there are already concerted efforts at applying the naming and shaming of perpetrators of these GBVs as a sex offenders register has already been opened.

The Ekiti State governor also identified treatment, counselling and care as some of the most critical activities that can help the victims of GBV because they happen to be at the receiving end of the cane. He also advocated the establishment of referral centres and shelters for the victims as not just necessary but critical in helping curb the problem.