Onuminya Innocent in Sokoto
The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, said her ministry has received complaints of over 10,726 cases of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SBGV) in recent time with Sokoto recording 738 cases.
Tallen disclosed this on Tuesday in Sokoto at the stakeholders meeting of EU/ UN Spotlight Initiative high level monitoring, held at Dankani Hotel, Sokoto State.
She lamented about the high rate of physical, psychological and emotional violence against women and children in the recent time.
She noted that the commonest form of violence and abuse reported included, rape, child marriage, wife battery, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, prostitution, incest, negative widowhood practices, slavery and trafficking of girls.
She maintained that her ministry had embarked on different programmes of sensitisation to the states governors with a view to appeal and request the domestication of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAAPP) Act in order to strengthen the justice system and the prosecution of the perpetrators of violence against the vulnerable women and children.
She reiterated the ministry commitment to continue to collaborate with Civil Society Organisations and other relevant partners and agencies to curb the menace.
In a related development the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr. Clem Agba, said that the federal government has made budgetary allocation to some nongovernmental organisation such as Spotlight Initiative to help it carry out its function effectively.
He maintained that the budgetary allocation would help the organization in implementing its programs and policy in the country.
He called on the state government to do same so as to ease the activities of the organisation in the states.
On its part, the Sokoto State Government said the meeting was organised by the Spotlight Initiative with the coordination of the State Ministry of Women and Children Affairs.
Speaking at the event, the Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Ms. Kulu Abdullahi Sifawa, explained that the aim of the meeting is to provide highlight on situation, incidences, analysis of SGBV responses and the way forward.
She added that in line with this course that they push for the domestication of the Child Right Act, which is very essential for the protection of the rights of women and children in the state.
She stated that the state has set up six community based surveillance committee with 150 members trained to identify and report cases of violence against women and children in Sokoto North, South, Binji, Tangaza, Dange/ Shuni and Bodinga Local Government Areas of the state.
She disclosed that the committee so far have reported 800 cases and with the assentation of the Child Right Act by the state governor over 25 cases have been prosecuted.
Also speaking, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, called for concerted efforts in stamping out violence against women and children in the country.
He advised parents and governments on the important of girl child education stressing that educating female folks will help in the development of the country.
The paramount ruler stated that his council has been advocated against SGBV, saying he is in support of any law that would help in curbing the menace.
The leader of EU head of delegation to Nigeria, Mr. Samuel ISopi, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Matthia Schmale, all spoke against against women and children and called for concerted effort to stop it.
The leaders of the delegation visited Nana Khadija foundation where they interacted with the victims and survival of SGBV in the state.