Governor Udom Emmanuel has called for concerted efforts by stakeholders and authorities to work towards eliminating all forms of Gender Based Violence (GBV), particularly the girl child.
Governor Emmanuel made the call during a courtesy call by Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum (NGWF) led by the Chairperson of the forum and first lady of Ekiti State, Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi in Uyo.
Emmanuel, who decried the high rate of Gender-Based Violence emphasised that much awareness should be created to promote the rights of women and enforcement of punitive measures to serve as deterrent in curbing the menace in the society.
The governor thanked Nigerian Governors Wives Forum for leading in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence, adding that the state has identified with the vision and programmes of NGWF to address the challenges of the girl child.
He said that state has built referral hospitals in the senatorial districts to intervene in cases of sexually assaulted victims who need help.
“If we had started this in time past, I think the awareness would have been much and a lot could have been achieved. All the issues outlined have been there in time past either they were not reported or there wasn’t any kind of awareness on the right privileges on the people who were victims to raise an alarm wherever there is an abuse.
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“I don’t think there is any state in Nigeria today that the governor is not aware that he needs to at least, have a referral center for sexual assault victims.
In Akwa Ibom, I have three centres, one in Eket, Uyo, Ikot Ekpene and I am establishing one now at Oron,” he said.
He commended the Nigerian Governors Wives Forum (NGWF) for choosing Akwa Ibom to host their Annual Retreat and lauded their initiative and commitment in creating awareness on the need to eradicate all forms of gender based violence.
Earlier, the Chairperson of Nigerian Governors Wives Forum (NGWF), Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi who is also the wife of Ekiti State Governor, thanked Governor Udom Emmanuel for hosting Nigerian Governors Wives’ Forum (NGWF) Annual Retreat in the state.
Fayemi said Nigerian Governors Wives Forum are concerned over the high rate of drug abuse and its effects in the society and on children, the need to educate the girl child, how to prevent gender specific cancer and its treatment and increasing access for women in leadership and decision making.
She lauded the proactive measures of Akwa Ibom State Government in declaring a state of emergency against Gender-Based Violence, adding that wives of Governors have domiciled the programme in their various states and called on the need to sustain the programme beyond the present administration.