Mrs. Otti, Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum, Calls For Immediate Action To End SGBV

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The Wife of Abia state Governor, Mrs. Priscilla Otti, said that she is now better informed and equipped on positive ways of eradicating sexual and gender-based violence in society.

Mrs. Otti stated this at the ongoing 4th annual conference of the Nigeria Governors’ Spouses Forum, holding at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja to mark the 16 days of activism on sexual and gender-based violence.

The Governor’s wife also reveals that part of her take-home from the conference is to put up a workable action plan in collaboration with the state ministry of women affairs to domesticate the policy trust of the forum by ensuring that gender-based violence becomes a thing of the past in Abia.

According to her, “the theme of the conference ‘Youth Allies: Bridging Generations to End Violence’ elicits interest not only to end gender-based violence but to empower women, create cancer awareness, provide shelter for women and the girl child, and set up referral centers where victims can seek redress and be rehabilitated,” she said.

However, Mrs. Otti noted that of particular interest to her is the introduction of a mobile court to try offenders and get justice for victims of sexual and gender-based violence and warn those fueling harmful practices that expose women and the girl child to violence to desist from the act henceforth.

She commended participants at the conference, critical stakeholders, development partners, and the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazak of Kwara state, for his immense support to the Nigeria Governors’ Spouses Forum, especially in the area of establishing a mobile court.

In her address, the chairperson of the forum and the first lady of Kwara state, Professor Olufolake Abdulrazak, said that this is the time to engage youth allies in building generations to end gender-based violence.

Professor Olufolake explained that the Nigeria Governors’ Spouses Forum has in the last four years actively engaged in advocacies and plausible engagements, partnerships, and collaborations towards ensuring that Nigerian women and girls are positioned to harness their full potentials while leading sensitization and awareness to mitigate concerns on sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria.

Notably, owing to the spike in incidents of sexual and gender-based violence during the lockdown occasioned by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, we have amplified advocacies that led to the declaration of a state of emergency on gender-based violence.

According to her, “it has become imperative that young people have to be inculcated with these values hence the theme of the 2023 conference ‘Youth Allies: Bridging Generations to End Violence,’ gives credence to our resolve to continue to deepen engagements, collaboration, and partnerships,” she said.

Also in her speech, the minister for women affairs, Hon. Uju Ohaneye, said that a lot of money has been voted for advocacies in the past, but now we are expediting action by instituting a mobile court to address these issues and to put an end to gender-based violence in the country.

At the interactive section, some of the panelists, Activist. Onyeka Onwenu, Movie producer Mrs. Joke Silva, Dr. Saudatu Mahdi of women’s rights advancement and protection alternative (WRAPA), and Dr. Kemi Da Silva Ibru, narrated their experiences and advocated for civil and moral reorientation of the youths at the earliest stage. They call on the Nigerian government to do more by eradicating sexual and gender-based violence in the country.