Gender-Based Violence must stop in Nigeria

According to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, the National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, and the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Mrs. Aisha Mohammed, violence against women and girls in Nigeria must end.

On Tuesday, the leaders addressed at a two-day Northern traditional and religious leaders summit on eradicating gender-based violence and harmful practices organized by the Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development in Abuja.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Abubakar, underlined the need for the government to go beyond enacting legislation and raise awareness about Gender-Based Violence.

He claimed that no government could claim to be combating the threat of law enforcement institutions were failing to perform their duties.
“Everyone should understand that violence against women and girls is reprehensible and will not be allowed,” he added. Governments at all levels should establish a sex offender registry to name and humiliate perpetrators of gender-based violence and put an end to impunity.

“At least one GBV response center and shelter should be established and funded by the government, with government-paid staff deployed and effective linkages to other support services that survivors may require.
“In addition, the government should create at least one forensic lab in each of the country’s geographical zones to assist in the prosecution of GBV cases.”

“The exploitation of the girl child and the vulnerable must no longer continue in our time,” CAN President Ayokunle said in a similar vein.

In the twenty-first century, all types of gender-based violence are abhorrent. To get rid of them, we should all band together. Our society will improve as a result of our collaborative efforts in this direction.”
He urged royal fathers and religious leaders to fulfill their responsibilities as guardians of custom, tradition, and faith by ensuring the safety of women and girls.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo urged state governments to step up efforts to address the issue of Gender-Based Violence in their jurisdictions in his remarks.

The Vice President, who was represented by Dame Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, stated that the Federal Government was committed to supporting strategic steps to combat the threat.

He did say, however, that unless all stakeholders made concrete actions to protect the vulnerable people, particularly women and girls, the country will suffer in the coming years.
“I am extremely saddened and my heart is heavy that ten states in the North have yet to domesticate the Child’s Rights Act,” Osinbajo stated. The Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, or VAPP Act, is the same way. The Child’s Right Act has only been domesticated in three states in the Northeast and Northwest.

“I would want to take this occasion to congratulate the governor of Kaduna State, who, in addition to domesticating the laws, revised the VAPP Act to deal with offenders. It’s past time for us to take action. We can’t just talk and talk.
“People use religion to justify all kinds of evil, yet Christianity and Islam both abhor violence against women.”

“You are the custodians of the society and highly valued in your communities,” the Vice President told Northern traditional rulers and church leaders.

“So, if you want to take action against perpetrators of violence against women and girls, we can have a better society and achieve greater results in tackling the current threat of Gender-Based Violence.”
Amina Mohammed, the UN Deputy Secretary-General, noted that one out of every three women in the globe had experienced Gender-Based Violence at some point during their lives.
The COVID-19 pandemic, she added, has aggravated the problem, erasing many of the advances made in addressing the problem.

Traditional leaders, however, were critical in tackling structural disparities and reforming communities for the better, according to Mohammed.

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