Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has reiterated the commitment of his administration in tackling Gender Based Violence (GBV) through strong legal framework, policies and mechanisms that guarantee justice and supports for GBV victims, adding that no sexual case would be swept under the carpet in the State.
The Governor stated this in his office Thursday night when he played host to a delegation of the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS),led by its President, Prof Ekanem Braide; alongside Ekiti State GBV Management Committee led by Erelu Bisi Fayemi after a two -day assessment of GBV projects and facilities across the State.
Dr Fayemi, disclosed that the effectiveness of the state of emergency on Gender-Based Violence declared by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on June 10 2020 has led to a major increase in the number of states that have enacted and passed the Violence Against Person Prohibition Act into law from seven to 21.
The Governor said the State GBV Management Committee had taken drastic steps in ensuring that the era where gender based issues got unnoticed and unattended to in the State had gone.
He added that the state government had also set in motion series of awareness and empowerment programmes for women and girl child with simplification of government processes and procedures in addressing systemic issues that could promote gender-based violence. These programmes according to him, had encouraged the report, documentation, investigation and prosecution of more rape and other gender-based violence cases in the State.
The Governor, maintained that such efforts would not only ensure that perpetrators were brought to book irrespective of their status but would also dissuade and constrain others who had intentions of perpetrating such heinous act against women and girl child.
While appreciating the Nigerian Academic of Sciences (NAS) for their supports in the area of research, knowledge sharing and others in curbing GBV in the country, Dr Fayemi emphasized the need to strengthen partnership with the institution to be able to make more progresses in dealing with gender based issues.
“For us in Ekiti fighting GBV is not just a human right issue it also make economic sense and that is why every step we take sometimes annoys some people who should know better including sometimes even our own party members.
”On our part you can rest assure that conditions that have been laid in the memorandum of understanding are things that we will adhere to strictly and the resources that are being made available to us on this project would be judiciously utilized.” He said.
Earlier in her address, Erelu Fayemi commended the NGF for providing strong political will and supports for GBV management through the declaration of State of Emergence on gender based violence in the country.
Erelu Fayemi who said Ekiti had served as pilot project on GBV management to three states in the country namely, Abia, Niger and Edo States, revealed that the NAS delegates were in Ekiti to engage the State on discussion that centred on GBV projects.
Also in her remarks, the President of NAS, Prof Braide said she and her team had been to some of the GBV projects and had a town hall meeting with some locals in Emure Ekiti.
She commended the Governor and his wife for their support for GBV management adding that their works in the State would serve as example for other states on how to respond actively to gender based violence.