By Stephen Adeleye
Lokoja – Kogi State Ministry of Women Affairs, has restated the commitment of Governor Yahaya Bello’s Administration to eradicate Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the state.
The state’s Commissioner of Women Affairs, Hajia Fatima Kabir Buba, gave the assurance at the opening of a one-day ”Awareness Creation on Prevention of Gender-Based Violence”, on Thursday in Lokoja.
The programme was organised by the Kogi State Ministry of Women Affairs in collaboration with Mercy-Corps Community Initiative to Promote Peace (Mercy Corps-CIPP).
Buba said the programme’s theme: “Unite Activism To End Violence Against Women and Girls”, is a campaign aimed at addressing issues affecting women, girls and people with disability.
According to her, issues affecting these vulnerable group include; rape, harassment and cultural practices that are harmful to women and children.
The commissioner called on election observers in the forthcoming general elections to ensure that women’s rights are protected.
She advised participants to embark on preaching the message of peace to youths to prevent them from engaging in violence before, during and after elections.
Buba noted that women have the right and capacity to participate fully in electoral processes, and advised them not to underate themselves, but rise up to participating in politics to enable them occupy political offices as their male counterparts.
The commissioner appreciated the groups for partnering with the ministry to ensure that Gender-Based Violence is minimised in the state.
She called on various stakeholders to embark on adequate sensitisation on the effects of GBV across communities so as to achieve a smooth and violence free 2023 elections.
The Resource Person, Amb. Idris Ozovehe Muraina, in his paper presentation titled; “Awareness Creation on Prevention of Gender-Based Violence, 2023 General election in View”, described GBV as a power play in the society where one gender owe a power and use it against the other.
Muraina, who is also the Executive Director, Renaissance Care and Empowerment Foundation (RECEF), said GBV include; sexual violence, intimidation, harassment, domestic, verbal, physical, psychological, and power play violence, among others.
He stressed that GBV lead to destructions of lives and property as well as prevent the growth and development of a society.
He said there was an existing Violence Person Prohibition act signed into law by Gov. Yahaya Bello, on June 22, 2022, stressing that the law criminalised domestic and political violence, violence by state actors, among others.
He emphasised the need to ensure that women are adequately protected in the coming 2023 general elections, and appealed to stakeholders to embark on awareness campaign across communities in the state for information about the law.
Stakeholders at the event include: Mercy Corps, Nigeria Council of Women Society, FIDA, Chachavilli Women and Girl/Child Development Foundation, Renaissance Care and Empowerment Foundation, Down to Root Women Association, Divine Heritage Women, Market Women, among others.
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