EKITI State Governor’s wife Erelu Bisi Fayemi has declared total war against men of underworld, who engage in raping and human trafficking.
Mrs. Fayemi lamented the increasing incidences of sexual and domestic violence
against women, saying concerted effort must be geared towards fighting the war.
She said government was disheartened that in spite of the existing legal framework prohibiting gender-based violence, Ekiti State continues to witness issues of rape, defilement and human trafficking.
The governor’s wife stressed that non-implementation of the gender-based violence prohibition law, child rights law, equal opportunities law and other legislation put in place by his husband, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, by the immediate past government accounted for the increase of the heinous activities.
The First Lady spoke in Ado-Ekiti yesterday during a stakeholders’ meeting held to combat violence against women in Ekiti.
“When Fayemi left, some of the laws put in place to safeguard the lives of women and girl-child were not implemented,” she said, adding that this constituted a serious impediment in the fight against the practice.
“At a stakeholders’ meeting held recently, we agreed that part of the policy thrust should be that steps must be taken on how to take care of the emotional needs of victims before seeking or getting justice through the court of law.
“Most of the victims used to be emotionally down, because we have all failed them at one time or the other; that is why we must rise up to fight this scourge,” Mrs. Fayemi said.
She said the three key areas that needed to be examined by stakeholders include the causes of gender-based violence, how to use legal framework to resolve some of the issues revolving around this scourge and how to break the culture of silence among victims.
“The third one is how to focus on inter-agency collaboration, because this is not a problem that can be solved by a body,” the governor’s wife said.
An Appeal Court’s judge, Justice Uzor Ndukwe- Anyanwu, expressed worries over the rate of violence against women in Ekiti.
She added that this issue has always been an issue of interest to Nigerian All Female Judges Association, particularly how to resolve the problem and make women safe wherever they go.
“Ekiti has this as a big problem. I am worried that we have it in this proportion. It is not something cultural as people want us to believe,” she said.
Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Mr. Wale Fapohunda said the government is ready to go against all odds to prevent the state from being tagged a thriving land for violence against women and girl-child.
“Reported cases of sexual rape, violence rape, and child defilement have now reached a frequency that we firmly must believe there is an urgent need for joint action between government and other stakeholders to reverse the scourge.
“We are committed to zero-tolerance for all forms of violence against women and children. Apart from legal interventions, we also take another step that photographs of convicted offenders should be placed on state’s website and announced on state broadcasting service.
“Also in cases of defilement, we insist on compulsory psychiatric tests for all persons designated as having cases to answer in form of violence against women.”
Also speaking, Police Commissioner, Ekiti Command, Mr. Asuquo Amba, said any person defiled must pass through medical examination for the police to have proof to prefer charges against offenders.