The All Progressives Congress (APC) Professional Women Council, on Saturday, called for more stringent measures in stemming the menace of gender-based violence (GBV) against women and girls in Kogi
Rekiya Onaivo-Sanni, Kogi co-ordinator of the council, made the call during a media parley in celebration of the Orange World 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence (GBV) against women and girls in Lokoja.
The occasion was to mark the days against gender-based violence against women and girls.
Ms Onaivo-Sanni said: “A situation where a total of 2,203 GBV cases have been reported in Kogi in 2023, based on the NGBV Data Situation Room and Dashboard for Prevention and Response to GBV in Nigeria, is unacceptable.”
“This alarming figure is enough for both federal and state governments as well as spirited organisations to take more actions against perpetrators to serve as deterrent.
“As a concerned council, we expect the government to vigorously invest in the eradication of Gender-based Violence in the Nigerian society for the good of women,” she said.
The state coordinator, who spoke on the theme: “Policy advocacy, a panacea for the elimination of Gender-based Violence in Kogi,” described the theme as apt and timely.
She assured that the council would work tirelessly towards the promulgation of the right policies that would mitigate the noticeable gaps causing GBV in Kogi.
The coordinator, who is also the managing director (MD) of Kogi Enterprise Development Agency (KEDA), expressed worry that 35 per cent of GBV victims were women.
“It’s unfortunate that the menace occurred everywhere, in workplaces, churches, markets and at homes, which demands all hands to be on deck to stamp out the GBV from the society,” she said.
She, however, commended Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello for his contribution to the fight against the pandemic in the state through the signing of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPP), which she said would soon be domesticated.
Also, the state commissioner for women affairs and social development, Fatima Buba, described GBV as a pandemic that deserved stringent measures to stem.
Ms Buba, who was represented by a director in the ministry, Josephine Motulayo-Babajide, expressed optimism that the implementation of VAPP would help to eradicate gender violence in the state.
“A lot needed to be be done to stem the tide through Gender Responsive Budgeting, advocacy, funding and unity amongst the stakeholders towards multi-sectoral approaches, to influence activities that would address GBV,” she said.
Lilian Okolo, Kogi chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), in her presentation, said the fight against GBV required all hands to be on deck, irrespective of class, religion and ethnicity.
Ms Okolo noted that perpetrators of GBV were people wielding power, hence the need for stringent laws and policies as a panacea in the fight against the menace.
While noting power imbalance as one of the causes of GBV, Okolo said it could be emotional, economic, psychological, sexual and physical, which could come in subtle forms.