The wife of the Ekiti State Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, has declared that the increasing incidences of sexual and domestic violence against women in the state were becoming worrisome, saying that all hands must be on the deck to win the war.
Mrs. Fayemi hinted that government was saddened that in spite of the existing laws prohibiting gender-based violence, Ekiti continues to witness issues of rape, defilement and human trafficking.
She disclosed that what accounted for the increase was the non-implementation of the gender-based violence prohibition law, child right law, Equal opportunities law and other legislation put in place his husband, Dr Kayode Fayemi by the immediate past government.
She spoke in Ado Ekiti on Thursday during a stakeholders’ meeting held to combat violence against women in Ekiti.
She said: “When Fayemi left, some of the laws put in place to safeguard the lives of women and girl-child were not implemented”, saying this constituted a serious snag in the fight against the practice.
She added further: 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 get 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 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 interagency collaboration because this is not a problem that can be solved by a body.
An Appeal Court’s Judge, Justice Uzor Ndukwe- Anyanwu, expressed worries over the rampancy of the 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. Am worried that we have it in this proportion. It is not something cultural as people want us to believe”.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Wale Fapohunda, said the government is ready to go all hogs to prevent the state from being tagged a thriving land for violence against women and the girl child.
” Reported cases of sexual rape, violent 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 the 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”.
In his contribution, 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.
Amba, represented by officer in charge of Legal Department, SP Femi Falade, advised that government should direct all public hospitals to offer free medical services to victims to prevent them from being made to pay for medical treatments, even while in emotional trouble.