The wife of Ekiti State Governor, and Chairperson of the Gender Based Violence Management Committee, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, yesterday presented the annual report of the committee, as well as as a 2-year strategic plan on Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the State, calling on Governor Kayode Fayemi to include GBV on the agenda of the State Security Council meetings.
Speaking during the official presentation of the annual report and strategic plan 2020- 2022 to the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi reiterated the commitment of the present administration to the fight against Gender Based Violence, describing the State GBV laws as very comprehensive.
The Wife of the Governor, who recalled that the State GBV law was first passed in November 2011, and revised to domesticate the Violence against Persons Prohibited Acts (VAPP) of 2015, in October 2019, with the provision for a Management Committee, to monitor the implementation of the law, lamented that the committee did not function from 2014 until July 2019, when Governor Fayemi had to reconstitute the committee, to ensure that all the legal and policy framework were properly implemented.
Giving the committee a pass mark, Erelu Fayemi noted that in spite of the global pandemic which substantially hindered the progress of work , the State coordinating mechanism for GBV issues had achieved a speedy passage of the revised Ekiti State GBV law 2019, by harmonising the previous Ekiti GBV law of 2011 with the VAPP Act 2015, thus creating a stronger GBV Law.
She highlighted other achievements of the committee to include, the Compulsory and Care of Sexually Abused Minors Laws 2020, adding that this is the first law of its kind in Nigeria. The Law was recently signed by Governor Fayemi.
Erelu Fayemi said that the Sex Offenders Register of 2015 had been reactivated, adding that the State also now has a “Name and Shame” policy, which entails the publication of names and photographs of convicted sex offenders in the State.
Others are the introduction of the Victim’s Charter, which outlines the rights of victims and survivors of GBV in the State, training and capacity building for members of the management committee, creation of the State Sexual Assault Referral Center (SARC) which is a one-stop, free, survivor-centered initiative, that prioritizes the rights and the needs of survivors of sexual violence.
The First Lady noted that civil society organizations working on GBV issues in State, had successfully set up a joint platform known as “Network of NGOs working on Gender Based Violence Prohibition in Ekiti State”, towards ensuring sustainability of the work going into GBV responses She added that the State also recorded appreciable achievements in the fight against the harmful traditional practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), with the September 2019 campaign tagged “Drop the Blades”, initiated by the Office of the Wife of the Governor.
Mrs. Fayemi however stressed the need for the State Government to appoint a GBV Research and Documentation Specialist, to aid in data collection for analysis, planning, and service delivery, adding that Local Government Chairmen should also be encouraged to support the strategic plan as it applies to their respective LGAs, particularly the establishment of shelters and SARC in each of the sixteen Local Government Areas of the State.
In conclusion, Erelu Bisi Fayemi tendered on behalf of the GBV Committee, an 8-point request which she appealed to the Governor to approve, to enable the smooth implementation of the committee’s assignment.
In his remarks, the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, warned sternly, that the State would not take it lightly with violators of the GBV laws.
Reiterating the commitment of the present administration to eradicating Gender based Violence within the State, Governor Fayemi said the requests of the GBV Management Committee would be looked into, and those that require the approval of the State Executive Council, would be presented to them for proper consideration and ratification.
Other Dignitaries at the event were; the Commissioner for Information and Values Orientation, Aare Muyiwa Olumilua, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Wale Fapohunda, Head of Service, Mrs. Peju Babafemi, Commissioner
for Women Affairs and Social Development, Chief Mrs. Mojisola Fafure, Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Mr. Foluso Daramola, the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Development, Professor Adio Folayan, and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dr. Mrs. Adeyemo, amongst others.