The Sunshine Queens Football Club today declared their total support for the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence by partnering the wife of Ondo State Governor Arabinrin Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu on the advocacy campaign.
The female footballers, also known as Betty Babes were unveiled today as SGBV’s Ambassadors at the Rotunda hall of the Government house Alagbaka where they were received by the wife of the governor.
Unveiling them along with the customised T-shirts for the cause, the State Commissioner for Youths Development and Sports, Mr. Dotun Owanikin described the move to be Ambassadors of SGBV as laudable, and enjoined them to extend the advocacy to other states of the country.
He noted that the noble cause that the Wife of the governor had started, needed the support of everyone considering the recent spike in sexual abuse of young ones in our environment.
Owanikin, therefore, applauded the numerous efforts of Arabinrin Akeredolu toward the cause, and assured of the unalloyed support of the Sport Ministry.
The Coordinator of the Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu Foundation, BAAF, Mr Austin Otabor commended the Sunshine Queens for identifying with a good cause like the fight against SGBV.
Speaking on behalf of the First Lady, Otabor decried the rate at which young girls were being molested sexually by some errant men, hence, the reason Mrs Akeredolu had been working assiduously against the menace through various advocacy initiatives.
He noted that SGBV is a problem that need to be tackled through partnership, saying,” and it’s good that Sunshine Queens are ready to join in the fight”.
Thanking the coordinator of the move, Seun Betiku, the BAAF Coordinator opined that SGBV was worse in Africa due to the patriarchal system, noting that though it’s also happening in the Western countries, there were mechanisms to checkmate it.
He said: “The state, with the effort of the First Lady, is making effort to pass the VAPP Act into Law, I’m aware it has reached second reading, but she believes in prevention reason she launched the Yellow card initiative”.
According to him, the Yellow Card launched by Her Excellency, was aimed at nipping in the bud, the culture of silence and being silenced which was the major reason SGBV kept increasing.
He noted that the Yellow card approach was to prevent and serve as a warning sign for awareness and information as it contained toll free number, and to change the orientation of the girls on the need to voice out.
He urged the Sunshine Queens’ SGBV Ambassadors to reach out to their networks, noting that the Yellow card would be licensed as time goes on.
In her remarks, the Sunshine Queens Coach, Mrs Wemimo Martins, said it was a good idea to support the First Lady on the fight against SGBV, saying, “we are going to the world to showcase that SGBV is uncalled for.
“People intimidate the female girls and thank to the organiser for joining to fight the cause, it would help a lot and we will take the advocacy to places”.
Others at the event included Acting Chairman of the State Football Agency, Mr. Tunde Ogunja, Senior Special Assistant to the governor on Gender Research and Documentation, Mrs Temitope Daniyan, Chairman of Ondo State Sport Council, Mr. Henry Babatunde, and the Director of Child Services from the Ministry of Women Affairs, Mr Dare Ogunleye.