A team of an international Non-governmental organisation, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, (WFD), has arrived Ondo State to provide support for the effective implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law, VAPP, with a week-long advocacy and training programme for stakeholders.
Led by the organisation’s Country Representative, Nigeria, Mr. Adebowale Olorunmola, the WFD team was received today in Akure, the Ondo state capital by the Wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Oluwaseun Ayedatiwa on behalf of the First Lady, Chief (Mrs) Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu.
Explaining the purpose of their presence in the state, Mr. Adebowale stated that, WFD, which is being funded by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office of the United Kingdom, is here to support the deepening of the protection of women and girls’ rights using the instrumentality of the law.
Adebowale who hinted that the organisation had helped in supporting some bills in Nigeria, including the passage of legislative autonomy bill, and passage of the VAPP bill in some states, said they’re committed to providing necessary support for Ondo State Agency Against Gender Based Violence (OSAA-GBV), to ensure that VAPP law is implemented, effortlessly.
According to him, “We are aware that Ondo State has passed the VAPP law and after the passage, implementation becomes crucial, advocacy for commitment from leadership becomes very important; even awareness creation among citizens to let them know that a law exists that protects their rights is also very important. That’s what we are going to be supporting OSAA-GBV to deepen in Ondo State”.
He hinted that, WFD, established about 30years ago had been in the forefront of championing advocacy for inclusive citizenship participation across the globe, including SGBV research in Nigeria which the report was presented to the Nigeria’s Governors’ Wives Against Gender Based Violence, (NGWA-GBV) and consequently led to the adoption, passage and implementation of VAPP law in many states of the Federation.
Responding, the wife of the Deputy Governor lauded the organisation’s determination to support OSAA-GBV in the implementation of VAPP law through training and community-based advocacy.
She said: “It’s a good initiative and I want to appreciate you. I believe we will be able to work together because it is something that people need to know about”.
She affirmed that SGBV is a global tragedy but noted that the presence of relevant laws in the advanced countries helped to curb it there, and expressed optimism that this development would go a long way to achieve greater success in the fight against the dastardly act in Ondo State.
The week-long programme commences tomorrow Monday November 8 with a visit to the Speaker of the House of Assembly in form of encouragement to elicit the support of the legislators for effective implementation of the VAPP law; also training of selected medical workers across the state who would be equipped with adequate skills to attend to SGBV’s victims; and town hall meetings to sensitise people about the available of a law that protects their rights.
In attendance were the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Gender Research and Documentation, Mrs Temitope Daniyan, the Special Assistant on Gender Research and Documentation, Mrs Ngozi Igbo-Okoro, and representative of Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu Foundation, BAAF, Miss Chika.
By Mary Agidi
Special Assistant on Media to Ondo State Governor
(Office of the First Lady)
November 7th, 2021