*File photograph of Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun, wife of the Ogun State’s Governor Dapo
Following the gruesome rape and killings of Tina Ezekwe, Uwavera Omozua, Barakat Bello and Jennifer all of which occurred recently among others, wife of the Ogun State governor, Mrs. Bamidele Abiodun has called on the government in Ogun State to give unflinching support to matters concerning rape and gender-based violence.
The first lady made plea at a peaceful walk and awareness to the Executive and the Legislative arms of the state to solicit support for action against gender-based violence and rape in the state. She said she had to rally the government and all people of the state was because such crimes are suddenly on the rise in the community, which she said demanded drastic and urgent steps, if it is to be nipped in the bud.
While expressing delight that her husband Governor, Dapo Abiodun recently inaugurated a committee that would ensure the development of an effective, comprehensive and coordinated response to cases of sexual and gender based violence in Ogun State, She said, “We need to do more and ensure our survivors are not stigmatized; justice served; and the emotional and mental well-being of survivors is prioritized. I also humbly request that we continue to involve men in national conversation on violence against women. To men already supporting this cause, thank you for speaking up.”
But for the law to work out, she further stressed that there was need to educate and sensitize young boys and men who are the perpetrators of the acts, to be protectors instead of being perpetrators. “You are our fathers, our brothers and sons. Yet most of the violent sexual crimes committed against women are being perpetrated by boys and men. We need to educate our young boys and encourage them to be protectors and not perpetrators,” she stated.
Reacting to the call, the Ogun State governor, Mr. Dapo Abiodun commended the First Lady and her team for the initiative and for being the voice for the womenfolk who according to him formed about 50% of the world population. He reiterated his commitment to ensuring that cases, which bordered on women and girlchild violence were expedited to bring the offenders to book. He assured that the executive would lend their voices to the campaign and give women and girl child equal opportunities as well as empower them economically.