Governors meet tomorrow over rape, sexual violence

Governors of the 36 states would on Wednesday receive briefing from the Nigeria Governors’ Spouses Forum (NGSF) on violence against women and children, especially rape.

Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the Head of Media and Public Affairs for the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), in a statement issued on Tuesday, said the issue would be discussed because it had become a matter of national emergency as the number of incidences continued to take front burner in the country.

Bello-Barkindo said the governors would receive memoranda from various groups including a statement from the NGSF headed by the wife of the NGF Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, at the 10th teleconference meeting since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown that resulted therefrom. He said the Minister of Women Affairs Mrs Pauline Talen would interface with Governors on critical gender issues including rape and sexual violence in the country.

It would be recalled that widespread outrage recently trailed the death of girls who were gang-raped and murdered by unknown persons in Edo and Oyo States. Last week, 18-year-old Barakat Bello was raped and killed at her parent’s home, while Azeezat Shomuyiwa, a 29-year-old pregnant woman was also murdered at her residence in Oyo State.

A 22-year-old Microbiology student of University of Benin, Miss Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, had earlier been allegedly gang-raped and killed by yet-to-be identified person(s). The NGF spokesman said tomorrow’s teleconference meeting scheduled for 2pm would also be used to review the COVID-19 situation in the various states of the country and advance or evolve more pragmatic ways of dealing with the Pandemic, going forward.

An invitation from the NGF Director General Mr Asishana Bayo Okauru to the governors lists the issues to be discussed at the meeting to include an update on Executive Order 10, a brief from a subcommittee that was assigned to engage the Presidential Task Force on Covid19 headed by Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State among other pressing national issues. Governor Nasir el Rufai of Kaduna State will also present the report of his committee set up at the last NEC meeting in March 2020 to review the impact of the Covid19 Pandemic on the economy for endorsement.

The state governors will also take a peep into such issues as the World Bank Cares program, the public hearing on the NCDC Bill 2020, the progress made on the refunds to states on FAAC deductions, the restructuring of states’ loans by the CBN Governor Mr Godwin Emefiele and the reimbursements for construction of Federal Roads to states like Rivers, Bayelsa, Ondo, Osun, Cross Rivers etc.

The statement said the Inspector General of Police had also been invited to brief the governors on the Police Trust Fund. Also on the agenda is a briefing on the CACOVID Distribution of palliatives and also a feedback from States. The NGF is expected to get an update to see whether or not the palliatives have made any impact on the citizenry.

 


By Muideen Olaniyi,
Daily Trust

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