Wives of state governors under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum, have expressed concern over the security challenges in the country.

Bisi Fayemi, chairperson of the forum, while addressing journalists after a meeting in Abuja on Monday, called for more efforts to improve security in the country.

She said the forum is concerned about its effect on women and children.

“We are concerned about the security situation and the impact it has on women and children. We are also concerned about the job crises in the country which is gradually consuming a whole lot of young people,” she said.

“We are also concerned about the poverty that a lot of women face especially in the rural communities.

“We, as wives, mothers and first ladies, will do whatever we can in support of our husbands to ensure we bridge the gap and play whatever role we can mostly behind the scene to ensure that the quality of life of our people will be much better.”

She disclosed that as a result of the forum’s advocacy, 27 states in Nigeria have domesticated the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, compared to 14 last year when the advocacy started.

“In June 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of us first ladies in Nigeria came together and decided to start a project looking at gender-based violence. That was when we started the working group known as Nigerian governors wives against gender-based violence,” she said.

“Our objective at the time, was to draw attention to the way in which gender-based violence had become a pandemic in and of itself, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One of the first things we did, as governors’ wives, at that time, was to convince our husbands at the Nigeria Governors Forum to declare a state of emergency on gender-based violence.
On the 10th of June, 2020, the state of emergency was declared.

“I’m pleased to report that one year after the state of emergency was declared against gender-based violence in Nigeria, significant progress has been made across the country, largely due to the efforts of first ladies who have worked assiduously, advocating, lobbying, providing resources and ensuring that advocacy and awareness gets to grassroots.”

Earlier, before the meeting went into a closed-door session, Asishana Okauru, director-general of the NGF, Asishana Okauru, gave the assurance that the secretariat is willing to partner with the governors’ wives forum to improve maternal health.

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By: The Cable

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