The Nigerian Governors Wives’ Forum (NGWF) has called on Governors, political leaders and the security chiefs to find a lasting solution to the current security challenges in the country.
The Forum made the call in a communiqué issued to commemorate the first anniversary of the declaration of State of Emergency against Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Nigeria.
In the communiqué which was signed by Erelu Bisi Fayemi, wife of the Governor of Ekiti State and Chairperson of the Forum, the forum said it was offering ceaseless prayers to God to stem the tide of insecurity across the country, adding that as mothers, the forum is “also deeply concerned about rising tensions and insecurity in the country.”
While speaking on the successes recorded by the Forum in the war against Gender Based Violence in the country, Mrs Fayemi said the Forum was not unmindful that “the crisis of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence continues to ravage our communities and country as a whole.”
As cases of gender-based violence continue to rise, the Nigerian Governors Wives Forum called on stakeholders across the country not to relent in ensuring that the war against GBV is won.
Mrs Fayemi said though the Forum had achieved some positive results in the fight against GBV, all hands must be on deck for long lasting results.
While stating that stakeholders need to do more, the Chairperson expressed the Forum’s irrevocable commitment to working with political, religious, traditional and community leaders for effective community engagement and ownership.
She said the Forum is in partnership with relevant government stakeholders such as the Presidential Task Force on Sexual and Gender Based Violence and the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs as well as getting support for Civil Society Organisations and Women’s Rights groups who provide critical support for GBV survivors.
According to the communique, the Forum would continue to count on the political will promised by the State Governors when the State of Emergency on GBV was declared in June 2020.
While highlighting the efforts of the Forum in the last one year, the NGWF chairperson explained that NGWA-GBV programmes have so far been supported by The Ford Foundation, Westminster Foundation for Democracy, Access Bank, Proctor and Gamble, and members’ dues.
She added that the GBV Survivors’ Fund has enabled Governors’ Wives respond to GBV cases as a way of providing solidarity and raising awareness and no fewer than 44 GBV survivors have been supported.
“We thank HE Dr Aisha Buhari, First Lady of Nigeria for her encouragement and support at all times. During a recent visit to her, she charged us to stay focused and determined in our efforts to mitigate GBV and provide succour to women and children. We accept this charge and we will not relent in our endeavours. We thank the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and all the Governors for their efforts in dealing with the menace of Gender Based Violence.
“We appreciate the role that the Minister for Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen has played in ensuring that GBV remains a critical national issue. We are grateful to all our partners who have made our work possible. To mark the first anniversary of the GBV State of Emergency, the Nigerian Governors Wives’ Forum, with the support of the Ford Foundation, is releasing eight video clips on various GBV issues. Let us continue to do all we can to make our country a safer place for women and girls,” the communiqué read.
By Priscilla Ediare,