Wives of governors’ of the 36 states of the federation have backed wife of the President, Aisha Buhari on the need to urgently take proactive measures to stem increasing cases of violence against women and children.Aisha had recently sought urgent action to forestall rising cases of sexual abuse against women and children.
A statement jointly issued by wife of the Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Erelu Bisi Fayemi, Chairman Northern Governors’ Wives Forum, Mrs. Amina Abubakar and Chairman, Southern Governors’ Wives Forum, Mrs. Betty Obaseki, noted that the daily cases of rape, violence, sexual harassment and killing of women and children made the call expedient.
They also lamented that even women and children with special needs have become targets of sexual violence and urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Muhammed Adamu, to direct his men to treat rape and defilement cases with the speed and seriousness they deserve to ensure justice for victims.
“We are also requesting that the police should be tactful and supportive in the handling of alleged sexual offences and take measures to prevent the intimidation of victims by families and associates of suspects,” the statement reads.
They also appealed to the police to create special desks to handle such cases in all stations across the country where they do not exist and deploy trained personnel to provide timely support for victims.
“We implore the Attorney General of the Federation and states Attorney Generals to fast track cases of rape and defilement. We also urge the setting up of Special Offences Courts for rape and defilement cases and for such cases to be charged to courts and heard without delays.
“We beseech the Minister of Health to ensure the provision of timely, sensitive and comprehensive medical services to victims of sexual violence. We plead that all medical facilities be equipped with Rape Kits and Post- Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent rape victims from contracting HIV.
“It is also our hope that professional counseling services can be made available to sexual violence survivors.“We appeal to the National Assembly, Executive Governors and State Houses of Assembly to facilitate the passage of laws to protect women and children from violence and abuse.
“Where legislations already exist, we call for political will in the enforcement and implementation of such laws. In this regard, urgent medical attention, shelter, counseling and other support mechanisms for survivors are important.“We plead with all political, religious and community leaders to speak up against the abuse of women and children,” the statement added.