By Ayodele Oni, Akure
Wives of Nigerian Governor’s have decried continued violence against female children and called on the National and state assemblies to enact laws to check the trend.
In a statement on Monday made available to Newsmen, the state first ladies called on state attorneys general to fast track cases of rape and defilement in the various courts.
The statement, signed by Mrs Bisi Fayemi, wife of Ekiti state Governor, as chairman Governor’s Wives Forum, Dr Amina Abubakar, chairman northern governor’s wives, and Mrs Betsy Obaseki for southern governor’s wives forum called on the Inspector General of Police to direct his officers to treat rape and defilement cases with speed and seriousness.
“We have observed with dismay, the intense levels of violence against women and children in the country. We lend our voices to that of our First Lady, HE Dr Aisha Buhari, who recently called for action to be taken on the increasing rate at which women and children are being sexually abused in Nigeria.
“On a daily basis, we are inundated with cases of defilement of even babies of six months old, rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment and murders of women and children.
“It is also worrisome that women and children with special needs have also become targets of sexual violence. We note with concern that in spite of the existence of laws at the federal level such as the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act of 2015 as well as legislations at State level to protect the well-being of women and children, perpetrators continue their despicable acts with impunity.
“On the rare occasions when incidences of rape are reported, victims are intimidated and shamed into silence. We empathise with the survivors of these sadistic acts and urge them to summon the courage to speak up. We are aware of the emotional and physical pain that they go through and we are committed as individuals and as a group to pressing for social and behavioral change in our society,” the statement added.
The states first ladies also appealed to 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 counselling services can be made available to sexual violence survivors.”