The Wife of the Oyo State Governor, Mrs. Tamunominini Makinde, on Tuesday, led female top government functionaries, female political appointees and wives of chairmen of local government councils in the state on a walk to call for a stop to all forms of violence against women and girls in the state.
The women moved from the Government House and marched through the road leading to the State Secretariat, carrying placards and banners with various inscriptions decrying rape, defilement of minors, child trafficking and other forms of gender-based violence, singing solidarity songs to show their displeasure for all forms of violence towards women and the girl-child and chanting “Oyo State says no to gender-based violence.”
Some of the inscriptions on their placards read: “Violence Against Women, Oyo State says, no”; “Women rights are human rights”; “Dignity, respect, and justice for all”; “We are precious to humanity”; “Stop violence against women and the girlchild”; “End violence against women and girls” and “Gender-based violence is evil”, among others.
Addressing journalists after the walk, Mrs. Makinde urged women to always speak up against any act of sexual abuse or violence perpetrated against them, noting that the poor economic condition caused by the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic was not a justifiable reason for any man to beat his wife and women should not cover up such abuse against them.
She said perpetrators of gender-based violence had continued because they knew their wicked acts would not be exposed and if that did not happen they would not be punished by the law, revealing that her office had continued to engage in a series of empowerment and skills acquisition for women with the aim of helping them augment and support their husbands in meeting family needs.
Mrs. Makinde stated: “Don’t leave the minors unattended. There are signs of abuse in victims to watch out for, and we must watch out for these in the minors. Mothers should not keep quiet. If you see something, say something. Our girls should not be subjected to child labour, sex or physical abuse.”
“Oyo State Government has supported some victims. We will protect your identity if you report any abuse to us. Some people lost their jobs as a result of COVID-19 and they have become frustrated because they think of how to provide for their families. However, that is not an excuse to lay your hand on your wife,” she asserted.
The governor’s wife affirmed that the government would continue to work and support women and the girl-child to ensure that they are not abused, while not also looking away from protecting the boy-child, as they too could suffer different forms of abuse.
The top government functionaries that joined in the street campaign include the Secretary to the Oyo State Government (SSG), Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun; Oyo State Head of Service (HoS), Mrs Amidat Agboola; Commissioner for Special Duties, Mrs Faosat Sanni and the Special Assistant to Governor Makinde on Diaspora Affairs, Mrs Bolanle Sarumi-Aliu.
Source: Voice of Nigeria