Wives of governors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has expressed dismay on intense level of violence against women and children in the country.
This is contained in a communique issued at the meeting of forum of wives of governors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and signed by the wife of the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, Chairperson Northern Governors Wives Forum, Amina Abubakar and Chairperson Southern Governors Wives Forum, Besty Obaseki.
The governors wives pledged their support to the First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari and call for actions to be taken against the increasing rate at which women and children are being sexually abused in Nigeria.
They lamented that on daily basis there are cases of defilement of even babies of six months old, rape, domestic violence, sexual harrassment and even murder of women and children.
The communique expressed worry that women and children with special needs have also become targets of sexual violence even with the existence of laws at the federal level such as Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act, 2015 as well as legislations at state levels.
The governors wives said as cn the Inspector General of Police to direct the Nigerian Police to treat rape and defilement cases with speed and the seriousness such cases deserve in order to ensure justice for victims.
It added that 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 forum of governors wives also said rape and sexual offences desks should be created in police stations across the country where they do not exist.
It also states that the Attorney General of the Federation as well as State Attorney Generals should fast track cases of rape and defilement and set up special offences courts for rape and defilement cases.
The communique beseech the minister of health to ensure timely provision of sensitive and comprehensive medical services to victims of sexual violence.
It pleaded that all medical facilities be equipped with Rape Kits and Post Exposure Prophylaxis,PEP to prevent rape victims from contracting HIV & AIDS.
The forum further appeal to the national assembly, governors and state houses of assembly to facilitate the passage of laws to protect women and children from violence and abuse and urged civil society organisations and women’s support groups to continue to advocate on behalf of victims as well as provide all relevant services.
The forum implored the public to address issue of rape and sexual violence by supporting victims to get Justice and break the culture of being mute which prevent victims from reporting such cases.
The communique reiterated that as wives of governors, they are committed to using their positions to support all efforts aimed at mitigating the scourge.