The Nigerian Governors Wives Forum (NGWF) has called on state governors, political leaders and 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 a state of emergency against sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria.
In the communiqué, which was signed by the wife of the Governor of Ekiti State and Chairperson of the Forum, Erelu Bisi Fayemi, 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, Fayemi said the Forum was not unmindful of “the sexual and gender-based violence which continues to ravage our communities and the country in general.
“As cases of gender-based violence (GBV) continue to rise, the Nigerian Governors Wives Forum, therefore, call 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 partnerships 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.
While highlighting the efforts of the Forum in the last 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 the governors’ wives to respond to GBV cases as a way of providing solidarity and raising awareness, as no fewer than 44 GBV survivors have been supported.
“We thank the Nigerian First Lady, Dr Aisha Buhari, 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,” Fayemi stated.