In view of the rising cases of rape, governors of the 36 states of the federation have declared a state of emergency on sexual and gender-based violence. This is contained in a communique after the teleconference meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Wednesday night.
Chairman of the NGF and Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi said that the governors strongly condemned all forms of violence against women and children and committed to ensuring that offenders face the maximum weight of the law. He also called on governors that have not already domesticated relevant gender-based protection laws to domesticate the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, the Child Rights Act and the updated Penal Code to increase protection for women and children, ensure speedy investigation and prosecution of perpetrators in addition to creating a sex offenders register in each state to name and shame.
He said: “Invite the Commissioners of Police to provide a detailed report on the actions taken to strengthen their response to sexual and gender-based violence through the Family Support Units and Force Gender Units at the State and Local Government levels.
“Governors will commit additional funding for the prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence through appropriate Ministries, Departments and Agencies; “Endorse the Communique of the meeting of the First Ladies in Nigeria which held on 7th June 2020 to evaluate and mobilize action to check the alarming rate of sexual violence against women and girls and indeed all forms of violence against women.”
The governors also commended the World Bank on the provision of US$750million additional financing for the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results (SFTAS). State governors pledged to ensure that their Ministries of Finance, Budget and Planning are positioned to access available funding to strengthen the COVID-19 response of state governments.