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Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu takes a stand against rape, sexual violence

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Lagos State First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, has urged stakeholders, especially Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), to support the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), saying that the necessary will must be mustered to completely stamp out the menace of rape, especially against women and girls.

Speaking at the Stakeholders’ Consultative Forum (Second Phase) held at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja and organised for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society groups involved in tackling SGBV crimes in the State, Mrs. Sanwo-Oluthe explained that the forum aimed at galvanising action among relevant stakeholders on zero-tolerance for extreme violence against women, girls, children, and also men and boys.

President, Eagles Wings Development Centre, Mrs. Bunmi Oloyede; Lagos State First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu and representative of God’s Home For Women Foundation, Mrs. Owolona, during the Second Phase of the Stakeholders’ Consultative Forum organised by the First Lady for Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Civil Society Groups tackling Sexual and Gender-Based Violence held at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja.

In her words: “To God be the glory that we are able to host the second phase of this stakeholders’ forum designed to scale up the fight against SGBV. Since the first forum in June last year, we have had a series of meetings to identify and work on the missing links between the different MDAs and organisations”.

“The meetings were important and revealing. A lot came out of it and MDAs were able to harness their forces to work together. This forum is the second phase for us to meet the various NGOs and Civil Society groups that are closer to the people to understand their roles, challenges, and how to support the fight against SGBV”, she added.

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Maintaining that the Office of the First Lady is noted for social advocacy, Mrs. Sanwo-Olu said it was always painful to hear of sexual abuse cases, just as she reiterated the need for all stakeholders to support the fight against the menace.

“We stand on zero-tolerance against SGBV. It is a lot of work but I know with the support of NGOs and Civil Society groups, we can achieve it. Government cannot do it alone and that is why NGOs are very important. So, my charge to you wonderful people is to go out there and intensify your work in our various communities against SGBV”, the First Lady said.

She also commended the State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on the recent signing of the Bill establishing the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency, and the appointment of an Executive Secretary, Mrs. Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, to lead the new agency.

“It is inspiring that the law, which also establishes the Sex Offenders Register, has finally become operational in the State and it is hoped that this will provide a quantum leap in terms of the legal framework to significantly and frontally tackle the menace of domestic and sexual violence, name and shame perpetrators and most importantly provide adequate medical and legal support to the victims,” she said.

The forum, which attracted many members and representatives of NGOs and Civil Society groups in the State, identified the challenges militating against the fight against SGBV crimes and proffered solutions. The participants also signed pledges to signify their commitment to scaling up advocacy and war against the menace.

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