First Lady of Abia State Commits to Eradicate Gender-Based Violence

By Afeez Saheed

At the 4th Annual Conference of the Nigeria Governors’ Spouses Forum (NGSF) held in Abuja, Mrs. Priscilla Otti, the First Lady of Abia State, reaffirmed her unwavering commitment to eradicate sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Abia State. The conference, a pivotal component of the 16 days of activism against SGBV, revolved around the theme ‘Youth Allies: Bridging Generations to End Violence.’

Collaborative Efforts to Combat Violence
Mrs. Otti has outlined plans to partner with the state Ministry of Women Affairs to execute an action plan that aligns with the NGSF’s policy thrust. The objective is to relegate SGBV to the annals of history in Abia State. A crucial initiative is the introduction of a mobile court designed to promptly prosecute offenders and ensure swift justice for victims. Other efforts underscored include women empowerment, fostering cancer awareness, providing shelter for women and girls, and establishing referral centers for victim support.

Stakeholder Support and Nationwide Initiatives
The conference has elicited support from various stakeholders, including Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazak of Kwara State, the chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum. The NGSF has been at the forefront of advocacy, partnerships, and collaboration to enable Nigerian women and girls to realize their full potential and to address SGBV concerns. The Minister of Women Affairs, Hon. Uju Ohaneye, announced the accelerated implementation of a mobile court to combat SGBV nationwide.

Memorandum of Understanding with UNICEF
In a further development, Mrs. Otti visited the United Nations building in Abuja to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with UNICEF, pledging Abia State’s commitment to eliminating violence against women and girls. This agreement specifies priority actions such as bolstering birth registration, enforcing legal frameworks, and improving access to health services, all constituting part of a broader collaboration to combat violence.

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