JDPI Ekiti engages more stakeholders in fight against gender-based-violence

Justice Development and Peace Initiative, JDPI, of the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti on Thursday engaged more stakeholders in strengthening human rights awareness, increasing quality Alternative Dispute Resolution and reducing violence against women and children.

The one-day Awareness Programme and Project Launch in Ado-Ekiti was to enable strategic actors have a joint review of response to Gender-Based-Violence, GBV, and develop strong networks and partnerships among other issues.

Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Ekiti, Most Rev. Felix Ajakaye reiterated the commitment of the Catholic church in ensuring that the society is rid of GBV perpetrators.

Bishop Ajakaye, represented by Rev. Fr. Bimbo Joseph, noted that the Church as an institution will continue to invest in young children and women to become responsible and useful to the society.

He said: “The Church believes that the young children and women are treasured and one of the ways in investing in them is to be responsible and useful to the Church and society.

“The Catholic Church is a great respecter of rights and has always be committed where there must be measures in safeguarding vulnerable adults.”

On their part, the Nigeria Police Force, Ekiti State Command said there will be no option of plea bargain for anyone facing prosecution for Gender-Based-Violence, GBV, in the state.

The Ekiti State Commissioner of Police, Ogundare Dare Emmanuel, represented by S.P Femi Falade, O.C Legal, Ekiti State Police Command, emphasised the strong commitment of the police towards ensuring punishment for offenders.

He said the police would not tolerate any form of molestation of women and girl-child by ensuring prosecution of any offender in line with the GBV laws in the state.

“We are committed to stamp out issues against vulnerable women and children in Ekiti State in line with the Ekiti State GBV laws.

“I want to appeal to people that once a case of GBV is reported, we shall no longer listen to plea for violators and perpetrators. Sex with a child is rape and molestation of women and girl-child will not be tolerated.”

The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists, Ekiti State Council, Comrade Rotimi Ojomoyela, represented by the Secretary of the Council, Comrade Kayode Babatuyi promised the readiness of the media to lend voice and ensure strict monitoring of cases of GBV.

A representative of International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, in Ekiti State, Mrs Kolawole Adeniyi urged the various security agencies to prosecute perpetrators of GBV according to the GBV laws.

Other stakeholders such as Legal Aid, NSCDC, PWDs, NOA, Amotekun Corps etc at the programme, pledged to partner with JDPI and relevant agencies in the drive to nip the menace of GBV in the bud.

Highlights of the programme was a debate on ‘Sexual Assaults and Abuse of a child, who is to be blamed? Parents or perpetrators?” by students from Mater Christi Catholic High School Igede-Ekiti and Fountain International High School, Ado-Ekiti.

There were poem presentations by pupils from selected schools in the state ranging from titles such as “Dear Brothers, The Man in the Cargo, GBV, Woman, etc.”

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