The Federal Government has vowed to deal decisively with all perpetrators of Rape and other Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the country.
The vice president, Prof Yemi Osibanjo, made this known at the official launch of USAID’s Momentum Country and Global Leadership.
The vice president, who was represented by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, said that the declaration by the federal government of zero-tolerance to rape and other forms of gender-based violence was a step in the right direction in fighting GBV in Nigeria.
“Mr. President directed the Inspector-General of Police to deal with all perpetrators further to the declaration of Zero tolerance to Rape and other Gender-Based Violence as well as constant engagement with the Police on the need to promptly address issues of Gender Based Violence.
“This declaration of Zero Tolerance to Rape and other forms of Gender Based Violence, including Harmful Traditional Practices is a giant stride and a step in the right direction in fighting Gender Based Violence in Nigeria.
“It is time we rise up to the challenges posed by this menace and constantly speak out against this evil perpetrated by mindless individuals. As such, I want to join my voice to all the voices gathered here today to say no to Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria.
“It would be recalled that the Federal Executive Council on 10th June, 2020 had unanimously declared zero tolerance against Gender-Based Violence in the country in view of the hues and cries that trailed the unacceptable spike in Gender-Based Violence during the Covid-19 pandemic lock-down.
“This resulted in the inauguration of an Inter-Ministerial Gender-Based Violence Management Committee on 23rd June, 2021 to proffer a synchronized approach to address all forms of violence against women and children in the country,” Osinbajo said.
He noted that violence against women has not only impacted on the society and the economy but also restricted women due to limited access to education, employment and finances.
“As a nation, we will continue to boldly condemn Gender-Based Violence (GBV), so long as it continues to impact negatively on survivors, victims, families, broader society and economies of Nations.
“From available information, we are more than ever convinced that Gender Based Violence is driven by structural inequalities and unequal power relations that render women subordinate to men due to limited access to education, employment, finances, healthcare and opportunities to contribute to their families, communities and the nation’s economic growth,” he added.
The representative of the vice president praised the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, for her doggedness and advocacy against gender-based violence in the country while thanking USAID and other donors.
She also called on well-meaning Nigerians to support the course of ending GBV in Nigeria.
The Charge D’Affairs of the US Embassy, Kathleen FitzGibbon; representative of Ebonyi State governor, Chief Emmanuel Umezurike; representative of the Sokoto State governor; the Permanent Secretary of the Women Affairs Ministry; Head of USAID, Dr. Anne E. Patterson; Country Director of UN, civil society organisations, heads of agencies and other dignitaries attended the official launch of the USAID’s Momentum Country and Global Leadership.