Upset by the worsening security situation across the country, the Conference of Wives of State Governors has declared support for their husbands to tackle the challenges headlong.
They also expressed concern about the mass poverty, and joblessness among Nigerians.
The chairperson of the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum and wife of Ekiti State Governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi, said this while addressing newsmen at the end of a meeting in Abuja to appraise the work of Governors Wives Against Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Persecondnews recalls that it was created in the wake of increase in gender based violence occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
Fayemi said: “We are concerned about the security situation and the impact it has on women and children.
“We are also concerned about the job crises in the country which is gradually consuming a whole lot of young people. We are also concerned about the poverty that a lot of women face especially in the rural communities.
“We, as wives, mothers and First Ladies, will do whatever we can in support of our husbands to ensure we bridge the gap and play whatever role we can mostly behind the scene, to ensure that the quality of life of our people will be much better.”
Fayemi said that as a result of the forum’s lobbying and advocacy, 27 states in Nigeria have domesticated the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act, compared to 14 in 2020 when the advocacy started.
“In June 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of us first ladies in Nigeria came together, and decided to start a project looking at gender based violence.
“That was when we started the working group known as Nigerian Governors Wives Against Gender Based Violence.
“Our objective at the time, was to draw attention to the way in which gender based violence had become a pandemic in and of itself, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“One of the first things we did, as governors wives, at that time, was to convince our husbands at the Nigerian Governors Forum to declare a state of emergency on gender based violence.
“On the 10th of June 2020, the state of emergency was declared. And what this meant was that the governors decided to go back to their respective states and prioritise the issue of laws, policies and resources that were required to mitigate gender based violence in the country.
“I’m pleased to report that one year after the state of emergency was declared against gender based violence in Nigeria, significant progress has been made across the country, largely due to the efforts of first ladies who have worked assiduously, advocating, lobbying, providing resources and ensuring that advocacy and awareness, which is down to grassroots community,” she said.
“Since we started in June 30, for example, there were only 14 states in Nigeria, who had domesticated the Violence Against Persons Prohibition act, as if April this year, at least 27 states in Nigeria have domesticated the VAPP Act.
“This goes to show that the work that we have been doing together a governors wives has been effective, and that we have made an impact in our states and in our various communities,” Ekiti governor’s wife said.