Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, has donated a skills acquisition centre with accommodation for the welfare of victims of Gender Based Violence, GBV.
Speaking, while inaugurating the centre, with wives of 17 Nigerian governors, on Thursday, in Uyo, the state capital, Emmanuel maintained that victims of sexual abuse must be rehabilitated and given new lease of life in order to restore their dignity, saying it was the reason his administration embarked on the project.
He said: “We are making a bold statement that we have zero tolerance for gender-based violence. Therefore, the unfortunate victims would not be left alone to suffer, and we will do all we can to rehabilitate and equip them with skills that would make them useful to society”.
The governor also used the occasion to call on all relevant authorities to deploy the instrumentality of the law to ensure that justice is served on all perpetrators of gender-based violence and other morally depraved acts.
In her remarks, the wife of the governor and progenitor of the Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path-Initiative (FEYReP), Dr Martha Udom Emmanuel, said she was excited about the completion of the project, and its prospects of changing the lives of victims of sexual abuses.
She said with the centre now in place, victims of sexual abuse could access free medical, psychological, legal, and other services that they may be in need of for their recovery.
“We are here to commission our signature and the biggest of our accomplishments. The state Gender Based Violence Centre is built out of love, and the desire to provide a safe place for victims of sexual abuse. It is where they can learn a skill while trying to pick up the pieces of their lives,” Mrs Emmanuel said.
Also Speaking, the President of the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum and Wife of Ekiti State Governor, Mrs Bisi Adeleye Fayemi said, the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum was delighted to witness the launch of the GBV Centre, adding that the facility would go a long way in addressing the needs of victims of gender-based violence in the state.
“In the last two years, we have worked relentlessly on using the platforms God has given our husbands and ourselves to ensure that we mitigate the effects of sexual and gender-based violence in our communities, and this referral centre would go a long way in addressing the issue “.
Mrs Fayemi, commended Mr Udom Emmanuel and his wife for their strong political will to tackle GBV incidents in the state.
Goodwill messages were delivered by the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State, Uko Udom, SAN; Chairman of Uyo Local Government Area, Dr Uwemedimo Udo; Barr. Moji Tijani of International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA; Akwa Ibom State Branch, Zonal Commander of National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, NAPTIP, Uyo Command, Mrs Tina Ugu; and the Secretary of Akwa Ibom State Gender-Based Violence Management Committee, Barr. Emem Ette.
Wives of Governors of the 17 States, who witnessed the occasion, included those of Lagos, Benue, Kwara, Abia and Kaduna. The inauguration was part of activities marking the 35th anniversary of Akwa Ibom State.