The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has declared a state of emergency on sexual and Gender-Based Violence (GBV).
The forum made the declaration in a communiqué signed by its Chairman and Gov. of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Thursday in Abuja after the governors 10th COVID-19 teleconference meeting held on Wednesday.
The communique noted that the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, addressed the forum members on the rising cases of rape and GBV in the country, which has escalated threefold since the enforcement of the COVID-19 lockdown.
It stated that the governors condemned all forms of violence against women and children and committed to ensuring that offenders face the maximum weight of the law.
The forum called on governors yet to domesticate relevant gender-based protection laws, including the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, the Child Rights Act and the updated Penal Code to do so.
The forum also urged members to increase protection for women and children, as well as ensuring speedy investigation and prosecution of perpetrators in addition to creating a sex offenders register in each state to name and shame.
“Invite the Commissioners of Police to provide a detailed report on the actions taken to strengthen their response to sexual and gender-based violence through the Family Support Units and Force Gender Units at the State and Local Government levels.
“Governors will commit additional funding for the prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence through appropriate Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“Endorse the Communique of the meeting of the First Ladies in Nigeria which held on June 7 to evaluate and mobilise action to check the alarming rate of sexual violence against women and girls and indeed all forms of violence against women,” the communiqué read in part.