Mrs Ortom charges Benue stakeholders to end gender based violence, lauds government’s signing of GBV law

Nigerian Concord Newspaper

Stakeholders from all works of life today assembled for a 2day Sensitiization Workshop to deliberate and come up with resolutions to end Gender Based Violence (GBV).

The event took place at the Banquet Hall of the Benue People’s House Makurdi.

Government agencies such as NAPTIP and the Nigerian Police Force and Civil Society groups including FIDA, BENGONET and MWAN were in attendance.

Participants were enlightened on issues bothering on GBV and the need to extend awareness to most remote areas of the state.

First Lady of Benue State Dr. Eunice Ortom, in her address charged Stakeholders to build on their knowledge of handling the issues and creating an environment where the dignity of women is protected.

She noted that GBV had become a norm in the society and urged the participants to rally round and get the menace out.

Mrs Ortom appealed to them to leave their comfort zones and join in the fight against injustices meted out on the victims.

She called for the education of minors on their rights to be able to handle such crisis when the need arises. “There is the need to know the current state of affairs”. She noted.

Mrs Ortom commended the State Governor for signing the law on Gender Based Violence but admitted that Stakeholders had the larger role to play in ensuring that awareness reaches the nooks and crannies of the state.

In her Speech the Commissioner for Women Affairs Mrs. Tabitha Igirgir, decried the rising cases of sexual molestation of minors.
“It’s shocking that parents of victims are even asking sexual offenders to pay bride price and marry their victims”.

The Lawmaker representing Gboko East in the Benue State House of Assembly Hon. Ngohemba Agaigbe, noted that victims are affected from all works life.

In their paper presentation, representatives from FIDA, Prisca Ugah and Terfa Suswam who spoke on “Understanding Gender Based Violence, the Legal Perspective” urged victims to report rape cases with assurances that the Law adequately covers them.

Special Adviser on MDGs Mrs. Magdalene Dura, in her presentation on “Protecting Widows from Violence” decried the culture where family members inherit properties of the deceased leaving the widow and children to their fate. She called for an end to such practices.

On their part Ann Ameh who spoke for the Nigerian Police Force and Ganiyu Alao who spoke for NAPTIP both agreed that due to sensitiization they had more cases reported adding that there was an exponential rise during the COVID-19 Lockdown.

They urged victims to report rape incidences without destroying evidence reassuring that cases would be treated with utmost confidentiality.