From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Governor Douye Diri has inaugurated the state’s Gender Response Initiative Team (GRIT) as part of efforts to curb cases of domestic violence against persons in the state.
The committee has as its head, gender advocate and legal practitioner, Dise Ogbise who was formerly chairman of International Federation of Female Lawyers, Yenagoa chapter.
While inaugurating the 18-member committee in Government House, Yenagoa, Diri said with the signing of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law (VAPP) earlier this year, Bayelsa had become one of the few states that has domesticated the federal law.
A press release by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as having charged them to work as a team as well as collaborate with relevant ministries, departments and agencies, particularly the Ministries of Women Affairs and Justice to ensure the implementation of the law to the letter.
Senator Diri, who noted that the task ahead of the committee enormous, urged the members to tackle the menace holistically as there are cases of men being victims of abuse.
“Domestic violence is on the increase regardless of tribe, religion and social status. Earlier this year, we domesticated the VAPP Law in the state.
“We expect this committee to work with MDAs, especially the Ministries of Women Affairs and Justice, to ensure that the law is implemented to the letter.”
The governor expressed confidence in the committee’s capacity to nip in the bud issues of violence against persons as its membership includes medical personnel, lawyers, law enforcement agents among other professions.
“I charge you to work as a team and bring your experience to bear on your mandate in the interest of the state. The chairman of this committee has a lot of experience because of what she has been doing in FIDA as well as advocating on gender-based issues in the state.”
In her response, the chairman, Ogbise, expressed the commitment to discharge their mandate in line with the provisions of the Bayelsa State Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law 2021.
Ogbise who thanked the governor, his wife, Dr. Gloria Diri, members of the state assembly for the confidence reposed in them, assured that with their support, they would take the campaign to every nook and cranny of the state.
Other members of the committee are Mrs. Maria Olodi-Osumah (Vice Chairman), Mr. Inatimi Odio (Secretary), Dr. Anne Obuebite, Dr. Omietimi James, and Dr. Arubiosou Ebimobowei.
The committee also has as members Barr. Deme Pamoso, Lady Perekebina Berezi, Bogofanyo Perekibina, Mr Panebi Jacob and Felicia Owei.
Others are Dr. Juliet Teibowei, Mrs Blessing Komonibo, Mary Accra Bekowei, Yemi Atotu, a Superintendent of Police, Grace Richman, Hajia Miriam Abeki and Rosemary Oweifawari.