Wife of Enugu State Governor, Mrs. Monica Ugochi Ugwuanyi, has decried the prevailing rate of gender-based violence (GBV) in the country, especially during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Mrs. Ugwuanyi, therefore, called on victims of to always speak out and not to be intimidated by keeping quiet while perpetrators go scot-free.
The Enugu Governor’s wife made the call during this month’s women’s prayer rally held at the Michael Okpara Square, Enugu, yesterday, where she flagged off a 16-day of activism to enlighten rural dwellers on the negative consequences of gender-based violence, rape and other acts of domestic abuse, as well as the need for the victims to speak out for possible assistance.
Mrs. Ugwuanyi explained that the 16 days of activism will enable the organisers to touch all the local government areas and communities in the state to further sensitise the people on gender-based violence, stressing that “no knowledge is a waste.”
She disclosed that the Nigerian governors’ wives, concerned about the increasing rate of gender-based violence in the country during the COVID-19 lockdown, which forced victims and their perpetrators to stay together, came together and prevailed on their husbands (governors) to declare a state of emergency on GBV through adequate sensitisation.
“Today, in all the states of the federation, we (governors’ wives) are going round our different communities especially those hard to reach areas to carry out this sensitisation exercise.
“That is why today (yesterday), I am flagging it off for our chairpersons, the council chairmen’s wives, so that they will start the 16 days of activism.
“We are not going to sit in Enugu and do the 16 days of activism. We are now going to do it in all the LGAs by involving all our communities and engaging their leaders; traditional rulers; all those stakeholders these perpetrators go to when the chips are down; all those who rescue them (perpetrators); and all those who are being influenced by the perpetrators and allow the perpetrators to go scot-free for them to continue perpetrating their wicked acts.
“So, we are going into the communities to sensitise our people. We have flagged it off today (yesterday) in Enugu, different local government areas will continue with the activities until the next 16 days,” Mrs. Ugwuanyi said.
In her speech, the Director, Department of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Ministry of Justice, Enugu State, Barr. Ngozi Catherine Ikem Okoye, thanked Mrs. Ugwuanyi for her passion and commitment to the wellbeing of the women and children of the state, especially the widows and the less privileged in the society.
Barr. Okoye prayed that the legacies and foundations the Enugu governor’s wife has laid will be sustained after her husband’s tenure ends next year.
On her part, Evangelist Mrs. Favour Ugwuanyi harped on the need for unrelenting prayers, meditation, church attendance and other religious activities for God’s continued blessings and intervention in the individual and collective interest of the women of Enugu State as well as the peace and progress of the state.
Wife of the Speaker, Enugu State House of Assembly, Lady Princess Akunna Ubosi and wives of the council chairmen were among the dignitaries at the event.