John Adams, Minna
The Forum of wives of governors of Nigeria’s 19 Northern states arose from its quarterly meeting in Minna, the Niger State capital, on Thursday with a firm resolve to step up its campaign against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the region.
The Forum observed that insecurity in the North has led to a rise in violence against women.
In a communique released at the end of its two-day meeting, the Forum of Northern Governors’ Wives condemned in strong terms the growing rate of insecurity in the region occasioned by the menace of armed bandits which, they believe, has led to an increase in violence against women in the region.
The communique, read by Hajiya Amina Abubakar Bello, the chairperson of the Forum and wife of Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello, pointed out that the growing insecurity in the north has worsened the existing Gender Based Violence targeted at women.
The governor’s wives expressed their willingness to play a part in solving the region’s security challenges by embarking on advocacy in the affected northern states with a view to sensitise women on how to protect themselves against any form of Gender Based Violence.
The Forum also observed with dismay the level of drug abuse among youths in the North, citing it as a contributing factor to the security challenges the region, and calling on concerned authorities to step up the war against the sale, distribution and consumption of illicit drugs in the country.
While applauding the recent decision of the Northern Governors’ Forum to find a permanent solution to the Almajiri phenomenon in the region, the Forum of the governors’ wives expressed its readiness to support their husbands’ refforts in the eradication of the Almajiri system in the north
“As mothers, we are highly disturbed by the growing rate of out-of-school children in the region. It is in this regard that we commend the discussion of the Northern Governors’ Forum to address the issue of Almajiri in the North,” according to the statement.
The climax of the two-day meeting was the commissioning of a social rehabilitation centre built by the Niger State Government 25 years after the project was started.