From: Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, on Wednesday, declared that men who are fond of beating their wives will henceforth face prosecution and be treated as criminals in the state.
Amosun gave this declaration when he spoke at the June 12 Cultural Centre, Abeokuta, after an advocacy walk against gender-based violence organised by Women Arise in conjunction with the state government.
Earlier, the Founder of Women Arise, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, Governor Ibikunle Amosun, his wife, Olufunso, members of the state executive council and other civil society organisations, had embarked on the advocacy walk, starting from the Government House, through Omida, Ibara, Oke-Ilewo and terminated at the Cultural Centre.
Also, some Nollywood actors who are ambassadors of campaign against gender-based violence, joined the awareness walk.
Addressing the gathering, the governor said women play a pivotal role in nation building and democracy noting any form of violence against women is violence against humanity.
He pointed out that anyone who violates the rights of women is a criminal and must be prosecuted adding Ogun will no longer tolerate such heinous act.
Amosun said: “Anyone that violates the rights of women is a criminal, he must be prosecuted. We will not tolerate violence against women. We say capital no to rape, women battery, assault, child abuse and kidnapping of women. Everyday we are witnessing domestic violence against women; women being beaten to a stage of coma. This is not right.
“Women are our wives, they are our daughters and mothers, we must take care of them. When the home is okay, the local government will be okay, when this is okay, state will be okay and the nation will be okay. Thank God our lawmakers are here, they will expedite a bill on violence against women. As a government, we will support initiative like this, when there is no violence of any form in the state investors will come.
In her remark, the wife of the governor, Mrs. Olufunso Amosun, described women as nation builders and thus be protected from abuse and violence.
Also speaking, the convener of the advocacy walk, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, said the walk was to create awareness on violence against women such as rape, battery, domestic violence, assault and other forms of abuses.
She further said that one out of three women in Nigeria suffers abuse and said no fewer than five deaths were recorded in Lagos last year from violence against women.
“Men have become weapons of human destruction. We are sounding the warning to wife beaters that impunity will not longer be tolerated. Marriage should be seen by couples as being complementary and not competition.
Women must speak out or they die,” Odumakin stated.