By Sylvia Akpan, Government House Correspondent
As part of ways to mark the 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence, the wife of Cross River State Governor, Rev. Eyoanwan Otu has marked the day with other Non Governmental Organizations ( NGOs) to end Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the State.
The theme for the year’s activism is ‘Unite, Invest to prevent violence against women and girls’. And the activity kicked off at the zoo garden by Mary Slessor down to the 11-11 roundabout.
Hon. Edema Irom, Commissioner for Women Affairs declared the event opened as various NGOs such as the United State Agency for International Development, USAID, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, NAWOJ among others were out in numbers to mark the activism.
Speaking at the event, Rev. Eyoanwan Otu, narrated what brought about the 16 days of activism. “16 women were killed, brutally murdered for the sake of speaking out women and girls and the vulnerable, and for that reason, we make it a duty and routine to remember them every 10th of December, 25th November to 10th of December.
“I want to let you know that this government is inclusive. The governor in his sweetness promised to establish a commission for those living with disability and I can assure you that it is already in process and women will play a very prominent role in the commission because when you build the woman, you build the nation.
“Women are very dear, considerate, sensitive, sweet, and lovers of people. If you give a woman an assignment, go to sleep and know that the assignment will be done.
“We are in the process of establishing Sexual and Gender Based Violence, SGBV, across the 18 Local Government Areas so this is assuring and hope lifting that all will be well.
“For those living with disabilities, everyone has disabilities. Some of you are disabled in the pockets, some are disabled in the spirit of anger while some are disabled with the spirit of hatred, envy, jealousy, pull ber down syndrome, among others.
“As we retire, ask God to help you disable your disability.”
In an interview, Rekpene Uket, Chairman, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists, (NAWOJ) Cross River State averred that “We are here as part of the activities marking the 16 days of activism against Gender-Based Violence (NAWOJ) Cross River State is suing for the enforcement the Violence Against Persons Prohibition, (VAPP) Law. It has been in existence since 2021 and we are trying to advocate and sensitize the public about the provisions of this law and the penalties that have been spelled out for perpetrators.
“We are also calling on the Ministry of Justice to expedite action on GBV cases to give us speedy dispensation of justice.”