Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has inaugurated a steering committee on prevention of gender-based violence in the state. Inaugurating the committee, Gov. Ugwuanyi, represented by his deputy, Hon. Mrs. Cecilia Ezeilo, stated that the body is saddled with the sacred mandate of developing and implementing programmes and policies for the prevention of gender-based violence in Enugu State, as well as “the rehabilitation of persons who still fall victim of gender-based violence despite all the preventive measures”.
It would be recalled that the wife of the Enugu State Governor, Mrs. Monica Ugochi Ugwuanyi, had recently campaigned against gender-based violence, calling for an all-inclusive and sustained crusade to stem the tide of domestic violence, sexual abuse, female genital mutilation, public harassment, among other forms of violence against women in the society.
Mrs. Ugwuanyi lamented that the violent behaviour has eaten deep into the fabric of the society, adding that it cuts across most human societies, irrespective of gender.
Speaking further, during the committee’s inauguration, Mrs. Ezeilo pointed out that “the committee must work very hard in order to consign gender-based violence to the dustbins of history in our state, pursuant to the operational policy thrust of the State Tamar Sexual Assault Referral Centre (TARMASAC), the strategy of the United Nations Children’s Fund, the goals of the Child Rights Act and the Universal Sustainable Development Goals No.5”.
The committee’s terms of reference are also to “conduct public awareness campaigns on reporting cases of gender-based violence; provide for the rehabilitation and promotion of the welfare of victims, and develop a gender-based violence prevention sustainable plan for the state through synergy between the private and public sectors”.
The deputy governor, who harped on the enormous soft spot Gov. Ugwuanyi’s administration has for vulnerable groups, such as women, girls and children, expressed optimism that the committee “will give a fresh and very impactful impetus to this clear government mantra towards the protection and preservation of the human dignity of everyone regardless of gender, status or age”.
Members of the committee include the Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, Rt. Hon. Princess Peace Nnaji, who serves as Chairman; the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Miletus Eze; Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze; Commissioner for Information, Nnanyelugo Chidi Aroh; their Health counterpart, Dr. Emmanuel Ikechukwu Obi; Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Command; State Commander, NAPTIP; State Commandant, NSCDC, and Zonal Coordinator, National Human Rights Commission, Enugu.
Others include the Presidents of Catholic Women Organization, Anglican Women Fellowship and Methodist Women Organization; Chairman, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Enugu State; Chairman, Enugu State Traditional Rulers’ Council, HRH Igwe Amb. Lawrence Agubuzu; HRH Igwe Eddy Nweke of Ime-Ama Afor Ugbawka; HRH Igwe Engr. Peter Eje of Ogbodu-Aba Community; President, African Network for the Prevention and Protection of Child Abuse and Neglect, Nigeria Chapter, Prof. Emeritus Peter Ebigbo, and the Executive Director, Global Health Awareness and Research Foundation, Enugu, Prof. Emeritus Obioma Nwoargo.
Also in the list are, the Executive Director, Women Aid Collective, Prof. Joy Ezeilo; Executive Director, Society for Improvement of Rural People; Coordinator, CIRRDOC; Zonal Director, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Enugu; Managing Director, Enugu State Broadcasting Service; Zonal Director, NTA Enugu; Executive Director, Heroine Women Foundation, Enugu, Mrs. Onyinye Mamah, and the Centre Manager, Enugu State Tamar Sexual Assault Referral Centre (TARMA SARC), Ms Evelyn Onah, who serves as Secretary of the Committee.
Responding, the Commissioner for Gender Affairs and Social Development, Princess Nnaji, thanked Gov. Ugwuanyi for finding them worthy to serve in the committee and assured the governor that they will work diligently to actualize the committee’s mandate for the security and wellbeing of the people of Enugu State.