The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Michael Adigu who signed on behalf of the Institution, in a brief remarks expressed hope that the signing of the MOU will call both parties to hard work to ensure full utilization of the benefits of the program.
The Director General of NCWD, Mrs Mary Ekpere-Eta who signed on behalf of the Center also in her brief remarks assured the Vice Chancellor and his team that it will not be business as usual but that the Center will work hard to see to it's success. She's informed her partners that the Center will involve both the office of the First Lady and the Women Affairs Ministry as well as other stakeholders in sending potential students to benefit from the program. The Director General was accompanied to the ceremony by the management staff of the Center.
2. Ochanya's death was a rude awakening for us as a people. It is a wake up call for us to better implement our laws, policies and systems for child protection. Many mothers have condemned the inability and seeming failure of the mother of the House Ochanya lived in and was abused for years by two relations. They have raised an important issue, which is that mothers and adults relations should no longer cover up child molestation and call it a family matter. The time has come for adults to ask kids the right question cases of child abuse, as there are many Ochanyas suffering in silence. Kids should be taught how to avoid lewd adults, they should be educated on how to protect themselves and speak out once an adult takes inappropriate action around them, no matter the threats.
3. Despite the enactment of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act of 2105, which provides punitive measures for offenders of Sexual Based Violence Offenders, its implementation has not had far reaching effect at the grassroot level, as most states of the Federation have not domesticated it. There is therefore need for sustained advocacy and community mobilization to garner support for the domestication of the VAPP Act in all the states, as the law is only operational in the FCT.
4. As it is, it is only Lagos and Ekiti States who maintain a record on Sexual Crime. However, the VAPP Act (2015), section 1(4) provides that: “A Register for convicted sexual offenders shall be maintained and accessible to the public”
5. An identified major challenge to implementing existing laws with regards to Gender Based Violence is the non-availability of a one-stop centre for data on the trends, patterns, features and driving factors behind Gender Based Violence. There is paucity of data on Gender Based Violence. In a bid to improve documentation and set up tracking mechanism for Gender Based Violence; the National Centre for Women Development, (NCWD) the national repository of gender research, documentation and gender databank in Nigeria is creating a Dash Board on Gender Based Violence trends across the country.
6. The Dash Board on Gender Base Violence is to enhance better tracking and prosecuting of offenders, rehabilitating offenders and compensating victims and their families. It will also provide evidence for better planning and programmes on GBV.
7. I therefore call on all relevant agencies with the mandate to document issues relating to women and girls need to assist other stakeholders and duty bearers by supporting the NCWD in the creation of the National Dash-Board on GBV to enable us achieve the afore-stated goals.