By Shola Akingboye, 27th March, 2021
The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Mr Tony Ojikwu Esq has called on all stakeholders to join hands with the Commision in the protection of women and girls rights against gender based violence in the country, wants stakeholders to look in the direction of empowerment of the survivors as an elixir to end the scourge in the land.
Speaking at the Food Fair and exhibition spotlight initiative, jointly organised by UN/UNDP as an empowerment initiative to herald the graduation event for women and girls who have just concluded the three months training under the Redish culinary training programme in Abuja on Friday, the Chief human right officer of the country lauded the initiative by the global body.
While described UN-UNDP as partners in progress, the ES juxtaposed the Spotlight Initiative with similar initiative of the Commission that has begun in some parts of the country which he said no one has done such thing in Nigeria in the past.
“I represents the interest of everybody here present as far as issues of human rights is concern.
“Because of importance attached by the Commission to issues of gender based violence, the Commission has commence what we called ‘Public Hearing on SGBV’, it has never happen in this country before.” The ES enthused.
According to him, Public Hearing on SGBV is an initiative of the Commission directed towards giving voice to the unheard victims of gender based violence in the country.
Ojukwu further passed the bulk of gender based violence on stigmatisation associated with the scourge and manners in which the perpetrators escapes justice.
” The fact is we need to change the narrative. What sustains SGBV is that victims of gender base violence don’t have a voice. They are victimised, stigmatised and perpetrators escape justice.
” So we tend to hold perpetrators accountable, so that victims can have confidence on how to raise their voice with assurance they will get assistance.
” We have traversed this country, we are in Enugu, Ebonyin, Cross Rivers, Rivers; all is trying to deal with issues of complaint about SGBV.”He Added.
As parts of integral agenda of the Commission’s schedules under the initiative, Ojukwu reveals the empowerment agenda.
” We discovered that simple empowerment would have taken most of the propensity to be violated.
“We see how we could empowers the survivors so that the propensity to violate them will be highly reduced.
“So what is happening today is that empowerment of survivors is critical to stamping out gender based violence.
” I really commend the UN/UNDP spotlight initiative for this, and NHRC has also contributed some of the survivors who have benefitted from the programme today.” The ES NHRC opined.
While calls on beneficiaries of the Spotlight Initiative by UNDP to make good use of it to improve their lives, he calls on stakeholders and all other partners to borrow a leaf from UNDP initiative and join hands with the Conmissionso to stamped out the issue of SGBV in Nigeria.