Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday, led the first all-male walk against s3xual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the state.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, the governor urged all security agencies to come up with evidence against at least 11 individuals in the state, including highly placed individuals, to be used as scapegoats.
He also added that his administration would leave no stone unturned to ensure that all perpetrators of such crimes are made to face the wrath of the law.
The walk witnessed the participation of dignitaries like members of the State Executive Council, members of the State House of Assembly, entertainers, youths, NYSC members, artisans, among others.
Addressing participants at the Lagos House, the governor said it was time for men to stand up and take the bull by the horn in tackling the menace of SGBV in the society, as recent research has shown that women are more prone to being victims of these crimes.
Governor Ambode said, “There is also an evident trend of suppressing the voice of these victims due to the fact that these acts are perpetrated largely by men.
”We should not take for granted the potential exponential effect of having emotionally and psychologically damaged women in a society as the effect could transcend to their children who grow up in an environment, thinking this is the norm.
“The scale of men’s violence against women is enormous and its effect, demoralizing. Men as grandfathers, fathers, brothers, sons, husbands and public advocates have a pivotal role to play in condemning all forms of violence against women, girls and boys.
”We firmly believe that the way forward is to continuously engage the male folk as well as the community as a whole. Community engagement is an essential part of working to prevent and respond to all forms of Gender Based Violence.
”As men, we must stand up and speak in one voice, condemning these acts. No more would we condone or tolerate paedophiles, women beaters and rapists. It is inhumane and totally unacceptable to protect or even ignore such behaviour when we see it manifesting in our environment”.
Governor Ambode urged the participants of the walk to remain ambassadors and flag bearers in the fight against domestic and s3xual violence, ”If we all join hands and speak against this, we can truly make Lagos uncomfortable for perpetrators of these heinous crimes.”
He commended the Lagos State Domestic and S3xual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), organizers of the Walk, as he assured that his administration would continue to do more to ensure the rights and welfare of the most vulnerable in the State are adequately protected.
“I will like you to join hands with me to say no to rapists, say no to women beaters and wherever they are, we know that the Task Force that we have set up will swing into action.
”We are looking for the first 11 scapegoats whether highly or lowly placed in the society. We say no to domestic violence and s3xual abuse,” he added.
Photo Credit: Drabeey