Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State on Thursday inaugurated the Momentum Country and Global Leadership (MCGL) project to counter the growing Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases in the state.
The project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), was launched on Aug. 3 in Nigeria by Vice PresidentYemi Osinbajo, to prevent and respond to GBV in Sokoto and Ebonyi States.
Tambuwal, represented by the state Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Isah Bajini-Galadanchi, reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to the prevention and elimination of GBV in the state.
“GBV is a global pandemic, deeply rooted in gender inequality, and is fundamentally a human rights violation.
“However, it is pertinent to note that gender-based violence has no social or economic boundaries. It is present in all countries, rich and poor, and affects all socioeconomic groups.
“In Sokoto State, available records show that GBV is still prevalent. Statistics for 2020/2021 reveal that in the state no fewer than 700 persons experienced one form of GBV or the other.
“We are pleased that USAID, being a responsive donor over the years, has taken the bull by the horn by committing funds to address this ugly trend,” he said.
The governor expressed excitement that Sokoto state was one out of only two states in Nigeria benefiting from the grant.
He added that the state government was making efforts and providing resources to address the issue of GBV, while calling on the people of the state to join hands in ending all forms of violence against persons in the state.
The MCGL team leader in Sokoto State, Dr Bello Kabir, said that the project was a four-year programme targeting 11 local government areas of the State.
He listed Wamakko, Kebbe, Sokoto South, Gwadabawa, Binji, Shagari, Bodinga, Kware, Gada, Tangaza and Illela as the benefitting local government areas.
“We are targeting major contributors to maternal mortality and morbidity through preventing and mitigating the consequences of violence against women and girls.
“The project will achieve this goal by supporting laws, policies, guidelines and strategies that address Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), Sexual Violence (SV), Child Early and Forced Marriage (CEFM) and early adoption of family planning,” he said.
The Chairman of the State GBV task force, Prof. Sambo Junaidu, said that the state government in collaboration with the Sultanate Council had strengthened measures toward ending all forms of GBV.
“The Sultan of Sokoto has warned that any traditional leader who is involved in settlement of GBV cases among his subjects will automatically be dethroned.
“Any person involved in GBV case must be taken to court and be prosecuted according to the law of the land,” he said.
Junaidu, who is the Waziri of Sokoto, commended the state government and other development partners for their collective commitment toward addressing the ugly trend of GBV.
The state Commissioner for Women and Children Affairs, Hajiya Kulu Sifawa, commended the donor agency for choosing Sokoto state for the project.
Sifawa pledged her ministry’s cooperation toward ensuring the success of the assignment, while calling on the people of the state to continue to support government on its mandate to address GBV.
Also speaking, the Sexual Reproductive Analyst, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Sokoto, Mrs Gloria Enueze, congratulated USAID-MCGL for the initiative.
She said the initiative was timely, particularly at this time that there was an increase in GBV cases in the state. (NAN)