By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos State First Lady Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu on Monday urged students to rise against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).
The governor’s wife gave the advice during an advocacy visit to some public schools, in furtherance of the ongoing 16 days of activism against SGBV.
The schools visited included Dolphin Senior High School and Dolphin Junior High School, Tapa, Lagos Island; under Education District Three; as well as Aje Comprehensive Junior High School and Aje Comprehensive Senior High School, Sabo-Yaba, Lagos; under Education District Four.
She said that the students needed to rise against violence, because of the physical, psychological and emotional trauma that victims passed through, which sometimes leads to death.
According to her, the advocacy visit to schools is aimed at catching the students young and enlightening them on the need to work against all forms of SGBV.
“’As we all know, the world is commemorating the 16 days of activism against SGBV. It commences on Nov. 25 and it will end on Dec. 10, which is Human Rights Day.
“The programme is being championed globally by the UN and our theme this year is ”Orange The World: End Violence Against Women Now,” she said.
Sanwo-Olu said that the advocacy was also championed by the Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum, NGOs and other private individuals and organisations, to ensure that there was zero tolerance to such violence in Nigeria and Lagos in particular.
“For the Office of the Lagos State First Lady, we decided that our advocacy is to do community sensitisation at the grassroots level, which we did on Nov. 29.
“We followed it up with sensitisation visit to our religious leaders in our communities. This is the third way of our advocacy, going into the schools.
“We realised that it is good to catch them young and so when we plant this seed in the children, it will gradually germinate and helps us to ensure that our students have the correct mindset and understand why these vices exist and what the law says about the vices in the country.
“I am happy with the response we are getting. The students are interested in knowing about Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and joining the train to stamp it out in our state.
“We have distributed some resource materials that will help the teachers, the students, and the parents associations in the respective schools to know more and work against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in our communities,” she said.
The governor’s wife donated laptops, industrial cooking gas, and other educational materials to each of the schools, assuring that more schools and other critical organisations would be visited.
Responding on behalf of the students, the Permanent Secretary, Education District III, Dr. Olufolayimika Abiose-Ayandele commended Sanwo-Olu for her interest and passion for the welfare and safety of students in the state.
She said the advocacy visit to schools on the issue of SGBV was another clear testament to government’s commitment to ending the menace of rape, defilement, and all forms of sexual abuse. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)