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RELIGIOUS & TRADITIONAL LEADERS ADDED THEIR VOICE -CALL TO ACTION ON ENDING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA.

ADDED VOICE FROM RELIGIOUS & TRADITIONAL LEADERS CALL TO ACTION ON ENDING GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN NIGERIA.

 

GENDER_BASED VIOLENCE MUST STOP SAYS TRADITIONAL & RELIGIOUS LEADERS

 

As the Ulamans and the Traditional/Cultures custodians met for Northern Traditional and Religious Leaders Summit on Ending Gender-Based Violence: with the Theme:’ Moving from Awareness to Taking Action’ the summit had several presentations from women group NGOs, Legal NGOs, and Academia, in addressing the increase in gender-based violence in the country. Different speakers came up with views and opinions on what needs to be done by both the traditional and religious leaders.

 

This event is the first of its kind because the religious and traditional leaders took a step further in having to discuss the root causes of gender-based violence in the society and discussed the issue of silence when the matter concerned households or spouses, way forward, and solutions were taken from all the participants.

 

In the words of His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar III, that resonates in the hall as he called ‘perpetrators of rape as a mad and sick human being who should not be allowed roaming the streets in our society. 

 

He said women should be respected and protected, and that government should do more by ensuring that those who perpetuate are given stiffer penalties by the law.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, and the UN Deputy Secretary-General, Mrs. Amina Mohammed have all said violence against women and girls must stop in Nigeria for the country to make any meaningful progress.

 

Speaking in a similar vein, CAN President, Ayokunle, stated: “The abuse of the girl-child and the vulnerable must no longer continue in our own time.

 

Vice President of Nigeria, represented by the Hon. Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, expressed gratitude to the traditional institution for standing up on the issues of gender-based violence and that government is concern over the increasing violence reported during this COVID 19 pandemic.

 

During her welcome address, Ms. Ulla Mueller UNFPA Resident Representative urged the gathering to take action in getting a solution to gender-based violence in communities, she added that we in UNFPA are convinced that the august body of influential religious and traditional leaders can change this by simply lending their voice to the promotion of social values related to equity, inclusion, justice, respect, dignity for all. UNFPA is pleased and privileged to support this important engagement with religious and traditional leaders on how to effectively leverage their experience in a holistic manner to lead, guide, inspire and direct millions of people to foster and care as well as strengthening positive values for better moral leadership behaviors.

 

Ulla Mueller called on the council of traditional leaders to champion the cause. She reiterated UNFPA’s commitment to strengthen partnerships, support avenues for sharing experience and best practice, and support implementation of a call to action that identifies concrete decisions that will enhance the wellbeing of women, girls, and young people in Nigeria.