Wife of the President, Aisha Buhari, has decried the increasing rate of gender-based violence (GBV) especially those committed against young women.
She said this yesterday when members of the FGGC Gboko Old Girls’ Association took their advocacy on “#JusticeforOchanya” to the Aso Villa State House, Abuja.
13-year-old Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje reportedly died last month in Benue as a result of complications arising from years of sexual violence she experienced from her guardian and his son.
Addressing the protesters, Mrs Buhari called on mothers to break the culture of silence and report cases of abuse against their children.
“The unfortunate fate of Ochanya Ogbanje shows how women suffer high levels of risk at the family and community level especially in the hands of close relations. This barbaric culture, which destroys those who are supposed to be protected, is neither Nigerian nor African,” she said.
She averred that protecting women and girls from all forms of violence is part of government’s obligation to protect life and property of citizens as provided in the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act of 2015
She lamented the dearth of data on the trends, patterns, features and driving factors behind gender based violence.
The President’s wife called for the establishment of a tracking mechanism through a National Dash Board on Gender-Based Violence trends across the country to better track efforts at prosecuting and rehabilitating offenders, as well as compensating victims and their families.
She urged the Inspector-General of Police to expedite action on the arrest and prosecution of all those involved in the murder of Ochanya.
Earlier, the leader of the team, Dr. Ngozi Azodo, said the circumstances of Ochanya’s death has brought home the reality and magnitude of the sexual abuse of minors in our societies, and that the biggest justice for Ochanya is the assured protection of every single child to ensure that never again, will another child no matter their place in society have to endure what Ochanya endured.
She commended the show of indignation by Nigerians over what happened to Ochanya and called for concerted action to end the evil trend.
She also called for the proper utilisation of the platform of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence set aside by the United Nations, and commencing on the 25th November, 2018 to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.