By Stephen Adeleye
Lokoja, Dec. 10, 2020 The International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA Nigeria), has restated her commitment to protecting, promoting and preserving the rights of woman and children by providing free legal representation and advice to survivors of Rape and other Gender-based Violence (GBV).
The statement was read at a press conference in Lokoja by the Chairperson of FIDA in Kogi, Ajuma Lilian Okolo, to mark this year’s ”16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence (GBV)”, with the theme: “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect”.
According to Okolo, FIDA Nigeria remains committed to protecting, promoting and preserving the rights of woman and children and will continue to provide free legal representation and advice to survivors of Rape.
”This year has been a challenging year in the world with the Covid-19 Pandemic and then in Nigeria came the #EndSARS/Police Brutality protests which resulted in crises and curfews nationwide causing further distress to the vulnerable in society.
”In all of this, FIDA Nigeria acted in line with the theme for this year – we Funded, supported Programs, responded to calls, and strived to Prevent all forms of GBV against the vulnerable in society.
She stressed that ending gender-based discrimination and violence remained a global priority that requires collective action, as the world marks this year’s 16 days of Activism against gender-based violence,
”This call is imperative as the rate of violence has escalated due to the COVID-19 pandemic and other related reasons, reports clearly show an alarming increase in the already existing pandemic of violence against women and children.
”The UN Secretary-General in delivering his report on, “Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19″ stated that” Accompanying the crisis has been a spike in domestic violence reporting, at exactly the time that services, including rule of law, health and shelters, are being diverted to address the pandemic”, Okolo said.
She noted that FIDA Nigeria in her bid to curb the high rate of GBV during the lockdown engaged in different programs, ranging from press releases/conference, advocacy visits to Attorney Generals, IGP & Media Houses), sensitizations, Rallies and social media campaigns.
She added that FIDA was putting together a project to provide access of justice at the grassroots level for victims of Genderbased violence by training paralegals.
She called on the support of the Federal and State Governments to fund the project in addition to the establishment of Gender Desks at police stations and the Ministry of Justice with trained personnel for accelerated treatment of cases.
”We insist on the implementation of all legislation related to gender-based violence”, Okolo said.
The group subsequently visited Stagi Cornerstone Orphanage at Yekope Christian Ministries, Adankolo Lokoja, where they donated items such as rice, indomie, clothes, toys, toiletries, disinfectant, detergent, shoes, among others.
The items were received by Mrs Clara Owoshaga on behalf of the orphanage, who commended FIDA for the good gesture especially towards the orphans in the society, and urged other groups and individuals to emulate same.
Other FIDA Kogi executive at the event were: Secretary, Kemi Omeiza Usman; Treasurer, Brenda Maisaje; PRO, Bimbo Adedeji; Asst Sec., Mercy Tseja; and Zonal representative of FIDA National, Mrs Tina Tim’s Ejiga, and other members.