The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, has charged the FCT Social Development Secretariat to give special attention to the issue of violence against women and children in the FCT.
The Minister gave this charge while inaugurating the FCT Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team and the Gender Based Violence Referral Centre in Abuja.
Malam Bello, who noted that the FCT ranked high among areas with prevalent cases of domestic and gender based violence, said with the right political will and cooperation among all stakeholders, a lot could be achieved to contain the scourge.
He expressed gratitude to the office of the Vice President for initiating a national discourse on domestic and sexual violence, which culminated in this initiative being embarked upon by the FCT Administration.
According to him, “What we really need to do is to make sure that we all work together and I can assure you that with the right political will which is already on at the federal and FCT levels, if we get the right commitment from all offices, I think in a very short time, we will be able to achieve a lot.”
Malam Bello added, “As difficult as this activity may appear to be, as long as you have pockets of success and it is well documented and publicized, that opens up a lot of confidence in what can be done and more importantly, gives people hope that whatever happens to a person, you always have a place where you will receive a listening ear, guidance and counseling, above all resolution of problems.”
The Minister also called for the right attitude and efforts from other stakeholders to make the Referral Centre a success because the menace must be tackled headlong.
His words: “The capacity is there, the knowledge is there, the institutional support is there. If we really create time and look at this, I assure you we are going to achieve a lot of successes.”
Speaking earlier, the Acting Secretary, Social Development Secretariat, Mrs. Elegbede Irene Adebola said the Referral Centre enjoys the support of the Presidency, Agencies, Departments, NGOs, among others as anchoring partners.
She said domestic and sexual violence happens among the low and high, the educated and uneducated in the society and therefore called for concerted efforts.
“In FCT, in the course of our service delivery in the Social Development Secretariat, we are confronted almost on daily basis with myriads of gender-based violence within and among families, siblings and within neighborhoods,” she stated.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Director-General of Legal Aid Council, Mrs. Joy Bob-Manuel commended the political will the FCT Minister has given to the fight and assured that her organization will complement the efforts of the FCT Administration in this direction.
The FCT Permanent Secretary, Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye and other top officials of the office of the Vice President as well as those of the FCT Administration attended the inauguration to showcase their support against the bane.
Muhammad Hazat Sule, FCAI
Deputy Director / Chief Press Secretary,