Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday urged victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse not to be afraid to speak out and seek help, vowing that the State Government will ensure that perpetrators of such heinous crimes are prosecuted in line with relevant laws.
The Governor, who spoke at the closing ceremony of the 20th edition of the National Women Conference of the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) which was held virtually, vowed that his administration would do everything possible to ensure that victims expeditiously get the necessary support to overcome the psychological trauma associated with the abuse.
The Governor commended COWLSO for playing up the issue of domestic violence and rape through the conference, just as he assured that the State Government remained committed to the implementation of the Child Rights Act.
“Let me assure you that our administration remains committed to the implementation of the Child Rights Act and we will continue to maintain a zero-tolerance for sexual and domestic violence.
“We will not relent until child abuse, domestic violence and other related acts are totally eradicated in our communities and in Lagos State as a whole. All the perpetrators will be prosecuted and victims will expeditiously get the necessary support to overcome the psychological trauma associated with the abuse,” he said.
Noting that victims must summon the courage to speak out, the Governor said nothing could justify the crimes of domestic violence and sexual assault and urged members of the public to report cases of abuse in their areas.
Speaking on the 2-day conference, Sanwo-Olu said there was no doubt that participants had picked up some new skills and knowledge, advising them to deploy such training for the benefit of the society.
“There is no doubt these last two days, you have done what you do best. You have unlearned, learn and relearn again. I commend and thank every one of the participants in the last two days. I also want to enjoin you to consolidate on the knowledge and skills that you have been able to gather in the last two days.
“We have talked about all the new norms and I am sure you have done justice to your theme for this conference. I am sure also that as you go on and you go back home, the learning will stay with you and you will certainly be able to demonstrate it in your workplace, in your marketplace and in your various places of endeavour and your various places of influence.
“I want to believe that by the time we are back again next year, it will be for good tidings and all of us will bring back the learning and it will be another time to come together again,” he said.
In his remarks, the Guest of honour, Governor Sanni Bello of Niger State advocated a return to the time when the society collectively raise children in various communities, saying it was important to address most of the fundamental challenges confronting the country.
Bello, who joined the virtual conference, congratulated COWLSO for successfully hosting the event, saying the topics discussed were highly revealing and educative.
Earlier, Chairman of COWLSO and First Lady of Lagos State, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu said this year’s edition of the conference with the theme – “Exploring The Possibilities In A New World,” was the first time the annual conference would be held virtually in line with safety regulations to ward off the spread of global Covid-19 pandemic.
She said the number of participants that joined the virtual conference was encouraging, and that it was the signs of adapting to the new norms necessitated by the pandemic.
Besides, the First Lady urged people to pay attention to their mental health as much as they do for their physical health, saying it was medically possible for someone to be physically stable but mentally sick.