18th February, 2022
By Jethro Ibileke
Wife of Edo State Governor, Mrs Betsy Obaseki bagged an award of excellence for her outstanding commitment to the eradication of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
She was presented with the award virtually on Wednesday, by representatives of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).
A Consultant to WFD, Mrs Grace Osakue, presented the award on behalf of the Foundation, during a Zoom meeting held on Wednesday, 16 February 2022.
Mrs Osakue also made an official presentation of a copy of the Policy Brief prepared by the Foundation on Edo State’s handling of gender-based violence, titled “Overcoming the Limitations to the Implementation of the Edo State VAPP Law”.
Experts who worked on the project include Mrs Bunmi Dipo-Salami and Mrs Dorothy Njemanze.
Mrs Bunmi Dipo-Salami, who gave a goodwill message at the Zoom event, disclosed that while gathering data for the Anambra Policy Brief, one of the persons she spoke with said they were trying to adopt the Edo model.
“I must commend Your Excellency for getting the Edo State Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law amended, reviewed; and not only that, for moving Edo State within one year from a State with VAPP law in review, to the model State when it comes to Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law. The effective implementation is highly commended,” she said.
Earlier, the Country Representative of WFD, Mr Adebowale Olorunmola, in his goodwill message, encouraged the Edo First Lady and everyone present at the Zoom meeting to use the Policy Brief “in such a way that our girls and our women can be sure that they have a community where their rights and their person is protected against all forms of violence.”
In her acceptance speech, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, dedicated the award to all Governors’ Wives, because, because, according to her, “we are in this together.”
“At the time that we started this fight in June 2020, we had just about 14 States that had domesticated the VAPP Law. A year and a half later, as we speak today we have about 32 States that have come to the point of domestication, some waiting for assent.
“This was all as a result of one attempt at cooperating to fight a common enemy. And this has changed the whole space of GBV in the country.
“It attests to the fact that once we resolve as a group to come together to tackle a problem, there is no limit to how successful we can become,” she said.
In attendance at the Zoom meeting were the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu, his wife, Maryann Shaibu and over 50 Civil Society Practitioners and government functionaries in Nigeria and overseas.