Activists in Plateau state embarked on a road walk in Jos, the state capital to protest the increasing rates of gender based violence especially rape in the society.
The protesters are the International Federation of Women Lawyers FIDA, Plateau state branch in collaboration with Nigeria Bar Association NBA, Nigeria Union of Journalists NUJ and Nigeria Association of Women Journalists NAWOJ among many other organization that joined in the walk.
The walk which started from the NUJ state Secretariat, through the Plateau State Specialist Hospital roundabout to the state Assembly premises, saw the activists distributing flyers to motorists, carrying Placards with different inscriptions and chanting “Real Men Don’t Rape, Rapist should be castrated and say No to Rape” among other.
Making their submissions to the speaker of the state assembly, Ayuba Abok who was represented by the only female member in the House and member representing Jos North West, Esther Dusu, FIDA Chairperson, Barr. Mary Izam informed the speaker that they are at the assembly to submit a petition to the Honorable house titled “A call for prompt action to curb the alarming increase of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) cases in Nigeria” for their immediate action.
Some of the demands by the activists include the need for government to declare a state of emergency on gender based violence to curb the menace.
Responding on behalf of the speaker, Mrs. Esther Dusu applauded the groups of the activists especially the men for their concern and solidarity for the women folk, noting that they are fighting a good fight through a right channel.
She said already, there is an existing law on the Plateau which protects the right of a girl child, the law also captured most of what has been said and the establishment of the family court in 2014 was all in respect to addressing such gender based violence in the society.
“I believe that we are working in synergy, we will make sure that the implementation of these laws come to full flesh experiences by all and sundry so that we can atleast, have some rest” she added.
Other leaders who spoke are the NUJ State Council Chairman, Comrade Paul Jatau, NBA Chairman, Barrister Yakubu Bawa who spoke through a representative, NAWOJ Chairperson, Mrs. Jennifer Yerima among other speakers. They all raised their voices against the act and called for stiffer punishment on perpetrators to serve as deterrent to others.
FIDA Chairperson, Barrister Mary Izam presented a certified copy of the petition to the representative of the speaker at the end of the address for onward delivery for immediate action.