By Bosede Olufunmi
Kano – The National Human Rights commission has reiterated its commitment to address the challenges of sexual and Gender violence in the country.
The executive secretary of the commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu stated this on Monday during the inauguration of special investigation panel (SIP) on sexual and Gender based violence held in Kano.
According to him, the panel is to promote, protect and enforce the human rights of Nigerians and all living within the country.
“The essence of this public sitting is to check the scourge of sexual and gender based violence in Nigeria and increase access of Nigerians to the services of the commission.
“The inquiry will furthermore provide stakeholders the opportunity to contribute ideas on how best to develop guidelines and policy on sexual and gender based violence for institutions, MDAs, private organisations and homes that can serve as good practices against the backdrop of reported cases of drug abuse.
“The panel has received 113 complaints across the six geo-political zones with South East accounting for the highest number of 35 representing 30 per cent of the total complaints received,” he said.
Ojukwu added that North central accounts for 19; North West has 12; South South has 26; South West 15 and North East four.
The Executive Secretary further explained that the commission has completed its sitting in Abuja, Lagos and Owerri and has recorded successes already where victims of SGBV and other members of the public who submitted memoranda and complaints were heard in closed chambers.
” The commission after its sittings in Kano will replicate the sitting in South South and North East.
“It will enable all victims of SGBV all over the federation to be heard.
“We urge other victims of sexual and gender based violence to forward their complaints to the panel and assure of adequate protection of identity of victims.
In his Goodwill message, the Chief Judge, of the Kano State, Justice Nura Sagir, who was represented at the occasion by Chief Magistrate, Mariam Ahmed said that the judiciary would continue to expedite action on cases of gender based violence.
“Kano and Lagos have more cases of gender based violence and the way to address this is to sensitive and advocate on prevention.
Ahmed said that special medical facility has been established at Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital in the state to cater for medicals for such victims and we would continue to counsel them.
She added that there was the need to sensitise the community to raise more awareness on the issues of sexual and gender based violence.
On his part, Mr Muyhi Magaji the Executive chairman of the State public complaints and Anti- Corruption Commission said that gender based violence should not be limited to husband killing wife or vice versa.
Magaji said that the panel should also include emotional and violence stress as part of the gender based violence which according to him needed urgent attention.