PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY DISE SHEILA OGBISE-ERHISERE, ESQ., CHAIRPERSON, FIDA BAYELSA AT THE ROAD WALK AGAINST GENDER BASED VIOLENCE ON FRIDAY 24TH FEBRUARY, 2017 IN YENAGOA
With a grateful heart and joy, I welcome and sincerely thank our esteemed guests, Gender Champions as I choose to call them today for embarking on this road walk from the Ekeki Motor Park. I want to specially appreciate and thank the following persons for their support,Hon. (Pastor) Peter Akpe, Leader Bayelsa State House of Assembly, the Honourable Commissioner for Youths Development, Hon. Collins Cocodia, Hon, (Princess) Ingo Iwowari-Gold, and Hon. Jonathan Obuebite, Honourable Commissioner for Information and Orientation as well as Mr. Preye Agedah, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Bayelsa State.
Let me also thank all the General Managers of the various media stations in Bayelsa State for their media support and coverage and to everyone who had made this programme a success, may the Almighty God bless you graciously and bountifully.
However, the reason for the work comes with a mixed feeling of pain, sorrow and tears.
FIDA Nigeria is a corporate member of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, (FIDA), a body of female lawyers dedicated to the protection of the rights of women, children and other vulnerable groups in local societies worldwide.
May, I use this medium to commend and give kudos to the media in Bayelsa State for their prompt reporting of Gender based violence. The statistics of rape, violence against women and children is alarming, disheartening and threatening to the survival of our children and women, thus the need for this Roadwalk against Gender Based violence in the state.
Just a week ago, we organized a workshop with media, medical practitioners and survivors of Gender Based Violence GBV as part of our intervention strategies to reduce the pyramid of violence cases.
Therefore, this Roadwalk is a follow-up strategy aimed at bringing relevant stakeholders, top government officials and survivors to condemn GBV. GBV is destructive and a threat to society. Our hope is that perpetrators of these heinous crimes will desist from it.
This walk is also a warning signal to perpetrators of violence against women and children that the ‘game has changed’ and it will not be business as usual as we shall pursue and prosecute all perpetrators of GBV in court.
Recently, a woman walked into the secretariat with a 9-year old girl that was being consistently defiled by her father for over four years. We all broke into tears.
A young man in this state believes that he cannot be touched by the law and he has been going about raping innocent girls, stealing their virginity and money in the name of modeling. The law shall soon catch up with him.
Ladies and gentlemen, our state is a small one, we cannot afford to be in the news for the wrong reasons, it is time to wake up and say No to all forms of gender based violence against women and children.
Since, I was elected as Chairperson of FIDA Bayelsa in August 2015, we have passionately pursued cases in court involving children and women. I must commend the relentless efforts of members of the Case Track Committee, Siya Amaso Daniels, Mercy Ayaowei, Ebimietei Ekeowei Ottah, Pere Amoru and many others who out of their benevolence take up cases pro bo no and ensure the complainants get justice.
So far, we have had over ten judgments from the courts, through mediation and
arbitration, we have restored families. However, more needs to done, therefore we solicit for your kind support in cash and kind to properly prosecute these cases.
On this note, may I thank you, for finding time to join in this Road Walk and may your commitment be strong towards ending all forms of Gender Based violence in our dear state.
Dise Sheila Ogbise-Erhisere,Esq
Chairperson, FIDA Bayelsa
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