BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
Provision of special budget to key ministries for tackling of Sexual and Gender Based Violence has been identified as a major way of eliminating SGBV cases.
The Osun State Working Group of a non-profit organization, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre made this known during its advocacy visits to the Ministries of Women, Children and Social Affairs, Justice and Health in Osogbo.
At the office of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Children, Women, Children and Social Affairs, Abimbola Babatunde, the State Coordinator of the working group, Mrs Seun Taiwo, said Costed Action Plan remained one of the germane ways of addressing SGBV cases.
Taiwo, alongside other members of the group including Citizen Lola Wey, Mrs Ejiade Bukola and Mrs Ogunniyi Jadesola, noted that aside from the efficient implementation of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law in the state, making the Sexual Assaults Referral Centre at Osun State Specialist Hospital, Osogbo functional and accessible for survivors, the provision of funds for the ministries to work with would go a long a way in fast tracking intervention and quick healing for survivors.
She said social workers in the concerned ministries needed money to move around whenever sexual, gender and domestic violence cases are reported, adding that CAP is very vital for the state government to prioritize.
Mrs Babatunde, while responding, said the ministry had made recommendations for allowances to tackle SGBV cases in its budget and hoping that the funds would be approved in the 2024 budget presented to the state governor, Ademola Adeleke.
She added that she would work with the wife of the governor to bring the SARC functional and accessible to survivors of SGBV cases.
She also identified the place of funds in bringing succour and facilitating speedy justice and emotional stability for survivors of SGBV.
The PS, Mrs Babatunde also promised to ensure that survivors of SGBV who were brought by the NGO to her office get justice.
When the team visited the PS, Ministry of Health, Dr Isiaka Adekunle, he said the budget had already been presented before the State House of Assembly, but that the specific budgeting for SGBV cases would be considered fully next year.
Adekunle also agreed with the need to make the SARC functional.
Taiwo informed the PS, Ministry of Justice, Barrister Adekemi Bello Adejare, of the need to be using VAPP Law in the trial of SGBV cases, stressing that it would bring about speedy justice and healing for survivors and perpetrators would be brought to book on time. She also demanded that the ministry facilitate the creation of designated courts to try SGBV cases so that trials would be speedy.
The WARDC coordinator and other members of the working team, Ogundele Victoria and Ogunrinde Ejibimbe, also emphasised the need for the ministry to have special budget provision to tackle the menace.
Mrs Adejare said the ministry has been making use of VAPP Law to try sexual and gender based violence matters and said the ministry would recommend the CAP agenda to the state government for action.