BY TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The wife of the Osun State Governor, Mrs Ngozi Adeleke, has said the biting economic hardship in Nigeria is partly responsible for the violence and aggressive attitudes most men now exhibit in their respective homes.
She lamented the rising rate of domestic violence in the country and appealed to men to resist the frustration that the harsh economic reality in the country could cause.
The governor’s wife made this known while reacting to some cases of gender based violence brought to her by a non-governmental organisation in the state.
Some of the cases brought by the NGO, Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre included a case of a female teenager who was defiled and raped by her teacher, the case of a female civil defence officer in the state who was serially beaten and injured allegedly by her former husband, Seun Ekundayo popularly known as DJ Bassman; and a lady who was assaulted and injured by her estranged fiance, Mr. Olaitan Oluwaseyi, among others.
Mrs Adeleke attributed the alarming rate of violence and assault at homes to the aggressive and violent postures of men who had allowed poverty and hardship get to their behavioural patterns.
She said, “It is disheartening that all these (GBV cases) are happening under our nose. It is really bad that violence is everywhere now. We know that poverty can drive men crazy but it should not be to the level of beating up a woman.
“It is terrible. This hardship in the land is making domestic violence skyrocket. Poverty and hardship affecting men, making them crazier. It is getting messier everyday and it is a sorry situation. It is really bad.
“Men that are here, I want to urge you to talk to your friends, male folks that it is very absurd for a man to kick a woman. It is not proper.”
In specific response to the cases brought before her, the wife of the governor called on the womenfolk to shun toxic relationships and marriage.
“Don’t wait till you are killed in relationships. Walk out of toxic relationships. Women are dying because of children but I want you to walk away, out of violent marriage. Save yourself from such marriage. The moment your husbands beat you up, leave the marriage. Once a boyfriend beats you in a relationship, run away from the relationship,” she told the violence victims.
To the NGO team, Mrs Adeleke said, “Be sure that your request will be channeled to appropriate quarters. I will discuss it with my husband, Ministry of Children and Women Affairs and the Speaker of the Osun House of Assembly for necessary actions.”
WARDC had urged the state government and other relevant authorities to ensure efficient implementation of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law in the state and also create special courts for speedy trial of gender based violence cases.