By Chimezie Godfrey
A 208 Bed Transit Home for victims of Domestic Violence and Abuse has been commissioned in Ekiti state by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Sadiya Umar Farouq.
The Transit home which was established to provide life-long skills for Abused Women and Girls and to help them deal effectively with the demands and challenges of life is in partnership with the Ekiti State Government and the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals.
This was disclosed in a statement by the Special Assistant (SA) to the minister, Nneka Anibeze and made available to Newsdiaryonline.
The Minister noted that the commissioning is also part of activities marking 16 days of global campaign against Gender Based Violence in the State.
She congratulated the people and government of Ekiti state for being among the few states to benefit from such intervention.
She said,”This is a clear demonstration of the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration’s commitment to achieving the Global Goals.
“Therefore, this facility is being commissioned at the right time considering the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on women and girls, which led to an increase in gender-based violence during the lockdown.
“Other unexpected outcomes of covid19 include increase in sexual abuse, rape, unintended pregnancy, loss of jobs and poor access to healthcare services “.
Farouq pledged that the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs will continue to develop and support policies that will ensure more protection for women and girls while implementing a broader Social Investment Programme in support of the poor and vulnerable members of the Nigerian society especially women and girls.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria will continue to partner with the sub-national governments to prioritize issues relating to women and girls.
“Mr. President has approved funds to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 which affected women disproportionately. Women have a special place in President Buhari’s Administration, and more resources are being invested to empower women and enable them to achieve their full potentials, support their husbands and the educational development of their children,” she stated.
The minister also advised couples to tolerate each other and always allow peace and tranquility to reign in their homes in order to reduce incidents of gender-based and other forms of violence that may affect the development of children.
In his remark, the Governor of Ekiti state Gov Kayode Fayemi described the Transit Home as a safe haven for women, promising not only to getting justice for victims of Gender Based Violence but also providing immediate succor to enable abused women to get the best out of life.
He said that Ekiti state government will continue to partner with the federal government to achieve zero tolerance to Gender Based Violence across the length and breadth of the country.
“Our approach and response to Gender Based Violence in Ekiti State is not only to convict sexual or violence offenders in the appropriate law courts but also to provide immediate succour for victims.
“Violence against women is a serious violation of human rights. Its impact on victims ranges from physical, sexual and mental consequences to even permanent disabilities.
“In addition, violence affects our women’s well-being and prevents them from full participation in societal development.
“When we all shun violence against women, it will enhance national development”.
The Wife of the Governor Mrs Bisi Adeleye- Fayemi who is also the chairperson of the Gender Based Committee in the State commended the Minister for ensuring the completion of the project while praising Governor Fayemi for recognizing the key role of women in national development.
The 208-Bed Transit Home comprises an Administrative Block, a Crèche, a 250 Seater Conference Hall, 208 Self-Contained Apartments and a Skill Acquisition Centre.
The Humanitarian Affairs Minister also ceased the opportunity to flag off the Rural Women’s Cash Grant in Ekiti state with the distribution of cash to vulnerable women.
At least, 3200 women from 16 local councils in the state are expected to benefit from the one-off cash grant of N20,000 each.