Commendations have poured in for the wife of Akwa Ibom state governor, Her Excellency Dr. Martha Udom Emmanuel, for her vociferous advocacy against sexual and gender based violence and as well the prosecution of offenders of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition VAPP Law in the state.
The Government of Denmark through its Ambassador in Nigeria, Mr. Sune Krogstrup and the United Nations Population Fund representative in Nigeria, Ms Ulla Mueller, gave the commendations during the official unveiling of the translated VAPP Law 2022 in indigenous dialects of Ibibio, Annang, Ekid and Oro at the Government House, Uyo.
In their separate remarks at the event, the special envoys respectively paid special tributes to the governor’s wife for her enormous work in the area of protecting women and child’s rights, and also extended same appreciation to the state government for the prompt domestication of the VAPP Law.
They posited that the legislation has provided a legal framework for the protection of women and children who are at high risk of sexual and domestic violence, adding that their sustained partnership with the state government over the years has yielded positive results especially in the areas of advocacy and prosecution.
“Denmark is currently the global lead on the call to action and protection which is all about ending gender based violence. I am impressed to see the progressive work you have done in salvaging women and children who are the most vulnerable in this area,” Ambassador Krogstrup said.
On her part, the UNFPA country representative, Ms Ulla Mueller had these to say ‘Let me commend you for the enormous work you have done in the state through your office in the area of gender based violence, I must say that I am very impressed by the feedback we have gotten since we arrived the state.’
Responding, the wife of the governor, Her Excellency Dr. Martha Udom Emmanuel, thanked the Danish government and UNFPA for their consistent partnership with the state government in addressing issues of gender mutilation and violence against women in the
She reeled out the scorecard of the work done by the state gender based management committee which was inaugurated by the governor Mr. Udom Emmanuel, saying the committee which she chairs has worked tirelessly to protect the rights of women and the girl-child in line with the existing legislation.
“With your support and partnership, we have been able to achieve much in the area of advocacy, prosecution and empowerment just as you have seen in the pictorials shown. I must thank you for the funding especially in the translation of the VAPP law, even as I still solicit for more of such so we can empower more women who are victims of violence in our state,” Emmanuel noted.
Mrs. Emmanuel furthered that the state government was currently constructing a 30-room apartment and a skill acquisition center which according to her will carter for victims of gender based violence in the state.
Earlier, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Multilateral and Donor Agencies, Mr. Nana Udom while welcoming the special guests, said the state government has enjoyed immense support from the UNFPA and the government of Denmark in the area of gender and sexual productive work, saying with the launch of the VAPP law in the local languages, more grounds would be covered as the language barrier has been broken.
Also speaking, the Secretary of the State Gender Based Management Violence Committee, Barr. Emem Ette in her detailed presentation highlighted the many interventions of the committee and stated that through the support of UNFPA many advocacy and enlightenment programmes have been held in the state which has helped break the culture of silence.
While soliciting for support in the area of training and retraining of medical personnel, Judiciary staff, and law enforcement agents, she informed the visitors that 33 convictions have so far been secured for victims of sexual and domestic abuse while over 271 cases are currently ongoing in the courts.
In attendance at the meeting were Akwa Ibom state government officials, members of the state gender based based management committee and other development partners.