Recently in Lagos, a symposium tagged ‘It’s on us to end violence against women and children’ organised by Access Bank’s Financial Control and Strategy Group in collaboration with Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, was held at the Lagos head office of the bank. The symposium was organised to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and 16 days of activism against gender violence.
A human right activist Mr Femi Falana, SAN, who was the guest speaker at the event, said that cultural and religious institutions, in the country especially churches and mosques, are the greatest promoters of sexual and domestic violence.
Falana also said that he would challenge cultural practices such as the Oro Festival in court because of their tradition of limiting women’s mobility through acts of violence in Ikorodu, Lagos and some other parts of the South west
Those present at the event included: Access Bank’s chairperson, Mrs Mosun Belo-Olusoga, Group Managing Director, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, Lagos Attorney-General, Adeniji Kazeem, the state’s Solicitor-General, Funlola Odunlami and Lagos police boss, Fatai Owoseni. Falana accused some religious leaders of trivialising sexual and domestic offences, stating that when such leaders are implicated in such acts, their followers gang up against the victims for daring to make a complaint.
Many advocacy groups amongst which is the Project Help-a-Child Global Campaign team were also present to give colour to the event. The forum provided an opportunity for stakeholders to network and synergize on how best to tackle the menace of domestic violence against women and children in Nigeria
Azemobor Gregory, the coordinator of the Project-Help-a- Child team in a chat with VOCNEWS, enjoined Nigerians to imbibe the virtue of love as a lifestyle in their interactions with one another. He noted that if people treat each other with love, the incidences of domestic violence will be drastically reduced in our society.