…Takes Advocacy Against Sexual And Gender-Based Violence To Schools
Lagos State First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu on Monday commiserated with the parents of the 12-year-old student of Dowen College, Lekki in Lagos, Sylvester Oromomi who died last week, describing it as heartbreaking.
Already, the state government has sealed off the college following the gruesome death of Oromomi, who was a boarding student of the college.
Speaking during an advocacy visit to some schools in furtherance of the ongoing 16 Days of activism against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, the First Lady described the incident as unfortunate, saying never again should it reoccur in the state.
“I am aware that the Lagos State Government is at the moment investigating the incident and honestly it is something we are not very happy about. It’s a big slap on the face of the education sector, the community, and Lagos State as a whole.
“It is a case that is being investigated and for the parents and everybody involved, honestly, we commiserate with them and send our condolences.
“As I said, the case is being investigated and I will not be able to say much on it at the moment,” Sanwo-Olu said.
She said the advocacy visit to schools was aimed at catching the students young and enlightening them on the need to work against all forms of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
“As we all know, the world is commemorating the 16 days of activism against SGBV. It commences on November 25 and it will end on December 10 which is Human Rights Day. The program is being championed globally by United Nations and our theme this year is “Orange The World: End Violence Against Women Now.”
“The advocacy is also being championed by the Nigeria Governors’ Wives Forum, NGOs and so many other private individuals and organizations to ensure that there is zero tolerance to gender-based violence all over Nigeria and Lagos in particular,” she said.
She explained that the visit to the respective schools was the third leg of the advocacy efforts, saying that a similar enlightenment program had been held for the community groups and religious leaders by her office.
“For the Office of the Lagos State First Lady, we decided that our advocacy is to do community sensitization at the grassroots level which we did on November 29 and then we followed it up with sensitization visit to our religious leaders in our communities. This is the third way of our advocacy, going into the schools.
“We realized that it is good to catch them young and so when we plant this seed in the children, it will gradually germinate and it helps us to ensure that our students have the correct mindset and understand why these vices exist and what the law says about the vices in the country.
“I am happy with the response we are getting. The students are interested in knowing about Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and joining the train to stamp it out in our state. We have distributed some resource materials that will help the teachers, the students, and the parents Associations in the respective schools to know more and work against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in our communities,” she said.
The schools visited include Dolphin Senior High School and Dolphin Junior High School, Tapa, Lagos Island under Education District Three; as well as Aje Comprehensive Junior High School and Aje Comprehensive Senior High School, Sabo-Yaba, Lagos under Education District Four.
The First Lady donated laptops, industrial cooking gas, and other educational materials to each of the schools, just as she assured that more schools and other critical organizations would be visited.
Responding on behalf of the students, Permanent Secretary, Education District III, Dr. Olufolayimika Abiose-Ayandele commended the First Lady for her interest and passion for the welfare and safety of students in the state.
She said the advocacy visit to schools on SGBV by the First Lady was another clear testament to her commitment to ending the menace of rape, defilement, and all forms of sexual abuse in the state.
The event was also attended by representatives of the Parents Forum, Old Students Associations, Community Leaders, and stakeholders in the be education sector, while there was a special SGBV Talk by Programme Manager of Youth Empowerment Foundation, Mrs. Morenike Omiagboje; and Programme Manager of Women Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON), Mrs Atinuke Ogunbayo.