By: AISHA SAAD
The Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Dame- Pauline Tallen and EU-UN Ambassadors held a townhall meeting with the beneficiaries of Spotlight initiative in Adamawa State, at Women Development Centre, Yola.
The meeting was aimed at accessing the success stories from the beneficiaries of Spotlight initiative through the community surveillance team, results from forensic laboratory, number of gender based violence cases recorded in the State, reports from safe space centres, beneficiaries of skills acquisition programmes as well as accessing number of rape cases in Adamawa state.
In a report presented by a Member of the community surveillance team from Yola-north local government, Mustapha Sulaiman, stated that, during the exercise they recorded 10 rape cases, 4 convictions, 6 under investigated by police. The number of early marriages are 7, 5 of the Girls were re-united With their families, and marriages stopped. Also, there were 14 cases of denial of Girls from access to school in preference of Boys over Girls, 10 of the Girls have returned to School while 4 are on the process.
On the issue of domestic violence,14 cases were reported, all perpetrators stopped beating their wives after intervention by the surveillance team.
Furthermore, the Women Movement groups stated that they advocates for women empowerment, education, and the need to strengthen women’s engagement in political positions.
Cosequently, the representative of people living with disabilities, Barrister. Salamatu Abdullahi, said the spotlight initiative programmes has great impact in their lives bacause they are being carried along in their programmes.
Additionally, a member of Civil Society Organisations, Barrister. Fadimatu Abbo Jimeta, said the establishment of forensic laboratory in Adamawa state has ease the work of legal personnel in presenting evidence in a court of law for prosecution of perpetrators of rape.
Similarly, representative of religious and traditional leaders, maintained that they are being carried along in spotlight activities in sensitizing people in public on issues that are related to sexual and gender based violence and referral centres.
According to the In-charge of the State GBV Situation room, Mr. James said that they were able to prepare fact sheets for reporting of GBV cases.
In a remarks by the Minister Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Dame-Pauline Tallen, commended the stakeholders that are working in synergy with spotlight initiative she added that she is enthusiastic with responses of the beneficiaries of the programme. She thanked EU-UN for their commitment to ensure all forms of gender based violence are eradicated in Nigeria. She lauded the efforts of Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, for giving donor organisations the support to promote, protect and uplift the living standard of women and Girls affected in the State.
In a remark by Minister for National Planning, Prince Clement Agbe, promised to make provision for welfare of women and Girls and budget for provision of more forensic laboratories through his office.
The representative of UNHCR commended Spotlight initiative for creating awareness on issues that are affecting the lives of women and Girls. He stressed on the need for sustainability of the programme.
In a closing remark by the Chairperson State Planning Commission, Mrs. Mary Paninga, appreciated the EU-UN delegation for their support to the State Government, she added that Adamawa state Government is always ready to work together with donor organisations.