Since her husband, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu assumed office in 2019 as the Governor of Lagos State, the First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu has not hidden her disdain for Sexual and Gender Based Violence.
To her, that is a goal that must be diligently pursued to a determined end. She has spoken publicly against such, campaigned vigorously and made it a point of duty at each of her programmes not to hide from pointing out the evils of such acts.
On Thursday evening, Mrs. Sanwo-Olu was honoured with a special recognition award in appreciation of her advocacy and tremendous support to enhance the fight against Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) in the state.
The award was presented to her by her husband, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Head of Service, Mr Hakeem Muri-Okunola, at the annual Commendation and Awards Night organized by the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) to commemorate the Domestic & Sexual Violence Awareness Month.
The First Lady, according to a statement by Assistant Director, Public Affairs, Office of the First Lady, Mrs Olubukonla Nwonah, earned the award in view of her various initiatives to confront the menace of rape, defilement, abuse and others through a multi-sectoral stakeholders’ committee which she is leading, and the recent presentation of three utility vehicles to critical agencies fighting SGBV crimes in the state.
Sanwo-Olu reiterated the zero tolerance stance of the state government for SGBV, saying his administration was working not only to curb domestic and sexual violence, but also to ultimately eliminate it.
“In the past two years, we have made significant gains in our war against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Institutions have been strengthened to respond appropriately, policies have been formulated and introduced in ensuring we provide holistic care and support to survivors, and we are also gradually ending the culture of impunity as evidenced in the convictions secured by the Ministry of Justice. In simple terms, we are indeed walking the talk.
The governor added that in view of the public health implications as a result of the aftermath of Sexual Violence, the State Government through the Lagos State Health Insurance Scheme has recently launched an Intervention Fund which now ensures survivors of sexual violence are able to access immediate medical attention at all Primary health Centers, General Hospitals and designated private hospitals at no cost.
On her part, the First Lady said that the recognition should strengthen the individual and collective resolve to do more to stamp out the menace in the society.
“We have all done well; however, we can and we need to do more to scale up the fight against SGBV. Therefore, the recognition awards should serve as a motivation to spur us all to continue to do our best and key into the vision of zero tolerance for all forms of SGBV crimes in Lagos State,” she said.