Sokoto Governor Pledges Sustainability As EU-UN Spotlight Initiative Ends

Sokoto State Governor, Ahmed Aliyu
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Sokoto State Governor, Ahmed Aliyu has assured that his administration will not only ensure continuation of EU-UN Spotlight Initiative in the state but also make yearly budgetary provision for it. 

The governor who spoke on Saturday at the Kasarawa International Conference center during the formal handover and closing out of EU-UN Spotlight Initiative in the state admitted that all the programmes of Spotlight Initiative are intended to eliminate all forms of violence and harmful practices against humanity, mostly women and girls. 

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Aminu Dikko, the governor assured that his administration will continue to work tirelessly to strengthen laws and polices that protects women and girls. 

“”My administrarion will continue to ensure budgetary allocation for continuation of EU-UN Spotlight Initiate programe in Sokoto despite closing out and handing over.

“As we close the chapter, let us remember that the job is not over as we are committed to ensuring safer environment to all. We will continue to ensure that violence against women and girls become a thing of the past in Sokoto”. 

The governor also appreciated efforts of all stakeholders for their support towards the succeses recorded so far.

While noting that the EU-UN Spotlight Intitiative components are interderm with the religion, customs and tradition of the state, governor Ahmed Aliyu reassured that, “closing out of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative programme does not mean it’s over in Sokoto”‘. 

Speaking in her goodwill message, Sokoto State Commissioner of Women and Children Affairs, Hon. Hadiza Ahmed Shagari, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Barrister Aisha Dantsoho said though, the journey has been a very tedious, Sokoto has however recorded several successes. 

Stressing further, the Women Affairs commissioner, praised the state for having achieved the goals set out by the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative.

“‘We will continue to work to ensure that the issues of GBV, VAWG, HP and all other offences against humanity in the state are promoted, prevented and protected. 

Adding his voice, Sokoto State Commissioner of Budget and Economic Planning, Hon Balarabe Kadadi said the state is proud of the E-U UN Spotlight Intitiative and all other development partners. 

On his part, the Chief Judge of Sokoto, Justice Muhammed Sifawa represented by the acting Registrar High Court, Sokoto, Barrister Mariam Haruna Dogon Daji said despite the close out of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative, the State ministry of Justice will continue to ensure speedy dispensation of justice on any case of GBV, VAWG, HP and all other related offences that is against human dignity. 

Giving her views, Maryam Darwash Said, the Chief of Field Office, UNICEF Sokoto, thanked the Sokoto State government for giving them the needed support, adding that everybody played a part in making Spotlight Initiative is a huge success in Nigeria.

Darwash who confessed that, “‘Spotlight Initiative of Sokoto is the best in Nigeria”, however added that her appeal is that the initiative is sustained. 

“Lets us sustain the culture of speaking up without fears. I pray we have the needed support and go hand in hand in all issues that has to do with women and girls in the State”.  

The United Nation’s representative, and Chief Child Protection, UNICEF, Abuja, Mr Ibrahim Sassey, said the closing out and handing over of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative represents a signicant milestone for them as the vision of ending violence against women and girls, and rendering services for survivors is a huge success in Sokoto. 

“Within the period of 2019 and 2023 of the Spotlight Initiative, 800 cases of violence against women and children were identified and reported in Sokoto with 1292 survivors been provided with services while 9310 successfully graduated from second chance school programme”‘

He also thanked the state government for accepting to sustain the programme and take ownership by ensuring budgetary allocation to all ministries responsible for ensuring continuity of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative programmes.

The coordinator of Gender Based Violence Response Team in Sokoto, Malam Rabiu called on all stakeholders to see the protection of vulnerable individuals as a clarion call. 

Admitting that prior to the coming of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative abuse of women and girls in Sokoto was considered a norm, the Turakin Bodinga, Alhaji Bawa Sani maintained that the narratives has changed for good. 

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