Prof. Abubakar Muazu of the University of Maiduguri has urged the Nigeria Police and other stakeholders to identify appropriate measures for addressing the menace of sexual and gender-based violence, as well as greater protection of women and girls in the society.
Muazu who is also the Vice Chairman of the CLEEN Foundation’s Board of Directors said this yesterday at a Capacity Building Workshop on Gender Awareness for female police officers in Borno state, organized by the Foundation in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
While appreciating CLEEN, the funders and resource persons for the show of great commitment and passion to the issues of security and gender-based violence, he added that the nature of the training is highly relevant to the provision of security services.
“As the police interfaces with the public, it is important to be sensitive to gender issues. I hoped to see discussions geared towards identifying appropriate measures for addressing the menace of sexual and gender-based violence and greater protection of women and girls in Borno State,” said Muazu.
The representative of the Borno state Commissioner of Police, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) in charge of Metropolitan Command, Hassan Musa, in his remarks, noted that cases of Sex and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) are rampantly reported in the state.
“Most times victims’ families don’t wish their assaulted daughters to be exposed hence the silence about it. The Borno police command is not complicit in fighting Gender-Based Violence, but is proactive in fighting the crime,” he said.
He urged the participating female police officers to take the learning seriously while at the training and pass the message down when they get back to their bases. Also speaking, the Executive Director, Proactive Gender Initiative, Barr. Ester Uzoma, urged the participating female Police officers to embark on enforcement of fundamental human rights of victims they deal with, especially at the gender unit.
Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Ojukwu ( rtd ) , told the participants that it is important to learn as much as possible on gender awareness to build a career not just while in active service but post service (retirement period).
Earlier addressing the participants, the Executive Director, CLEEN FOUNDATION, Dr. Benson Olugbuo, noted that the police in a conflict- context require a deeper understanding of the dynamics and nuances of such environment and the right skills in handling gender issues.
Olugbuo said the training program organised by the FOUNDATION will draw strengths from the experiences of female police officers and the role that security actors such as the police can play in preventing sexual and gender-based violence, improve their awareness, as well as facilitate entry points for women and girls in Borno to be part of peacebuilding and resilience processes.