From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
In demonstration of her resolve to lend a hand in fighting Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in Bayelsa State, the first lady, Dr Mrs Gloria Ebibomo Diri launched a sensitization campaign against the social vice in secondary schools in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.
The sensitization campaign is being coordinated by the Gender Response Initiative Team (GRIT) in conjunction with other advocacy groups has visited seven public and private schools and two churches in the state.
Speaking at St Jude’s girl’s secondary school Amarata, Dr Diri called on the girl child to be conscious of the happenings in their surroundings and not allow sexual predators to jeopardise their future.
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” Protect yourselves and don’t allow any man to jeopardise your future. You should always be conscious of your surroundings and everybody around you. Everyone is a suspect including some parents, guardians and teachers,” she said.
At Bishop Dimiari Grammar School (BDGS), which is a school for boys, she challenged the boys to always learn to love and protect their sisters, by ensuring that they are safe from any form of violence noting that they also should not partake in rape, cultism, and drug abuse among others.
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Dr Diri advised the male students to know that they are thefuture of tomorrow stressing that BDGS has produced great men in the state and they must maintain that standard and do the needful to secure their future.
The Chairman of GRIT, Dise Sheila Ogbise, while speaking at the end of the first phase of the campaign held at the BDGS, Ovom and the St. Jude’s Secondary School,Amarata, commended Dr. Diri for giving members of the team a platform to work stating that the partnership with other organizations have helped to pass on the message across the state capital.
She also described her symbolic participation to wrap up the first phase of the sensitization campaign as laudable.
“This sensitization is so symbolic because for the first time we had the presence of a Governor’s wife in a school sensitization. The sensitization that has been ongoing for over three weeks has yielded positive results as more awareness has been created on preventive and protective strategies to curb issues of sexual and gender based violence. We also appreciate Her Excellency for the lead as this move has further strengthened GRIT’srelationship with other civil society organizations.”