|(L-R): Hon.Adedamola Richard Kasunmu, Mr KazeemAdeniji (Attorney-General /Comm for Justice,Lagos), His Excellency,Gov Akinwunmi Ambode, Hon. GbolahanYishawu and others...|
The campaign against domestic violence in Lagos State was taken to new heights on Thursday when the Lawmaker representing Ikeja Constituency 2 at the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adedamola Richard Kasunmu flagged-off the first ever All-Male Walk Against Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV).
The historic walk, which was part of the efforts of Lagos State Government to holistically eradicate the menace of domestic violence in the state, commenced from Ikeja under the Bridge and proceeded through Obafemi Awolowo Way up to the Governor’s Office in Alausa.
In a brief speech delivered at the flag-off point, Hon. Adedamola Richard Kasunmu, popularly known as ARK, stated that “A large portion of work on response to Domestic and Sexual Violence has been directed at women and girls; less attention has been placed on men. One of the aims of this ALL-MALE WALK is to change the narrative by purposefully engaging the men, who statistics show are most often perpetrators of these heinous crimes and empower the men folk to become agents of positive change in the society”.
Apart from Honourable Adedamola Richard Kasunmu, who is the Chairman, House Committee on Youth, Sports and Social Development, other state officials who participated in the walk include Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem; Lagos State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr Olufemi Odubiyi; Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu; Chairman, Lagos State Sports Commission and Special Adviser on Sport to Lagos State Governor, Mr Deji Tinubu and other dignitaries.
Notable entertainers and showbiz personalities such as ace comedians Ali Baba, Teju Babyface, Omobaba and music artiste Bez Idakula also lent support to the campaign against sexual and gender based violence by participating in the walk.
It was a colourful sight as the men-only procession moved from Ikeja under the Bridge through Obafemi Awolowo Way to Allen Junction and Ikeja City Mall displaying banners with various anti-violence messages and distributing fliers to passers-by and motorists.
The walk finally terminated at the Governor’s office, Alausa where His Excellency, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode personally received and addressed the participants.
In his address, Governor Ambode said “The scale of men’s violence against women is enormous and its effect, demoralising. Men as grandfathers, fathers, brothers, sons, husbands and public advocates have pivotal role to play in condemning all forms of violence against women, girls and boys”
Speaking further, the Governor said, “I will like you to join hands with me to say no to rapists and women beaters. We are looking for the first 11 scapegoats whether highly or lowly placed in the society”.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode commended the Lagos State Domestic and sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT), organisers of the Walk, for its efforts and gave assurance of his administration’s continued support for the fight against all forms of violence in the state. The Governor later led the walk around the Lagos House.