As part of creating awareness about rape and sexual assault in the society, Mirabel centre presented Goodwill ambassadors for the organisation which took place recently at the De Renaissance hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
The Mirabel ambassadors are renowned personalities in their various professions such as Editor of Allure Magazine, Mrs. Remi Diagbare, On air radio personality Wana Udobang, award winning comedian, Koffi Idowu Nuel, Nollywood actress, Bimbo Akintola, Miss centenary Nigeria Queen Mbah, and Nigerian hip hop artist Ice prince.
The seminar themed “A coordinated approach to sexual and gender based violence in Lagos State” featured several topics by different speakers and representatives from different organisations on sexual violence, punishment of offenders and rights of every citizen in Lagos State.
In line with the theme, Managing partner, partnership for justice, Mrs. Itoro Eze Anaba in her short speech gave a brief description about the organisation. “ Mirabel centre is run by a team of professionals including doctors, nurses and counsellors who have been extensively trained to treat and support survivors of sexual assault.
“ The goal of this non- governmental organisation is to provide holistic, quality services, support to survivors of sexual assault in a compassionate and caring manner, where individual specific needs is met and their rights to make decisions on how to address those needs are respected and met. By doing this Mirabel centre decided to bring on board women and men who are successful in the career and use their talents and position to create awareness to put a stop to this impending problem affecting women in the society”.
She also appreciated the ambassadors who took time out their busy schedule to support the organisation by being role models to people in the society.”All the selected ambassadors are successful people in their various professions, their duties as ambassadors for Mirabel centre is to create awareness about sexual violence everywhere they go, these are people young people look up to in the society with them more awareness at grassroots level.”.
In his opening address, The representative of the Lagos State Governor, Attorney General and commissioner for justice, Mr. Ade Ipaye , said that “ The Governor is taking several measures to ensure that rape victims fight for their right in Lagos State. I will like to tell those perpetrating the acts to desist now because we would be coming after them. Recently, there was register for sex offenders signed by the Governor to monitor and have lists of offenders in Lagos State. There is also the need to create more awareness about young people, to help our women feel more safe in the society.”
Chief superintendent of police (CSP), Lagos State police command, Mr. Monday Agbonika, gave short presentation on the topic. “ The role of the Nigerian police in responding sexually assaulted victims and domestic violence”. A family support unit is an upgrade of the traditional juvenile welfare centre of the Nigerian police. Nigerian police force investigates sexual violence cases and presently taking more measures to track and punish offenders, who violates the law”.
He also stressed the need for collaboration between key stakeholders in Lagos state to ensure that perpetrators are dealt should be punished by law. “ What is required is effective collaboration among stakeholders and the will to purge the community of this cankerworm that is eating deep into the fabric of the society”.
During the interactive and presentation of gifts session, Mrs Ituoro assured guests that the organisation makes plans to create awareness about sexual violence through other social media platforms. Presentation of gifts were also given to ambassadors for being part of the initiative.
By Olubukunola Femi-Dagunro