The Governor of Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji, has vowed to consistently reinforce the fight against human rights abuses and all forms of social injustices in the state to create an egalitarian society devoid of unwarranted class differences.
Oyebanji said his commitment to the entrenchment of social justice makes him place high premium on provision of various legal and institutional supports for the vulnerable to entrench economic and social balancing in the system .
The governor said this in Ikogosi Resort Centre, Ikogosi Ekiti, on Thursday, while flagging off a two- day workshop for social work practitioners in Ekiti, organised by the office of the First Lady and Ekiti State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development.
Speaking on the theme of the programme : ‘Enhancing Effective Social Work Practice in Ekiti State’, a the programme signposting the flagship of activities marking the 16 days of activism against gender based violence, the governor posited that the initiative further underscores his administration’s focus on protection of the rights of women, children and the vulnerable segments of the population .
Oyebanji, represented by his Deputy, Chief (Mrs) Monisade Afuye, applauded the social workers in the state for being supportive of government to tame human rights infringements and gender imbalancing .
The governor, said the programme would further equip the social workers with better skills to be able to discharge their duties to the target population.
Oyebanji said social work is a profession that is devoted to helping vulnerable and communities work through challenges they face , assuring that his government will continually provide the workers with necessary social and legal instruments that will ease their humanitarian jobs.
He said his government has always been opening the vistas of partnership with private individuals and corporate organisations in the running of government, charging the practitioners to continually support his government to achieve the task of ridding Ekiti of injustice.
“On the 7th of this month, I inaugurated the gender based violence management committee to effectively implement the State Gender Based Violence Management Prohibition Law 2019.
*Let me state again that this administration will not tolerate violation of human rights in any form or context. Our shared prosperity vision is for our dear state to be a land of peace, opportunities, and progress. A land of honour in which the people and community can reap the fruits of their labour in dignity, good health and safety.
“We know that no government can solve today’s social problems all alone. It takes all of us together. This administration will deepen its partnership with civil society organisations in practical ways”.
Oyebanji commended the First Lady of Ekiti State, Dr. Olayemi Oyebanji and the Ministry of Women Affairs, for midwifing such a well-designed programme that will stimulate brilliant and workable ideas on how to take the state forward in becoming a model in social work practice in the country.
Espousing the significance of social work to nation building, the governor, said: “Social workers have a fulfilling career by helping people overcome difficult situations and find their ways to physical , mental and emotional recovery. By anchoring on advocacy, they bring hope to the people.
“However, with increasingly difficult social problems worldwide, practitioners must rise to the challenges and be well equipped as professionals”.
In her submission, the Ekiti State First Lady, Dr. Olayemi Oyebanji, said the quest to rout violence against women and children out of Ekiti, is a collective one, adding that the rising cases of human rights abuses called for all hands to be on deck to restore orderliness and safety to the vulnerable.
Mrs Oyebanji, represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Peju Babafemi, said social workers must be abreast of the 21st century rescue strategies for the victims of violence, saying this programme will offer hope as professionals will cross fertilise ideas on how to achieve the goal.
She said her pet project, Widows and Orphans Hope Project (WAOH) , was set up to bring succour and steadfast commitment to defend the rights of the less privileged, who became vulnerable on account of age, disabilities and other circumstances, describing the struggle as being imperative for everyone to support, because it borders on human rights protection and existence of humanity.
In his submission, the Nigerian Civil Security and Civil Defence Corps ( NSCDC) State Commandant, Mr. John Fayemi, expressed readiness of his agency to join the government to maintain social order in Ekiti.
Fayemi added that the paramilitary agency places priority on backing humanitarian work and diligent protection of the dignity of all citizens.