Akwa Ibom State Government has approved the establishment of Gender-Based Violence Referral Centres in each of its three Senatorial Districts.

This is part of measures to checkmate the scourge of rape and other violations encountered by the female gender in the state.

The Commissioner for Agriculture and Women Affairs, Dr. Glory Edet, announced this, Friday, while fielding questions from Government House correspondents at the end of the State Executive Council meeting presided by Governor Udom Emmanuel at Government House, Uyo.

She said, “One of the decisions reached at the State Executive Council meeting today is the approval of Gender Based Violence Referral Centres, especially for rape victims”.

“The referral centres are to be established in each of the three Senatorial Districts of the state with Methodist General Hospital, Ituk Mbang serving Uyo Senatorial District, General Hospital Ikot Ekpene for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and the Agape Centre in Eket for Eket Senatorial District.

Dr. Edet explained that the centres will have Medical Doctors to examine and treat rape cases, social welfare officers to take care of the psychological needs of victims as well as legal practitioners to handle the legal processes required to ensure that culprits face the wrath of the law.

She decried the spate of rape cases in the country, pointing out that the state has recorded increased incidences of rape as well as other forms of gender based violence in recent times.

The Women Affairs Boss added that over twenty three culprits have recently been prosecuted and are serving various jail terms, assuring that Akwa Ibom State Government will not relent in its determination to eradicate the scourge.

“We’ve received reports of rape cases in the country and Akwa Ibom State is not left out, even though in Akwa Ibom State the law is being implemented and God has helped us to jail over twenty three convicted rapists.

She decried the persistence of rape cases, calling on the citizens to report incidence of rape and other violent crimes against the female gender to the law enforcement agents and other relevant government agencies for prompt intervention.

On political office holders, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Udoh, hinted that the twenty percent pay cut earlier proposed by the state government, was deliberated upon and a decision reached that implemention would commence from the current month of June.

“Today the Executive Council ratified the decision that from June 2020,  salaries of all political appointees in the state would witness a twenty percent reduction.

“This is part of measures to reduce the burden of the  COVID-19 Pandemic on the state finances.

“Howbeit, it is important to note that this is a temporary measure, and as soon as normalcy returns in the finances and economic outlook of the state , the reduction would be revisited”, he stated.

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