Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State said that the state government was currently building the biggest mental rehabilitation home in the country.
Sanwo-Olu made this known while receiving members of the Southern Governors Wives’ Forum (SGWF) on a courtesy visit at Lagos House, Ikeja.
He said that the rehabilitation home was to comprehensively address the menace of drug abuse and provide the necessary care for victims.
According to him, Illicit dealing in drugs and substance abuse require serious effort and commitment of all stakeholders to frontally tackle it, in the best interest of society.
He commended the governors’ wives for their resilience and support in fighting Sexual and Gender-Based Violence and also drug abuse in their states.
”I want to thank you all for your efforts, particularly your pet projects to address Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV). It is something that permeates everywhere and for us in Lagos, we have faced it with all it takes.
”We have a law and we have also gone further to establish a full-fledged agency, so that they can respond faster and they have all it takes to run faster and not subsumed or delayed.
”We are giving it the importance that it deserves. The agency is doing a good job and we acknowledge that there is room for improvement,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Still on drug abuse, he said that it was encouraging that the SGWF was focusing on it with advocacy and other initiatives to ensure that it remained in the front burner.
”We can see in the papers today where drugs were recovered from a big mansion. A couple of weeks ago, we saw how horrible drugs were uncovered. So, it is something we need to talk about and we should not shy away from it.
”It cuts across-drug issues, mental health issues are things we should speak about and deal with.
”For us as a government, we are building the biggest mental rehabilitation home in the country as we speak, so that we can deal with this problem with all it takes and people that require help, can be supported.
”Also, people that are criminally minded can be dealt with in accordance with the law,” the governor said.
Earlier, the wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said that members of the SGWF were in Lagos for their Quarterly Meeting.
Sanwo-Olu said that the forum was a platform uniting all the Wives of the Southern State Governors and was also an avenue for sharing notes on governance and ideas that could trigger economic and social rebirth.
Also, the President of the SGWF, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, commended Gov. Sanwo-Olu for the progress made so far on the blue light rail project.
Oyetola, who is the Wife of Osun State Governor, said Gender-Based Violence had been well addressed in Lagos State, lauding that the governor’s projects and initiatives were in line with the objectives of Governors’ Wives.
On her part, Chairperson of the Nigerian Governors Wives’ Forum (NGWF), Erelu Bisi Fayemi, commended Gov. Sanwo-Olu for putting what Governors’ Wives always preached into practice.
Fayemi, who is the wife of Governor of Ekiti State, said that the SGWF had always preached that there could not be a success in achieving any of the Sustainable Development Goals without the full participation of women.
”Lagos State has always set the example of what it means to have women in leadership at all levels and so we would like to thank you Mr Governor.
”Please, we ask that you continue to encourage other governors in the country to improve opportunities for women and girls in their states, through policies and programmes,” she said.
However, the governors’ wives met at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, and afterward inspected the ongoing work at the Office of the First Lady of Lagos State and J.K Randle Centre for Yoruba and History, Onikan.
Speaking on the sideline of the visit, Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, Executive Secretary, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) ,said the agency was encouraged by the political will demonstrated by the Southern Governors’ Wives Forum.
Vivour-Adeniyi said that most of the southern states had adopted relevant laws, including the Violence Against Persons Prohibition, and of course, the Child’s Rights Law.
”It is just to encourage other states that are yet to do so. They should ensure full implementation, so that there is no state that will be safe, or be deemed a safe haven for perpetrators,” she said.