Wednesday, 4th October 2023

Minister warns against GBV in motor parks, urges RTEAN to curb menace

By Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
11 April 2023   |   3:38 pm
Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, has raised concerns over the increasing cases of gender-based violence in motor parks across the country, urging commercial transport workers to fight against the menace.

Pauline Tallen

***As RTEAN asks gov’t to invest more in transport sector

Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, has raised concerns over the increasing cases of gender-based violence in motor parks across the country, urging commercial transport workers to fight against the menace.

Describing GBV as a human right and a life-threatening health and protection issue, she lamented that members of the road unions usually turn blind eyes to such issues.

The minister stated this at the 10th national Delegates’ conference of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

At the conference, the President of RTEAN, Musa Maitakobi, and 46 other national executive members of the association were unanimously re-elected for another tenure of five years.

Noting that the association holds an important place in national development, especially to protecting passengers from unwholesome behaviour and thugs, she called on RTEAN to constantly enlighten their members on issues bothering GBV often witness in Motor Parks.

Tallen said: “When I sometimes visit Parks in the company of family, I still see young children; girls and boys hawking when they should be in school. Yet, your members turn blind eyes to such scenarios. In some cases, these children become victims of exploitation and abuse. And because they are powerless, they have no voice and are afraid to report and so the cycle of abuse continues. Even women have reported such abuses in the Parks.

“Today, in Nigeria GBV is seen as a serious offence and the Government at all levels has declared zero tolerance to it, due to the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs under my stewardship. It is therefore no longer business as usual when caught. Ignorance is not an excuse. Where your rights end, is where the next person’s rights begin.

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari and other State Governors who have classified GBV as a national pandemic and declared a State of Emergency on GBV, she disclosed that significant milestones have been recorded in addressing GBV in the country.

According to her, “From 23 States who domesticated the Child Rights Act in 2019, 34 States, today, we have 34 States and for the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act (2015) from 13 States in 2019, we now have 35 States.”

“Beyond just rejoicing that these acts are in place, my question to this great gathering is how familiar are you with the contents of these documents? Before, I conclude, I want to enjoin the leadership of this association to begin to mount simple graphic messages around the Parks as a way to educate your members and passengers alike on what constitutes GBV”, she added.

Maitakobi while thanking the members for electing him for another term, said the association had done well in providing welfare for its members since he assumed office.

He, however, stressed the need for the incoming government to invest more in the transport sector to provide jobs for the unemployed youths.

Maitakobi stated: “But we need to do more, especially when the country graduates a lot of youth that has no work to do, we have the provision for them in the transport sector with the support of both the government and private sector of the economy as well as the international community.

“I want to call the attention of government, especially the state government that transport is one of the helping hands in creating employment to our teaming unemployed youth in the country, let us come together and get a solution for better productivity, security as well as reforming the transport sector to go with the Digital era.

On his party, Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, (FRSC), Dauda Biu, who lamented an upsurge in the spate of road accidents, warned motorists against night travel and over-speeding.

Represented by the Corps Public Education Officer (CPEO), Assistant Corps Marshal (ACM) Bisi Kazeem, the FRSC boss stated: “Our relationship with RTEAN has been a cordial one, especially under the administration of the current executive president.

“It is one of the most organised trade unions. Last week, we call the unions to our office to let them know that there has been an upsurge of crashes. This is mainly due to the night journey. We want to beg you to reduce the night journey. Also, speed is another factor. We want you to buy a speed limit. Also, another issue is overloading. Please desist from this”.

In this article