VAPP BILL: GECORN interface with stakeholders for quick assent

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Following the alarming rate of Sexual abuse in the society, a network of feminist Non Governmental and community based organization, Gender and Constitution Reform Network, (GECORN), has embarked on massive advocacy visit to stakeholders and policy makers to fast track the assent of Violence against Persons Prohibition bill into law.

The state coordinator of GECORN, who also doubles as the Executive Director of Challenged Parenthood Initiative, (CPI), during the various visit disclosed that GECORN is also working towards the mobilization of women to build their strength in all sectors to lead initiatives and demand for constitutional reforms in Nigeria.

According to her, the VAPP bill came to light due to the spate of prevalence of violence in the state and also recognizing the need for a legal framework that will cover all forms of offences in the state, while ensuring that perpetrators of such violence are prosecuted.

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She revealed that, despite existing legal frameworks on violence against women in at least 10 states of the federation, the National Democratic Health Survey (NDHS) 2018 reports that 28% of females have experienced one form of violence or the other.

She added that the bill when passed into law will serve as a legal tool for the protection of people, especially women and girls who are victims of violence.

Eunice emphasized the need to establish a Sexual Assault Response Centres in the State, with the aim of addressing sexual and gender-based violence in homes, Internally Displaced Peoples’ camps, rural communities, urban areas, educational and health institutions, and workplaces.

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She called for collective collaboration with the media and National Orientation Agency in aiding the sensitization drive of the campaign, while also calling on the Federal Government to declare 8th of evi March, a state of emergency on violence against women and girls.

The coordinator further pleaded with FG to Implement the Justice Uwais Electoral Reform Committee Report on women’s political representation; provide legal backing to support the implementation of the 35% Affirmative Action for Nigerian women’s representation in decision making and in politics.

In their various response, the Chief Justice of Kogi State, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad laud the effort of the group for being the voice of the voiceless and commending Governor Bello for massive inclusion of logo women in politics.

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He assured that as soon as the governor gives his assent, the judiciary will without delay carry out the needful to ensure swift passage into law.

Similarly, the chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalist in the state, Adeiza Momojimoh and the Director General of Radio Kogi, Alhaji Hassan Oyila Ozovehe promised to use their good offices to help champion massive publicity and help reach out to relevant authorities for assistance.

While the Anglican Bishop of Lokoja Diocese, Most Rev. Emmanuel Egbunu thanked the group for toeing in the part of activism and legal backing, assuring that their message will be well passed to the larger congregation across the state.

 




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