Stakeholders at the workshop
By Akanji Alowolodu, Bauchi
Wife of Bauchi state Governor, Aisha Bala Mohammed has lamented that violence against vulnerable persons, especially rape in the country is increasing at an alarming rate, with no solution in sight.
The Bauchi State First Lady also said that the implementation of the VAPP law in the state will render justice and provide succour for victims of gender based violence stressing that it the only immediate solution to the menace.
The First Lady who was represented by the State Coordinator, National Human Right Commission, Yachit S. Dala, at a stakeholders Workshop in Bauchi, called on the stakeholders to come up with workable plans that will ensure the speedy implementation of the VAPP law.
Earlier, it was agreed that A costed Model Action plan towards the effective implementation of the Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law under a United Nations (UN) Women project known as ‘Strengthening state Capacities and Women’s Participation in COVID – 19 response and broader peace building initiatives’ is to be developed.
The decision was taken at a stakeholders workshop held at the Chartwell hotel and Suites in Bauchi, attended by stakeholders which comprised of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), security agents, judiciary, human rights organizations, students, lecturers, media , religious and traditional rulers who are to make valid contributions and mobilise support for the implementation of the VAPP law in Bauchi state.
While Speaking at the Workshop, the Country Representative of UN Women, Mrs Comfort Lamprey, explained that the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent rise in domestic violence resulted in increased high level political attention to the scourge of gender based violence, with the Nigerian Governor’s Forum declaring a state of emergency on gender based violence in June, 2020.
Lamptey who was represented by a Senior Management team member of the organization, Bukola Ademola Adeliyi, said that Bauchi state became the first state in the North-East geo-political zone to domesticate the VAPP Act, adding that the COVID 19 pandemic has amplified pre-existing gender inequalities and revealed the sharp rise in gender based violence during the pandemic which requires scale-up efforts towards addressing the scourge.
The UN Women Country Representative said that, “Responding to these challenges, UN Women in partnership with British High Commission designed the project which seeks to advance the Women, Peace and Security agenda as well as enhancing a gender responsive COVID-19 pandemic response by strengthening state level institutional frameworks to improve prevention and response to gender based violence”
She added that, “The model action plan will be developed in consultations with state and society actors in Bauchi state.In achieving the goal of the Bauchi state government prohibition of violence against persons law in the state, an implementation and monitoring Committee will draft the terms of reference and facilitate additional members to review and endorse the terms of reference”.