Bauchi Assembly vows to address gender-based violence, conducts public hearing on VAPP Bill
Bauchi State House of Assembly has assured that it will ensure that bills that will protect human dignity and promote civility among the citizens are passed into law.
Speaker of the Bauchi Assembly, Abubakar Y. Suleiman gave the assurance at the public hearing on the Violence Against Person Prohibition (VAPP) bill held on Thursday at the Assembly complex.
The Bauchi Speaker while making his opening remarks during the public hearing on the VAPP bill, organised by the House Committee on Women Affairs and sponsored by Women Advocate Research and Documentation Center, (WARDC) and Bauchi State VAPP Working Committee with funding from the African Women Development Fund and the Kingdom of Netherlands commended the efforts in bringing up the bill.
He also said that incidences of violence against the vulnerable in the society are growing astronomically high to the extent that extant laws are inadequate to deter the perpetrators of human degradation that has become the order of the day.
Abubakar Suleiman added that “As responsible representatives of the people, we have listened and heard the cries of the minors, parents and guardians and leaders of our communities. Thus, the onus is on us to act fast in the interest of all concerned”
“To this end, being conscious of the dangers of child molestation that is creeping in our society and part of my contribution towards curtailing the ugly trend, I have the honour of presenting this bill. Our presence here despite the threat of the COVID 19 pandemic is a clear testimony of the importance and urgency of the task before us”, the Speaker said.
He then assured that as soon as all the views and opinions were collated, the legal department of the Bauchi House will finalise the draft and then bring it to the floor of the Assembly for third reading and passage.
In his remarks, Chairman of the House Committee on Women Affairs, Wanzan Muhammad said that the bill which is the first of its kind in the state has passed the first and second readings on the floor of the Assembly and will undergo the third and final reading after which it will be sent to the Bauchi Assembly for concurrence.
Tribune Online reports that during the public hearing, some stakeholders raised concern on some clauses in the bill such as reviewing punishment for rape offenders, reviewing of existing laws on rape, genital mutilation, increasing options of fine on offenders amongst other burning issues.
On their part, religious leaders and traditional rulers commended the initiative of the bill agreeing that it was long overdue considering the rate at which violence against the vulnerable in the society is growing rapidly.
When finally passed into law by the Bauchi House and assented by the governor, the law will ensure that all offenders are maximally punished for any offence of violence against persons.