Kwara Speaker pledges accelerated passage of anti-rape bill

Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Yakubu Danladi-Salihu, has assured female folks in the state that the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill will be given accelerated passage, without jettisoning due process.

Speaking when members of the Women Empowerment and Youth Development Initiative (WOYODEV), a non-governmental organization, visited the Speaker at the Assembly complex, alongside other selected groups, Danladi-Salihu said that every action aimed at protecting mothers and children is aimed at safeguarding the nation.

The NGOs were coordinated by the Commissioner for Social Development and Women Affairs, Mrs Aremu Bose Deborah, at the advocacy visit in Ilorin.

“We received the VAPP bill and passed first reading on Thursday, July 16, 2020, and I want to assure you we will give it accelerated passage, as the ninth Assembly is known for efficiency in discharging our lawful duties. We will, however, ensure necessary legislative procedures are adhered to and also invite you all for a COVID-19- compliant public hearing, once we get to that stage.

“It is insane to rape, especially minors. It was part of issues that topped discussions at the recent meeting of Northern Speakers Forum and we are united to fight this menace head-on because it protects our mother and children”, the Speaker said.

The lawmaker also said that the Kwara state VAPP Bill will not only protect women, but men also would be protected under it, noting that there are also reports of cases of rape and violence against male individuals.

The Commissioner for Social Development and Women Affairs had earlier urged the State House of Assembly to speedily pass the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill while lauding the consideration of the bill by the ninth Assembly.

“VAPP is an emergency, we want an accelerated passage of the bill, considering the rampant cases of violence against women, to serve as a deterrent for perpetrators of crimes such as rape, adding that there are a number of children under age 13 undergoing treatment as a result of violence.

Speaking on behalf of the NGOs, Mrs Tosin Ajayi Apiriola, posited that VAPP, when passed and signed into law, will bridge the vacuum left by other laws that seek to protect the female folks.

No fewer than eight NGOs, including Women Empowerment and Youth Development Initiative (WOYODEV), National Orientation Agency (NOA), Foundation for Global Hope for Women and Children (GLOHWOC), Help Women Foundation and Olive Community Development Initiative were represented at the meeting.

 

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