The Chairman, Conference of Speakers of State Legislatures in Nigeria, Abubakar Sulaiman, says the conference will ensure that all states domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act without further hesitation.
Mr Sulaiman, who is the Speaker, Bauchi State House of Assembly, said this in Bauchi during the launch of the Costed Model Action Plan (CMAP) for the implementation of the VAPP Act by Bauchi State Government.
He said that increasing cases of rape and other forms of violence against persons in many parts of the country called for swift action and effective modalities toward the implementation of the Act.
The chairman noted that the VAPP Act was passed into law by the Bauchi State House of Assembly and assented to by the state governor as a result of agitations for the protection of persons against different forms of violence which was fast becoming a trend in the country.
He explained that the VAPP Act was an improvement on the penal code in relation to violence, adding that it made provisions for compensation for victims, as well as protection of their rights.
“The conference of speakers of state legislatures in Nigeria, under my leadership would embark on a legislative advocacy to ensure that all states of the federation that did not pass the VAPP Act did so without hesitation,” he said.
Mr Sulaiman revealed that in an effort to give the law acceptability, all stakeholders, such as religious and cultural organisations, civil society and Non Governmental Organisations in Bauchi State were involved.
“The measure is to address all aspects of the law that may have conflict with our religion and culture.
“The Act prohibits all forms of violence against persons in private and public life and provides maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment for offenders,” the Chairman said.
He promised that Bauchi State House of Assembly would continue to give legislative support to all policies and programmes aimed at protecting the rights of people, irrespective of age, gender or religion.
Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State said the launch of the CMAP was a significant achievement that explained the commitments of the state government toward implementing the VAPP Act and eliminating violence against persons.
He explained that through the Action Plan, the state government had identified some intervention strategies that would have direct impact on the lives and welfare of most vulnerable persons in the state.
“This Costed Model Action Plan is a tool that would help to produce results through clearly defined activities and targets, careful costing and identification of actors responsible for the implementation of the programme.
He said “it provides an implementation strategy and a clearly defined monitoring and evaluation components and includes an estimated cost of the package of the whole programme, totalling over N3.7 billion.
“The CMAP is relevant to the overall response to end violence against persons in Bauchi State, it offers a multi-sectoral and standardised approach that can be applied at all levels.
“All stakeholders have an obligation to participate in creating a peaceful and safe environment for the growth and development of the state and especially for the security and protection of everyone,” he advised.
Nigeria has been hit by a wave of violence in recent years due to an upsurge in crimes and insurgency.
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