The Kogi State House of Assembly has passed the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill.
The bill, which stipulates life imprisonment for rapists, was passed on Monday.
It scaled through the first reading on December 3, 2019, and second reading on February 19, 2020.
With this development, Kogi State joins the list of 20 states that have enacted the same law to check violence against women.
The passage of the bill, which was sponsored by an NGO, Challenged Parenthood Initiative (CPI), was sequel to a report of the House Joint Committee on Women Affairs, Poverty Alleviation and Judiciary.
Speaking on the passage of the bill, the Speaker of the House, Mathew Kolawole, described rape as a grievous offence that should be condemned in its entity.
“The passage of this bill and its assent by His Excellency will send a strong warning to anyone who intends to perpetrate this ungodly act,” he stated.
Reacting to the passage of the bill, the Executive Director of Challenged Parenthood Initiative, Eunice Agbogun, in a statement on Monday evening said, “When we challenge the status quo and stereotypes we achieve results.
“There couldn’t be a more appropriate theme for 2021 International Women’s Day – ‘I Choose To challenge’. We have chosen to challenge the Kogi State Government and members of the Kogi State House of Assembly on the VAPP bill and we are happy that they listened and have done the needful.
“Kogi State is our dear state hence we must put in place all necessary policies and laws to protect its citizens. We are concerned about all persons’ safety in Kogi State as well as sexual gender based violence against our women and our girls.
“With this new development of the passage of the bill, I believe perpetrators will think twice before committing any crime. We await His Excellency, our gender sensitive Governor to assent the VAPP bill into law. Today, the narrative has been changed. Kogi State will no longer be on Red on the map of states that have not passed their bill,” Ms Agbogun said.
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