From Paul Orude, Bauchi
Stakeholders in Bauchi state have vowed to ensure that perpetrators of gender based violence, rape and other violent crimes against persons are exposed and shamed to serve as a deterrent to others.
The stakeholders lamented the rising cases of violent crimes in the state and pledged to partner with government and other stakeholders to address it.
They promised to develop a Model Action plan towards the implementation of the Violence against Persons Prohibition Act under a United Nations Women project known as Strengthening state Capacities and women’s participation in COVID 19 response and broader peace building initiatives”.
The stakeholders made the pledge at a Workshop held at the Chartwell hotel and Suites in Bauchi, on Wednesday,.
They comprised Civil Society Organizations, security agents, judiciary, human rights Organizations students, lecturers, media ,religious and traditional rulers, are to also make valid contributions and mobilise support for the implementation of the VAPP law in the state.
One of the stakeholders, Zaliani Mahmud who represented the district head of Bauchi, said “we will fish out perpetrators of rape and other violent crimes and ensure that they are property investigated and prosecuted.
A lecturer with the A.D Rufai College , Dr Muhammed Abdulkadir, observed that stakeholders should focus on the rural areas saying issues of violent crimes are becoming rampart there.
Abdulkadir urged stakeholders to take advantage of the UN.women to en violence against women and girls.
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.
Recalled that the Nigerian Governor’s Forum declared a state of emergency on gender based violence in June 2020.
Represented by a Senior Management team member of the organization, Bukola Ademola Adeliyi, the UN Women Country Representative 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.
“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 responsivr COVID 19 pandemic response by strengthening state level institutional frameworks to improve prevention and response to gender based violence”
“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 Commitee will draft the terms of reference and facilitate additional members to review and endorse the terms of reference” she said
In her address at the workshop, the wife of the Bauchi state Governor, Aisha Bala Mohammed, lamented that violence against persons, especially rape in the country was increasing at an alarming rate, saying that the implementation of the VAPP law in the state will render justice and provide succour for victims of gender based violence.
Represented by the State Coordinator National Human Right Commission, Yachit S. Dala, Aisha Bala Mohammed called on the stakeholders to come up with workable plans that will ensure the speedy implementation of the VAPP law.