By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Minister of Women Affairs and Child Development, Dame Pauline Tallen on Thursday in Bauchi commended the State Governor, Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed for his prompt assent to the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Law for the state, earlier passed by the Legislature.
Tallen, during a courtesy visit to Bauchi, said that Senator Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed is the first Governor in the six states of the Northeast that assent to the bill that will among other things, tackle gender-based violence in the country.
She told the Governor, “Your Excellency, I’m here to appreciate you and the House of Assembly for the domestication of the VAPP Law and we hope to see proper implementation, the cases of rape and gender based violence is still increasing, but the good news is that you are working towards addressing the menace”.
“I want to thank His Excellency for his support to women through financial assistance and distribution of various types of machines. I acknowledge the distribution of food items to vulnerable groups by the state government during the festive periods and COVID-19 lockdown”.
The Minister appealed to the state government to increase budgetary allocation to the State’s Ministry of Women and Child Development in order to cater for the need of the vulnerable groups.
Tallen stated, “I also appreciate you for the appointments of more women into your cabinet, Your Excellency, Bauchi before now recorded the highest number of out of school children, but you have now changed the narrative by taking the children back to school”.
Responding, Governor Bala Mohammed told the minister that his administration is doing its best and efforts to reverse the trend of non-participation of women in governance, as it encourages them to take active part in partisan politics.
The Governor, while assuring the minister of his administration’s readiness to renovate all women development centres in the state for self-reliant and sustaining the economy, said however that politics and democracy are games of number which the women folks must numerically observe.
Bala described the minister as a true nationalist, patriot, role-model, Nigerian per-excellent and activist on women development whom he knew for a long time, and commended President Muhammadu Buhari for giving her the opportunity to participate in governance.
“During your time, you have brought the issues of women to the fore and therefore your visit to Bauchi today is something that is making us happy and it will be beneficial to the women folks in the state”.
He described Bauchi as a very peculiar place where democracy is being actively played, saying the non-denial of women to be in his cabinet might not be unconnected with the fact that they massively voted him during the 2019 general elections in the state.
On the assent to the Violence Against Persons Prohibition law of the state, the governor assured that the state government will soon commence full implementation of the law without fear or favour to whoever found guilty so as to overcome some of the challenges faced by women in the society.
“We thank you for the visit and I want to tell you that our women in Bauchi are doing well, please extend our appreciation to Mr. President and the First Lady of Nigeria, the mother of the nation, we are federalists in Bauchi and we are ready to work with the Federal Government”.
Governor Bala Mohammed disclosed that his administration will soon set up an executive committee to work out modalities of domestication of the child right act in the state to address the plight of children such as reducing the rate of out of school children.