*it will protect rights of women, children – Mrs Makinde
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Violence Against Person Prohibition (VAPP) Law on Wednesday, finally became operational in Oyo State
Speaking at the public presentation of the law, supported by WFD and funded by foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, wife of Governor Seyi Makinde, Engr Mrs Tamunominini Makinde disclosed that the VAPP law was basically put in place to protect the right of women, children and all vulnerable people irrespective of gender.
Mrs Makinde stressed at the public presentation and stakeholders engagement at Bon Hotel, Ibadan sponsored by Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) with funding by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office that the law was presented to the people of the state so that likely violators can be aware of its existence, content and punishment.
According to the wife of the Governor, the law can now be use to punish anyone who violate the right of another, warning that violators would be prosecuted accordingly and that Oyo, been a pace setter is one the first few states to have begin implementation of the law.
Stressing that the format of the law in the state has been adopted by other states, Mrs Makinde said, ” this law is made to address all forms of violence, I want to urge our people to always speak out and not be afraid against any form of violence.”
Speaker of Oyo State House of Assembly, Honourable Adebo Ogundoyin while speaking declared that the law would eliminate violence in private and public life of the people of the state as well as close up gender parity gap in the law.
“The Oyo State Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law, 2021 is a Law to eliminate violence in private and public life, prohibit all forms of Violence Against Persons and to provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders and for related matters”, he said.
Honourable Ogundoyin added, ” the purpose of the VAPP Law, 2021 (VAPP) is to reduce the equality gap between all genders as well as cut down the country’s very high incidence of Gender Based Violence (GBV) which disproportionately affects women ad girls.
“The Law also redefines rape and is the first Nigerian Law to recognise that rape can involve male victims. In addition the Oyo State VAPP Law, 2021 provides a legal framework that protects victims of Female Genital Mutilation, denial of inheritance and succession rights, forced marriage among others.
“The VAPP Law, 2021 is very comprehensive and serves as a benchmark for offences such as rape. The Law is an improvement on the penal code in relation to violence is it makes provisions for compensation for victims as well as protection of their rights.”
Oyo state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Oyelowo Oyewo lamented that Gender Based Violence has continued to undermining the right of women and girls across the country which Oyo State is not exceptional and that the minimum penalty for violators has been included in the VAPP law, commending efforts of the state governor and all stakeholders for making the law to come into lime light.
The Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Mrs Kafilat Olayiwola who was represented by Mrs Oluyemisi Olakayode described the new law as a milestone achievements towards ensuring that the right of women and girls are protected in the state.
She however said the Ministry will create awareness and sensitised the people to know that their right for survival, protection and participation is guaranteed.
In his remarks, the Country Director, WFD, Mr Adebowale Olorunmola traced the journey of the passage of the law commending the state government and all stakeholders for the cooperation at seeing through the process of the law.
He said Oyo state has gotten to the last stage which is the public presentation and enforcement, noting that some states stopped at the point of passage and assent.
He added that the execution of the law would not have been possible in Oyo state without the law been gazetteed, urging all the stakeholders to work together as a team for effectiveness.
The Coordinator, Sexual and Gender Based Response Team (SGBVRT), Mrs Dupe Awosemusi said that enactment of the new law shows another outstanding achievements of the administration of governor Seyi Makinde.
The SGBVRT Coordinator however said that the law would help to curb Gender Based Violence for the purpose of well being of people in the state.