FG To Collaborate With States To Domesticate Child Rights Act, Others

File photo of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the Buhari administration is working Together with State governments across the country, and all other stakeholders, to deal decisively with the problem of rape and gender-based violence in Nigeria.

According to the Vice President, every form of sexual assault “are blemishes on the collective humanity and dignity of Nigerians as a people and a Nation.”

He was quoted to have said this on Friday, in a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande after he held a virtual meeting with the National Human Rights Commission over the recent cases of sexual and gender-based violence in Nigeria and the way forward

He also promised to encourage state governments who are yet to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act of 2015 and the Child Rights Act of 2003 to do so.

Read the full details of the statement below.

Together with State governments across the county, and all other stakeholders, the Buhari administration is working harder to deal decisively with the problem of rape and gender-based violence in Nigeria, because every form of sexual assault “are blemishes on the collective humanity and dignity of Nigerians as a people and a Nation.”

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, made this declaration today at a virtual meeting organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on the Scourge of Rape, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria.

“We will work with all actors to detect and punish the perpetrators of these sickening acts and work even harder to prevent their occurrence”

Specifically, the Vice President further said the fight against rape and gender violence would be driven down to the States through the National Economic Council (NEC), which he chairs.

“We will continue to use the platform of the National Economic Council to encourage States yet to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act of 2015 and the Child Rights Act of 2003 to do so.

“Gender-based violence, rape and sexual assaults are a blemish on our collective humanity and dignity as a people and a Nation,” he added.

“While violence against women has always been a challenge in Nigeria, the COVID-19 lockdown has occasioned a steep increase in sexual and gender-based violence across the country.

“I am told that between March 23, 2020 – May 29, 2020, the FCT Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Response Team received an overwhelming 105 incidents; an average of 13 incidents per week, up from the usual 5 to 6 incidents per week, pre-COVID-19.

“Also, a few days ago the Inspector-General of Police disclosed that the police had recorded about 717 rape incidents across the country between January and May 2020.

“And that 799 suspects had so far been arrested, 631 cases conclusively investigated and charged to court while 52 cases are still under investigation.

“What these figures show is an escalation of an already disgraceful trend of violence against women and girls in the country, ” Prof. Osinbajo observed.

He referenced the rapes and murders of Mrs Queen Igbinevbo, a pregnant woman in her home in Edo State on May 20, 2020, and Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a 22-year old student of University of Benin on May 27, 2020.

According to the VP, there is also the case of Barakat Bello, an 18-year old female student of Federal College of Animal Health and Production in Ibadan on June 1, 2020, among others, saying these assaults “should never have happened and must not be allowed to continue.”

Prof. Osinbajo reassured that President Muhammadu Buhari and State Governors recently undertook to take drastic actions against gender-based violence.

“On June 11, State Governors, under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), agreed to declare a state of emergency on rape and gender-based violence against women and children, while renewing their commitment to ensuring that offenders face the full weight of the law.

“Similarly, the President, in his June 12 address to Nigerians, reiterated government’s determination to fight gender-based violence through the instrumentality of the law and awareness creation,’’ he said.

According to him, there is need to look beyond just legislation to fix the problem, but rather, interrogate the deeply dysfunctional cultures, the systemic flaws in our institutions and the perverse social norms which enable sexual and gender-based violence.

Prof. Osinbajo also acknowledged that the Women Affairs Ministry, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, the International Community and several Civil Society Organizations had also been at the forefront of finding solutions and transformative strategies to address the root causes of gender-based violence.

Present at the virtual meeting was the Women Affairs Minister, Dame Paullen Tallen, the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, representatives of the United Nations and Civil Society Organizations.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity,
Office of the Vice President
19th June, 2020

Women Affairs Minister Calls For Enforcement Of Child’s Right Act In Nasarawa

Aisha Alhassan, Child's Right Act, Nasarawa Minister Of Women Affairs and Social Development, Aisha Alhassan, has called for the enforcement of the child’s right act and domestication of Violence Against Persons Prohibition (Act) in Nasarawa state.

She made the call when she visited Governor Tanko Al Makura, at the council chambers of the government house in Lafia, the state capital.

Alhassan who was on an advocacy visit, called on the governor to enforce the child’s right act which has been domesticated in the state since 2005, noting that the law is already being implemented in 20 states of federation.

“I call on you to please through your different agencies, be serious on the implementation of the child’s right act. People do things and get away with it. We have to protect our children” she said.

She also appealed to the governor to act fast in domesticating the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (Act), which was passed by the National Assembly last year as well as urging them to initiate a women development centre in the state.

She however praised the women empowerment initiative by the federal government, which had Nasarawa among the eight pilot states to benefit from it.

Aisha Alhassan, Child's Right Act, Nasarawa“I am here again to bring the good news of one programme that Nigerian women have never had, it is the provision of micro loans to women” she noted.


The governor then assured Alhassan meaning of complaint of swift response to the complaints.

In his words, “your coming has given us more boost, I assure you that one of the souvenirs we will give you in Nasarawa state will come only a few months after when we get this bill enacted by the state House of Assembly”.

Furthermore, he promised to compliment the efforts of the federal government in improving the welfare of women and children in his domain.

“Starting from January next year, it will be in our budget to consider empowerment programme for women and children” he said.

Mr Al makura stressed that the focus of his administration would be on improving the welfare of women and children especially those at the nooks and crannies.

General Danjuma To Lead Committee On Northeast Rehabilitation

Theophilus DanjumaPresident Muhammadu Buhari says a committee to rehabilitate infrastructure and resettle Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria’s northeast is soon to be formally inaugurated.

The committee, to be led by a frontline statesman, Lt.-Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd), would also include Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.

Speaking at the State House, Abuja on Friday, in response to a goodwill message delivered to him by a group, Women In Politics Forum (WIPF), President Buhari announced that all forms of assistance and aid in this respect generated locally and from foreign countries, as promised by the Group of Seven of Industrialised Countries (G7), would be channelled through the committee when it is inaugurated.

A statement by a spokesman for the President, Mr Garba Shehu, said President Buhari had compiled a list of damaged infrastructure, including schools and bridges and handed it to the leaders of the G7 and the United States.

“I didn’t ask for a Kobo (in cash). It is up to them to choose what they will undertake. Already, some of them have sent teams to verify our assertions,” the President, however, stated.

Source Of Concern

President Buhari decried the impact of the Boko Haram violence on women and children, declaring that they were its worst victims.

“In the North-East, what I saw for myself and on those clips is a source of concern for people with conscience.

“They are mostly women, and children who are orphaned. Some of them don’t even know where they come from. This is the pathetic situation in which the country has found itself,” The President told the women.

He said that the fight for the return of the Chibok girls is ongoing and “continues to be a most worrying issue” to his government, emphasising that the administration would do all within its powers in making the best efforts to secure their freedom.

‘Gender Equity’

The President acknowledged the case made by the WIPF for better representation of women in his government and assured them that women would fare well in the composition of parastatals and their boards in the first quarter of this year.

He also defended the records of the administration in response to criticism that it is slow, arguing that steps must be taken with caution to avoid mistakes.

“People say we are slow. We are trying to change structures put in place by our predecessors in office for 16 years. If we hurry it, we will make mistakes. That will be a disaster.”

President Buhari assured them that the country had a budget proposal for the New Year that is good for employment and manufacturing.

“By the end of the second quarter, the full impact of these positive measures will be felt,” he told the visiting women.

The WIPF, made up of women leaders from 26 registered political parties led by Mrs Ebere Ifendu of the Labour Party expressed their full support for the government’s war on corruption and insecurity.

They asked the administration to usher in laws to promote gender equity as well as action towards the implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act.

The Women’s group made the record of being the first organisation to be received by the President in the New Year.