The Actionaid Nigeria has charged the Kwara State House of Assembly to expeditiously pass the Violence against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill before it to ensure maximum protection for individuals.
Mrs Nkechi Ilochi-Omokedo, Women Rights Programme Manager, Actionaid Nigeria made the call on Wednesday in Ilorin when her team led the Actionaid’s partner in the state, Global Hope for Women and Children Foundation (GLOHWOC) on courtesy calls on the Speaker of the State House of Assembly as well as the Ministry of Women Affairs.
The VAPP bill, she said if passed and assented, would give individuals, the opportunity to live without any fear or favour.
She explained that the bill, which has passed first and second reading at the House of Assembly, was at the committee stage awaiting a public hearing.
She noted that the Actionaid Nigeria has been in a working partnership with many NGOs in the state over the last 12 years to ensure and protect the rights of women.
The Actionaid senior official, presented a letter to the speaker to commend him for working to ensure the safety of children and women in the state.
“Actionaid is a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) that works around governance and women rights. Women rights is at the centre of it all.
Ilochi-Omokedo, who had earlier led the team on a similar call to the state Ministry for Women Affairs, hailed the state government for exceeding 35 per cent affirmative action in the appointment of women into the state Executive Council.
She urged other states to learn from Kwara its women friendly initiatives and appointments.
In his reaction, Mallam Danladi Salihu, the Speaker of the Kwara House of Assembly, assured the team that bill would be passed in earnest.
Salihu asserted that if not for the ongoing recess at the state House of Assembly, the House Committee on Women Affairs would have conducted a public hearing of the bill.
He advised the team to always keep in touch with the committee to ensure it has its input during the hearing.
The speaker, who reiterated the role of women in home and national building, hence advanced that reason for the need to protect the folks.
“If not for recess, the House of Assembly would have staged the public hearing.
“This assembly is ready to give desired legislative support to women and work on any bill to protect their rights.
He, however, advised the gender based NGOs to encourage women to vie for posts in the forthcoming local government election in the state.
In her speech, the Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Deborah Aremu had commended the Actionaid and the GLOHWOC for their various interventions in the state.
Aremu applauded the two partners for the rehabilitation of the Shelter Home, which she said was to accommodate victims of gender based violence in the state.
This state government, she said was elated with this gesture, stressing the GLOHWOC had been wonderful and helping the ministry in achieving its core mandate through its supports for women.
She, however, urged the donors to equip the place for skill acquisition programme for the inmates not to be idle during their stays.
Earlier, Mrs Christy Abayomi-Oluwole, Director, GLOHWOC said that the team was in the state on a thank you visit for its role on women empowerment.
The visit, she said would avail the team the opportunity to interact with relevant stakeholders on quick passage and assent to the VAPP bill.
Abayomi-Oluwole noted that the state had provided an enabling environment to the NGOs to function efficiently and effectively, hence the feats achieved