Bauchi to prosecute rape, gender-based violence with N3.5bn

Bauchi State Government on Friday said it would spend the sum of N3.5bn for the implementation of the Violence against Persons Prohibition Law in the state.

The State Governor, Bala Mohammed, disclosed this while speaking at the launch of the Costed Model Action Plan and the inauguration of the advisory and technical committees for the implementation of the VAPP Law at the Government House.

Mohammed said that the CMAP would help in the smooth implementation of the law over a five-year period.

He said though Bauchi State was the first state to domesticate the law in the North-East, translating it into practical action remained challenging, with a persistent gap between commitment and financial support.

According to him, the implementation of the VAPP law would only be possible when funding was provided and the political will supported by targeted financial and other resources.

The governor said, “The Costed Model Action Plan is a significant achievement that underlines the commitment of the government of Bauchi State to implementing the Violence against Persons Prohibition Law 2020 and eliminating violence against persons in our society. The CMAP is a tool that will help produce results through clearly defined activities and targets, careful costing and identification of actors responsible for the implementation of the programme.

“It provides an implementation strategy and a clearly defined monitoring and evaluation components, it also includes an estimated cost of the package of the whole programme, totalling over N3.7bn. The CMAP is relevant to the overall response to end violence against persons in Bauchi State; it offers a multi-sectoral and standardised approach that can be applied at all levels. Its goals are attainable with specific times and with time frame and their achievements are tangible and can be reached.”

The Deputy Representative, United Nations Women, Lansana Wonneh, in an address said the VAPP law represents the core value of the United Nations lamenting that the domestication of the law at the federal level, the process has been very slow across the 36 states of the country.

“This, therefore, means that the process of preventing all forms of violence and discrimination against vulnerable people and every citizen of Nigeria, has not been realised in many parts of Nigeria. However, with the COVID-19 crisis, we also realised that there are increasing levels of violence, particularly the gender-based violence faced by women and girls, and that is precisely the entry point for UN Women,” Wonneh stated.

The Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abubakar Suleiman, said the VAPP law was a step in the right direction.

Suleiman said, “The importance of declaring zero tolerance against persons, especially gender-based violence cannot be overemphasised. Violence is anachronistic and barbaric. The Conference of Speakers of Legislatures of Nigeria will embark on legislative advocacy to ensure that all states of the federation that have yet to pass the VAPP law do so without hesitation.”

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