The Bauchi State House of Assembly has said that the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill is meant to address the ugly trend of gender violence, sexual abuse and other forms of violation in the state.
The Speaker, Bauchi State House of Assembly, Suleiman Y. Abubakar, stated this on Thursday, during a public hearing on the VAPP Bill, Organised by House Committee on Women Affairs and sponsored by Women Advocate Research and Documentation Center, WARDC and VAPP working Committee with funding by the African Women Development Fund and the Kingdom of Netherlands, held at the Assembly complex.
He said that incidences of violence against the vulnerable in the society were growing astronomically high and extant laws are inadequate to deter the perpetrators of human degradation that has become the order of the day.
“As responsible representatives of the people, we have listened and heard the cries of the minors, parents and Guardians and leaders of our communities. Thus, the onus is on us to act fast in the interest of all concerned.
“To this end, it would be recalled that being conscious of the dangers of child molestation that are creeping into our society and part of my contribution towards curtailing the ugly trend, I have the honour of presenting this Bill. Our presence here despite the threat of the COVID 19 pandemic is a clear testimony of the importance and urgency of the task before us,” he said.
The Chairman House Committee on Women Affairs, Wanzan Muhammad, said that the Bill which is the first of its kind in the state, has passed the first and second reading at the House of Assembly and will undergo the third reading after which it will be sent to the assembly for concurrence.
At the public hearing, some stakeholders raised concern on some clauses in the Bill such as reviewing punishment for rape offenders, reviewing of existing laws on rape, genital mutilation, increasing options of fine on offenders amongst other burning issues.