The Ondo State House of Assembly on Monday held a Public Hearing on a bill for a law to eliminate violence in private and public life.

The bill prohibits all forms of violence against persons and to provide for maximum and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders and other related matters.

Declaring the public hearing open, Rt Hon Bamidele Oloyelogun, the Speaker of the House, said that the bill was meant to prevent all ugly incidents against female folks in the state.

The speaker urged the state lawmakers to ensure speedy passage of the bill, asking all participants to submit their memoranda and promised that their views and opinions would be considered.

The speaker also appreciated the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, for sponsoring the bill, extending his appreciation to Mrs Betty Akeredolu, the state First Lady, for championing a fight against women and girl child in the state.

In his remarks, Hon Simeon Borokini, the Chairman AD-HOC Committee on Violence Against Person/Gender Related Matters, said that violence affected all either directly or indirectly.

Hon Borokini noted that violence had nothing to do with religion, status , saying it was a time for its end in the state.

” Violence against persons is the most pervasive. It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth.

“As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards development and peace,” he said.

He explained that the recent upsurge in cases of violence against persons in the society had stirred the concern of many stakeholders in the society,this bringing to fore the need to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law( VAAP).

” Before now, this bill has been passed by the Senate but with few states domesticating it but in recent time, some of our neighbouring states: Ekiti, have domesticated the law.

” This law caters for the fundamental rights of persons in its entirety to include some barbaric cultural norms which impose undue interference on person in the society: widowhood, female circumcision,” he said.

According to him, the law is being replicated in the state to achieve a saner clime dreamt of in the state, saying it would be different from other existing laws dealing with gender based matters.

He said that if the bill was passed into law, Ondo State would be the first state to have full-fledged agency catering for violence-related matters, adding that the agency would be under the officer of the state First Lady.

The Committee Chairman, who thanked the state First Lady for her unflinching defence for the rights of the female child in the state and for her keen interest in VAAP, said that violence had eaten deep into societal values.

Hon Borokini also thanked the leadership of the house and other stakeholders for their inputs to ensure a violence-free society

Responding, Mrs Moyinoluwa Falowo, the Regent of Ibule,Ifedore Local Council Area of the state, asked for stricter punishment for offenders of violent acts.

The traditional ruler urged government to organize sensitisation especially at the grassroots for all traditional rulers on some archaic practices such as widowhood practices.

In her submission, Mrs Adefunke Odefa, representing Catholic Women Organization on Harmful Widowhood, tasked the lawmakers to consider inclusion of widows’ rights in the bill, frowning on a situation whereby a widow’d late husband’s gratuity, property were taken away by the man’s extended family without allowing them access.

Pastor Gabriel Ayeleso, who represents the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), said that the contents of the bills should give room for child discipline,decrying some provisions in the advanced countries which forbid parents and guardians to discipline their children and wards without being sued.

Spread the love