Domesticate VAPP Act, group urges governors 

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An international civil society organisation, International Human Rights Observatory Africa, has expressed concern over the delay by some state governments to domesticate the  Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act.

Addressing journalists in Abuja on Saturday, the patron of the group in Africa, Kenneth Ibe-Kalu, said the domestication and implementation of the act would help to curb gender-based violence in the country.

The bill was signed into law by former president Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.

According to VAPP tracker, an application by Partners West Africa Nigeria monitoring the progress of the act across the 36 States, 29 have passed and domesticated the law.  Kano, Katisna, and Zamfara are yet to pass the bill at the state assemblies, Taraba, Rivers, and Gombe governors are yet to assent to the bill to domesticate the law in their states.

Lagos and Ekiti states have Protection Against Domestic Violence Law and Gender Based Violence Prohibition Law, the tracker added.

Ibe-Kalu, however, called on the state governors to domesticate the act in order to safeguard the rights of women in such states.

He said, “We are worried that the VAPP act has not been passed and domesticated in some states. As our delegations arrive on Tuesday, we hope to visit the National Assembly to parley with them on what can be done to make the state governments domesticate the act.

“The act is very important. It will help to protect the rights of women and children in these states. For those who have domesticated it, we will not just want it to end at domestication, we want the act to be implemented.”

He said the parley was part of the activities lined up for the launch of the group in Nigeria, adding that the group would ensure the protection of women and children’s rights in the country.

“The launch in Abuja chronicles the establishment of IHRO Africa Headquarters with the mandate of protecting and detecting abuses concerning the rights of adequate livelihood and housing; detention rights; disability rights; disappearance rights among others.

“With the launch of this organisation, Nigeria will take a giant step to ensure that women especially those in rural areas, children, and other vulnerable citizens have access to seek redress in the event of suffering such abuses.” he added.