Gender-Based-Violence: CSOs beg Lalong to establish Gender Commission in Plateau

dca governor simon lalong
dca governor simon lalong

From Gyang Bere, Jos

The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has appealed to Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong to establish the Gender and Equal Opportunities Commission to reduce to the minimum the occurrences of Gender-Based Violence in the state.

Facilitator of the Plateau CSOs Coalition, Gad Peter who briefed Journalists in Jos on Wednesday appreciated the Governor for signing into law the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2022 and said the Gender Commission will help in the implementation of the Act.

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“The coalition once more sincerely appreciates the Executive Governor of Plateau state for the giant stride taken in the right direction but like Oliver Twist we want to ask for more by further soliciting and advocating for the speedy establishment of the Gender and Equal Opportunities Commission which will ensure the implementation and monitoring of not just the Plateau Gender and Equal Opportunities Law but also the VAPP Act.

“The VAPP law seeks to eliminate or reduce to the minimum the occurrences of Gender Based Violence in the State. It protects the rights of citizens against violence. It aims at addressing gaps in current laws in private and public spaces. Specifically, it is aimed at responding to old and emerging forms of Sexual Gender Based Violence.”

Peter explained that some of the major acts of violence which the law prohibits includes “An offence such as rape which upon conviction will attract the punishment of life imprisonment and a person who aids, abets or conceals an offender is liable to imprisonment for a minimum of 12 years.

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“Forceful eviction of a marriage partner or refusal of access to his/her home commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for a term of 2 years or a fine of N300, 000 or both.

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“Anyone who incites aids or abets another to eject persons with disabilities or forceful ejection of widows by in-laws or relatives is liable to one year imprisonment or a fine of N200,000 or both.

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“On abandonment of spouse, children and other dependants without any means of sustenance is liable to imprisonment to a term of 3 years or a fine of 500,000 or both.”

He noted that the law also prevents spousal/partner battery, saying anyone who stalks another is liable to 2 years imprisonment or a fine of 500,000 or both.

Peter called on the Commissioner for Justice to ensure a quick gazette of the VAPP law as it will long a way in addressing the most serious issue most Nigerian laws are faced with.

“Constituting the board of the Gender Commission swiftly will again portray an excellent image of the inclusive nature of His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Simon Bako Lalong administration. This will amplify his HeforShe nature and put him and his administration again in positive national and International limelight.” He stated.

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