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Tough Times Awaits Gender Based Offenders -Speaker


The Speaker, Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Aniekan Bassey, has reassured that the legislature will continue to initiate legislations and provide severe punishments to anyone who is not gender based friendly.

The Speaker gave the assurance recently at the event organized by Feyrep on Gender Based Violence at Ibom Hall, tagged, “The Orange World Generation Equality, the role of legislature in curbing the menace of Gender Based Violence, Real to life cares and its effect on the survivors as well as sustaining global partnership to end based violence”.

Represented by the member representing Etinan State Constituency and Chairman, Committee on Information, Hon. Aniefiok Dennis Bassey, the speaker noted that it’s a solemn commitment on the part of the 7th assembly to see that feminine related bills are given, utmost importance and expeditious passage into law.

He stressed that the UN declaration on the elimination of violence against women adopted by the General Assembly in 1993 defines violence against women as, any act of gender- based violence that may likely result in sexual, mental harm or suffering to women, including threat, such as coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty, whether occurring in private or public life.

Hon. Bassey hinted that concerted efforts to tame the menace is what has given birth to what he is to address, “the role of legislature in curbing gender based violence” as very pertinent and cannot be overemphasized. He also observed the primary duty of the legislature is to make laws, which they have been doing to discourage and deter, gender based violence.

Remarkably, he said that the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act was signed into law on 23rd May, 2019 and that the law redefines the offence of rape, prohibits female genital mutilation or circumcision, forceful ejection from home, forced isolation, emotional, verbal and psychological abuse, harmful widowhood practices. Other aspects of the Law include, abandonment of children, spouse and other dependents with means of sustenance stalking, spousal battery, harmful traditional practices, incest among others and decried that this piece of legislation is only applicable in the FCT as provided for in sections 47 of the said Act.

His words, “For the said Act to be applicable in Akwa Ibom State, it must be domesticated by the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly. Because of the importance of this Act, the 7th Assembly being gender based has taken steps to domesticate the said Act, same has gone through the first and second reading and was referred to Committee on Women Affairs (possible for public hearing).

He commended Her Excellency, the Wife of the Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Martha Udom Emmanuel, Feyrep, International Federation of Women Lawyers of Nigeria (FIDA), Ministry of Women Affairs and the entire women of Akwa Ibom State for making everyday a day for the elimination of violence against women. “You’ve ‘oranged’ the Akwa Ibom, Her Excellency and by extension orange the world. The lawmaker further assured the women that the state governor will assert to the bill without hesitation”.

Speaking, the Co-ordinator, Feyrep, Mrs. Ime Inyang, observed that the fight will not stop until the work was accomplished.

On her part, the Co-ordinator International Federation of Women Lawyers of Nigeria (FIDA), Justice Emem Etteh while expressing delight for the gathering and success so far recorded, said it is a serious issue to be dealt with so as to sanitize our society of Gender Based Violence.

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