VAPP, CRA Laws Passage Would Make Kebbi Violence Free, Says NGO
By Ahmadu Baba Idris, Kebbi
Following the recent passage of Violence Against Person’s Prohibition (VAPP) and Child Right Act by the Kebbi State House of Assembly, yesterday, Kungiyar Tallafin Mata Development Initiative, an NGO have described the importance of the Bill as a way of setting Kebbi on the path of becoming a violence free state if fully enforced.
In a Press Statement signed by the Women Right programme Officer of Kungiyar Tallafin Mata Development Initiative, Miss Zarau Ahmad said that it’s an etched into history for “Kebbians” and especially for human rights defenders in the state, adding that the passage, would put sanity on human rights act and ensure violence free.
She said further that Kebbi state has become one of the 28 states in Nigeria that has passed the VAAP law, which signifying the state’s progressiveness and commitment to the promotion and protection of the rights of its people.
“You see the drums roll for Kebbi State and its people for the passage of the Violence Against Person’s Prohibition (VAPP) law and Child Right Act (CRA), by the State House of Assembly. Passed on 30th of September 2021, this date is etched into history for Kebbians and especially for human rights defenders in the state for many reasons” she added.
She said that for the women’s rights community, the law is much more than a piece of legislation. It is a bold statement to the recognition of the fundamental human rights of women and girls, while thus cancelling the notion of subjugation, control of agency and autonomy of women and girls through use of violence and other disempowering beliefs that are contrary to human development. “the passage of VAPP law and CRA law by Kebbi lawmakers has therefore set Kebbi on the path of becoming a violence free state if fully enforced”
She therefore explained that the process for the passage of these law was vigorous. Though Kebbi State seems to be the fastest state to pass the law in Nigeria. The bills were introduced into the House in January 2021 by the Executive, and in space of nine months, it was passed. This however did not reduce the rigorous process of getting it passed. Involving many actors beyond the lawmakers to include the contributions of the First Lady of Kebbi state, Her Excellency Dr. Zainab Shinkafi Bagudu, who was a strong advocate for its passage.
“On the other hand, and from the CSOs and women’s rights defenders’ angle, Kungair Tallafin Mata Development Initiative (KTMDI) was very instrumental in the passage of this law through facilitating advocacy actions. Working in collaboration with actors such as Ministry of Women Affairs, Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) and other NGOs in the state”
KTDMI convened meetings targeting critical actors, participated in think tank meetings for designing workable strategies for achieving the desired positive outcome, adding that these actions are of particular importance, as it is one thing to pass the law, and another for the content of the law to have the desired bite required to deter perpetrators and their supporters.
“The resource required for these actions is also worthy of note. KTMDI needed resources for convening these meetings. With funding support from ActionAid Nigeria under its Global Affairs funded project – Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria project, KTDMI was enabled to conduct its policy influencing work for the passage of the bill” she said.
The statement also said that the support from UNICEF and USAID was also instrumental to making these bills a reality in the state. With the funding, KTMDI was able to hold a strategic retreat meeting with lawmakers, submitted its position paper to the lawmakers, as well as mobilize citizen’s interest through awareness creation using various platforms such as webinars that targets high profile persons including the First Lady, religious and traditional leaders in the state for a shared understanding of the value of the law and buy-in by critical stakeholders. This in addition to having one on one meetings with principal officers of the House of Assembly and the Executives.
“there is no gainsaying that Kebbi state requires this law. The state is almost assuming an eye of the storm position within the North-West with targeted kidnapping of school children in recent times, in addition to existing incidences of GBV in the state heightened by COVID-19.”
The law therefore is a huge win for every person who believe in social justice. “We are indeed glad that this law has been passed in Kebbi state. We are grateful to everyone who has made this work and especially ActionAid Nigeria for the funding support through the Women’s Voice and Leadership Nigeria project.
She then appreciate the Speaker of the State House of Assembly and his team for creating opportunity for Kebbi to be rid of all forms of violence” stated the Executive Director, adding that they are more energized to advance the rights of women and girls.