Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma on Wednesday signed the Bill on Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) into law.
The Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly, Kennedy Ibe, accompanied by principal officers of the House presented the bill to the governor.
Wife of the governor, Chioma Uzodimma was excited at the development and showered praises to the House for facilitating the processes that led to the governor giving his assent to the bill.
Governor Uzodimma described the occasion as an auspicious one, “coming at a time when the girl child and women face a lot of sexual abuse and violent attacks.”
Giving an insight into the content of the bill, the governor said “it is meant to protect the girl child, the women and even men, it is meant to reduce gender violence to the barest minimum.”
He added: ‘’It is an all-encompassing law as it covers the girl child, women and men.”
Governor Uzodimma highlighted the fact that though women want to shout loudest on issues of violence, “at times women equally batter their husbands and with this law men can now open up and reference the law.”
He assuaged the fears of people who don’t have first hand information of the law, noting that: “There is nothing supporting same sex marriage, or abortion. Again nothing in the law violates our tradition, culture and Christian faith. Therefore, those who have such at the back of their mind should drop it and face the reality.”
Governor Uzodimma informed that the law provides for a data base for all forms of sexual offences either against the girl child, the women or the men and called on Nigerians and Imo citizens procure a copy of the law.
He emphasized that his administration was determined to provide a peaceful environment for everyone.
Governor Uzodimma explained that “even the Correctional Centre Facilities in their wisdom have developed physiological, emotional and skills acquisition to rehabilitate their inmates and integrate them into the society.”
He expressed his gratitude to the House of Assembly for always being proactive in making quality laws on burning national issues that make Imo State to stand out.
Speaking to newsmen on the assented VAPP Bill, the First Lady of Imo State, Chioma Uzodimma expressed gratitude to the House for submitting the bill for the governor’s assent.
She said she is optimistic that “the protection of the girl child, women and even the male folk will be a priority of the government.”
Earlier, the Speaker, Kennedy Ibe explained that the full name of the bill is “A law to eliminate Violence in Private and Public Life, Prohibit all forms of Violence against Persons, and to provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment of offenders and for other Related Matters.”
He said Violence against Persons Prohibition Bill is in 74 sections and (also known as the VAPP Bill) is a very important legal tool that can help make the state safer for everyone, especially women and girls.