Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD), a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), has appealed to the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, to sign into law the Violence Against Persons Prohibition(s) (VAPP) Act in the state.
CEHRD made the call a parley with newsmen in Port Harcourt.
Speaking, the Director of Programme, CEHRD, Styvn Obodokwe, recalled that the State House of Assembly had since passed the VAPP Bill and, therefore, called on the state government to assent it into law.
He lamented the high rate of gender-based violence recorded during the Covid-19 lockdown across the country.
“We noticed with dismay that during the lockdown due to Covid-19, the country witnessed increase in gender-based violence cases across the 36 States of the country.
“The Inspector General of Police announced this during his broadcast on recorded gender-based violence in the country of 717 rape cases from January to May, 2020,” he said.
The NGO, however, lamented that five years after the passage of the law by National Assembly, 21 states are yet to domesticate the VAPP Act.
CEHRD commended the River State House of Assembly for the legislative rigours it went through to pass the Bill, stressed that, “unfortunately, after five years of the passage of the law, as at today, 21 States, including Rivers State, are yet to domesticate the VAPP Act’.
Obodokwe also recalled that, in June 2020, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum declared a state of emergency on rape and sexual violence against persons in all the 36 States.
CEHRD however, urged the Nigeria Police to create a gender-based violence desk to handle issues bordering on violence against persons in the society.