Henceforth in Bauchi State, perpetrators of offences related to violence against women and the vulnerable will no longer be tolerated as the government has vowed to deal with such offenders if found guilty by keeping them far away from the society.
The governor has also apologised to the womenfolk for the injuries inflicted on them through violent acts.
State governor, Sen Bala Abdulkadir Mohammed on Tuesday evening sounded a strong warning to the offenders of any sexual and gender-based violence in the state advising them to desist from such ungodly act or face the music squarely.
The governor who was speaking when members of the Bauchi State Action Committee on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (ACSGBV) led by the First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed paid him an advocacy visit at the Banquet Hall, Government House Bauchi.
He said that in order to serve as a deterrent to others, his administration will not pardon any offender of sexual and gender-based violence and will be subjected to all the relevant laws of the land in accordance with the Violence Against Persons Prohibition, (VAPP) law he recently assented to.
Bala Mohammed described the formation of the Committee as timely as it will go a long way in sensitising communities on the dangers associated with sexual and gender-based violence which he lamented has become so disturbing and disgusting considering the daily occurrence of such.
Bala Mohammed said, “I have listened with a lot of interest, the address of my dear wife on very important issues of violence against women, violence against vulnerable. I think this is a very good initiative. First, I must once again thank the State House of Assembly for coming up with the VAPP law. This has become a scourge in Nigeria not only in Bauchi.”
The governor pointed out that, the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law has set all that needs to be done to protect victims of sexual gender-based violence saying however that, “I apologised to our womenfolk for the recent pardon extended unknowingly to one of the rapists in Bauchi. We will never pardon anyone found guilty of this grievous offence”.
He also said, “I am happy with the advocacy set up by my dear wife because I believe that is the only way to go.” We will do everything possible to protect our women folks and children. Bauchi will be at the front banner in fighting the menace.”
Bala Mohammed then assured that the state government will institutionalise the activities of the committee so as to discharge its responsibilities effectively.
Earlier in a keynote address, the First Lady, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed advocated for the establishment of a mobile court to ensure speedy trial of offenders of sexual and gender-based violence and strengthen the operational capacity of the committee.
The First Lady who is the patron of the committee also appealed to the state government to do more by coming up with a new strategy of curbing the menace in the state lamenting every day there must be a case of violence against women and the vulnerable in the society.
Aisha Bala Mohammed said that “Your Excellency, I inaugurated the 21 members of the committee in order to educate members of the public on what Sexual and Gender-Based Violence is all about for us to minimise the cases in our society.”
She also said that the visit to the governor was to intimate him on the activities of the committee with a view to soliciting for his support in order to achieve the desired objectives.
She told the governor that, increased in the number of sexual and gender-based violence in the society necessitated the formation of the committee as part of her concern for the plight of women and children.
Also speaking, Chairperson of the Committee, Dr Esther Ahmed Kadala commended Governor Bala Mohammed for supporting the first lady to carry out a number of humanitarian activities in the state.
She too lamented the increase in the number of victims of gender-based violence in the state recently calling for a more drastic approach to curbing the menace expressing fear that if left the way it is now, the state may be a no go area for people.
Esther Ahmed them requested for the committee to be made a standing one in the office of the governor for proper management as well as accommodated for the effective running and administrative purposes.