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EU, UN commend Adamawa on passage of Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law

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Angela Onwuzoo

Heads of the European Union and United Nations agencies in Nigeria have lauded the Adamawa State Government for the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Bill into law in the state.

According to them, with the passage of the VAPP law, women and girls in the state are now better protected by law from abuse and harmful practices. 

Their commendation was contained in a statement issued by Spotlight Initiative and made available to PUNCH HealthWise on Friday.

Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, had on September 1, 2021, assented to the VAPP bill.

The VAPP law provides a legislative and legal framework for the prevention of all forms of violence against vulnerable persons, especially women and girls.

Reacting to the passage, UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, said, “We commend the efforts of the state assembly, civil society organisations and all stakeholders who were instrumental to this process.

“Indeed, the efforts of these grassroots organisations as pioneers of change and the high political will of the executive and legislative arms of governance within the state is what has resulted in the milestone passage of the VAPP law in Adamawa State. 

“This important landmark reflects the state’s commitment to ensuring dignity and justice to vulnerable members of its society. 

“With the passage of the Bill, citizens of Adamawa State (especially its women and girls), are now better protected by law from abuse and harmful practices”. 

Deputy Head of EU delegation to Nigeria, Alexandre Gomes said the EU is committed to fully supporting Adamawa State as it prepares for the enforcement of the VAPP Law within the state. 

“We would like to remind all stakeholders (state and non-state actors, community leaders, religious leaders, disability rights groups, women and youth-led organisations, law enforcement agencies, media organisations among others) to sustain efforts around disseminating the provisions of the Adamawa State VAPP law. 

“By supporting its translation into an instrument of change and development for the state as well as greater women’s human rights and economic empowerment”, Gomes said.

Also speaking, National Coordinator, Spotlight Initiative,

Hadiza Dorayi, said “The United Nations and European Union have mainstreamed gender into all their financial commitments and instruments, with allocations through the Spotlight Initiative and other projects aimed at empowering women and girls to achieve gender equality.

“We would like to reiterate our full support and cooperation as we continue working with the Adamawa State government towards gender parity. 

“We use this opportunity to encourage states that have not yet passed the VAPP law to do so as a way of prioritizing the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 5 on women’s rights and empowerment”.

Dorayi further said that access to justice is a critical element that would be essential to the success of the VAPP law.  

“It is time to finally put an end to the continuing culture of silence and impunity.

“There is need to ensure that perpetrators of violence are severely punished according to the provisions of the VAPP Law and all relevant stakeholders are held accountable towards ensuring the implementation of the law in its full effect and used for the benefit of the community members especially women and girls”, the National Coordinator noted.

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