By Peter Okolie
Owerri, Nov. 23, 2021
Some lawyers in Imo have called on Gov. Hope Uzodimma to domesticate the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) (VAPP) Act, 2015 in the state.
The lawyers made the call at the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) week organised by Imo branch in Owerri on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the 2021 event is “Women as Endangered Species: Fact or Fiction, ‘Practicability of VAPP Law.”
In her lecture, Justice Vicky Isiguzo of the Imo High Court. said the state was yet to domesticate the VAPP Act, which was passed on July 27 by the state House of Assembly.
She urged Uzodimma to expedite action in assenting the bill as it would assist in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence.
She noted that the law was a useful tool in correcting some of the injustices and obnoxious practices against women.
“It is important to note that at creation, God never said that the woman is inferior to the man, but this concept was purely conceived by man.
“I believe that one of the most profound ways to prevent women from being endangered species is to empower and educate them,” Isiguzo stated.
In her address, the state Chairperson of FIDA, Mrs. Chisara Egwim-Chima, also called for the signing of the VAPP Bill into law, as it would help tackle all forms of violence against women and girls.
She appealed to well-meaning organisations, individuals and Imo government to assist in completing and furnishing FIDA office in Owerri to enable the body provide safe home for rescued victims of violence.
Mr Eke Onyeforo, Vice Chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Owerri branch, said women were constantly seen as weaker vessels by some men.
“This bill should become law so that men who are very egotist should begin to know that women have rights,” he said.
Onyeforo said there was the need to sensitise the public on the content of the VAPP Bill, urging stakeholder organisations and individuals to collaborate with the state government in sensitising grassroots.
In her remark, Mrs. Chioma Uzodimma, Wife of Gov. Hope Uzodimma, commended FIDA for alleviating the sufferings of women in the state.
Mrs. Uzodimma, who was represented by Nkechi Ugwu, the state Commissioner for Women and Gender Affairs, also pledged to assist FIDA execute some projects in the state.
Responding after receiving an Award for Humanitarian Works, Wife of the Ondo State Governor, Mrs. Betty Akeredolu, promised to be at the forefront in the fight against gender-based violence.
Mrs. Akeredolu was represented by Mr. Roland Onyeukwu, Senor Special Assistant to the Ondo Governor on Media.