President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has assured of a speedy passage of the Violence Against Persons (prohibition) Bill into law as part of measures to stop domestic violence or harmful practices against women in Nigeria.
The Bill seeks to eliminate violence in private and public life, prohibit all forms of violence, discrimination and provide maximum protection and remedies for victims as well as punishment for offenders.
Senator Mark stated while responding to a request from the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajya Zainab Maina at weekend in Abuja that the bill when passed into law will address the inadequacies in current laws regulating the Nigerian Criminal Justice systems and respond to emerging forms of violence.
“We shall give the bill its utmost priority and urgency . We shall do everything possible to stop violence especially domestic or violence against women in public and private spaces”, he promised.
He therefore told the Women Affairs Minister and other women groups to intensify enlightenment and advocacy to create awareness on the menace even as he blamed violence against women on ignorance.
Earlier, Hajiya Maina requested the President of the Senate to facilitate the passage of the bill into law in order to ensure the safety of women and girls everywhere in Nigeria.
Maina lamented the growing cases of violence against women to include rape, female genital mutilation, wife battery, sexual harassment, female trafficking, early marriage and widowhood rites among others.
She therefore demanded for the speedy handling of all cases of violence against women and girls so that the perpetrators will be promptly punished to serve as deterrent to other offenders.
Similarly, the President of the Senate has assured the Professor Jerry Gana led Technical Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa of the consideration and passage into law of a bill seeking the establishment of the Directorate of Technical Cooperation in Africa.
Titled:”A bill for an act to establish Directorate of Technical Cooperation and Integration in Africa “, is to bring experts in various fields in Africa to promote economic, political and Security cooperation needed to curb the challenges of poverty and the emerging insurgencies in parts of the continent.
According to Senator Mark ” unfolding security challenges unarguably gives credence to the establishment of the Directorate of Technical Cooperation and Integration in Africa. We shall give priority to this bill and support this cause to its logical conclusion”.
In his brief,Professor Gana explained that the establishment of the Directorate has become imperative if African countries must overcome the emerging challenges especially on economic cooperation and growing insurgencies.
He added that a fragmented and fragile African nations cannot address the problems except they come together.
The Gana led advocacy group includes; Ambassadors Bagudu Hirse, Brown Dede, Dr.Etim Amba, Professor Many Aniebonan, Dr. Sule Yusuf Bassi, Jonathan Yisa and Shuaibu Suleiman.