By Uchenna Ugwu
Ebonyi State now has the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law.
Governor Dave Umahi gave his assent on Monday, at a ceremony at the Executive Council chambers in Abakaliki. The ceremony was attended by his wife, Rachel and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly.
The Speaker , Mr Francis Nwifuru said the law forbids violence against persons, prohibits Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and protects women against all manners of violence, including wife battering.
“The implementation of this law will enable the protection of women and give confidence to women.
Governor Umahi ordered that copies of the law be distributed to presidents of town unions, local government chairmen and councillors to help in propagating it in their areas.
Umahi commended the Speaker and the legislators for making the law. He also commended his wife, Rachel and her team for fighting for the cause of women in the state.
“Some states have passed VAPP into law to protect rights of Women. Women should know that they are striving to be accorded respect and must shoulder responsibility, ” he said.
Mrs Umahi said her pet project, Family Succour and Upliftment Foundation would be launched, along with foreign partners, to enhance development of women.
“VAPP law will prohibit FGM, rape, abandonment of dependants, child labour, stalking, spouses battering and others.
“It will be a privilege for women to know who they are with the law backing them,” she said.
The Chairman, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Ebonyi chapter and Deputy Head of Chambers, Ms Olivia Okpaleke noted that the law covers all manner of violence against women in the state.
Okpaleke explained that it was a crime not to report rape cases, adding that any one found in the act would be prosecuted.
“This will go long way in addressing all forms of violence against women in the state, ” Okpaleke said.