The Obaro of Kabba, Oba Solomon Owoniyi, has called on traditional institutions in the country to collaborate and partner with other stakeholders to find lasting solution to rampant cases of rape in the society.
Owoniyi made the call on Friday in Kabba at the Kogi West Senatorial District stakeholders sensitisation workshop in preparation to participating in the public hearing on the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the bill which is sponsored by the Challenged Parenthood Initiative (CPI) in partnership with ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) is billed for second reading at the Kogi State House of Assembly.
The Monarch lamented that lack or inadequate implementation had continued to negate enforcement of numerous extant laws prohibiting rape and violence against women in the country.
Owoniyi described rape as alien to the culture and tradition of the people and assured that any rape victim within his domain would surely get justice.
“I am a product of justice. That is why I am sitting on this throne as the Obaro of Kabba. God used Gov. Yahaya Bello who fears God and wants justice for his people to see that I am here today.
“It is against this backdrop, I will say that justice shall always prevail in our land. I won’t tolerate any act of criminality in my community,” he said.
Ms Eunice Agbogun, Executive Director of CPI, told the participants that the VAPP bill would make the society safe and free, adding that the bill had been passed in more than 13 states in Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory.
Agbogun further pointed out that the objective of the workshop was to sensitise relevant stakeholders on the need to adopt and domesticate the VAPP Act in the state and solicited their support for passage of the bill.
“During this pandemic, we had reports of many gender based violence. Women are not safe, grandma and many more were raped, spouses sent out of their homes, widows forced to drink water of their late husband body and many more.
“This does not speak well for our State, Kogi and our nation, Nigeria. Our girls and women are no longer safe. Women are being molested on daily basis. They can’t come out over fear of intimidation and stigmatisation.
“This has to stop. Women and children are not left out in violence. When there is a stringent law on ground, it will discourage any individual from indulging and perpetuating this crime,” she said.
“It will be a law and whoever contravened it and indulges in this despicable act of rape and such other acts, would be imprisoned for life or killed and this will serve as deterrent to others”, she added.