By Richard Thomas, Ibadan
The Chairman, House Committee on Woman Affairs and Community Development in the Oyo State House of Assembly, Honourable Bimbo Oladeji said the committee has commenced moves to find solutions to different social and sexual violence in the state.
Hon. Oladeji disclosed this on Tuesday during a public hearing on three important Bills in Ibadan, the state capital, held at the House of Chiefs.
The Bills are Child Sexual Offences Bill, 2020; Violence Against Persons Bill, 2020 and Oyo State Sexual and Gender Based Violence Response Team and Referral Center Bill, 2020.
In her presentation, the Chairman of the committee, Honorable Oladeji said “Child Abuse Sexual Offence is a gross violation of children’s right, adding that it is a global reality across all countries and social groups.
“It can take the form of Sexual abuse, harassment, rape or sexual exploitation which can occur in homes, institutions, schools or workplaces. It is evident that sexual violence can have serious short and long term physical, psychological and social consequences not only for girls and boys but for the families and communities.
“The Second Bill tends to prohibit all forms of violence against persons in private and public life and to provide maximum protection and effective remedies and punishment for offenders.
“Violence Against Persons comes in so many forms including physical, sexual, emotional and mental. Traditionally, domestic violence is mostly committed against women, but this Bill tends to take care of both men and women because violence are also being committed against men.
She explained that common forms of violence include rape, acid attacks, molestation, beating and corporal punishment, saying ,the rate of violence against person in our society today is very alarming, daunting and sky–rocketing.
She said homes have turned to boxing rings and family unions have become Trojan battles.
“Similarly, the Executive Arm of Government under Governor Seyi Makinde has taken a good step to also propose to establish a gender Based Violence Referral and Response Centre which would propose, plan and promote strategies to prevent and combat sexual and gender based violence cases in Oyo state.”
Speaking, the Commissioner Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Joke Sanni appreciated the Oyo Assembly members for their relentless efforts at ensuring the acceleration and facilitating of the bills
The commissioner observed that the state has witnessed an increase in violence since the Covid-19 pandemic started, adding that the Ministry has the mandate to promote the rights and well-being of women, children, the aged people, with disabilities, destitute and the less privileged.
Stakeholders who contributed to the programme described it as a good measure which would go a long way in addressing the development.
The stakeholders included the Attorney General of the state, Professor Oyewole Oyewo, SA to the Governor on Diaspora matters, Mrs Bolanle Sarunmi Aliyu, representatives of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Society of Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and notable Non-governmental organization in the state.
Honourable members present included Hon Ayo Fatokun, Hon Babajide Adebayo, Hon Kazeem Adedibu.