The Kogi State Government has assured that the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill passed by the State Assembly will soon be assented to by the State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.
The Attorney – General and Commissioner for Justice, Kogi State, Ibrahim Sanni Mohammed (SAN) gave the assurance while speaking during a Community Initiatives dialogue organised by Savannah Centre for Diplomacy Democracy and Development in partnership with USAID and Mercy Corps held in Lokoja, the State capital today, Thursday April 28.
The Attorney – General who was represented by Barrister Mary Otaru from the State Ministry of Justice, said that the long awaited Assent, in a matter of weeks, will be realised.
Mohammed, said the quick assent to VAPP Bill will go a long way in ensuring credible, peaceful, free and fair elections come 2023 at both state and federal levels.
The Attorney -General however commended the collaborative efforts of Savannah Center for Diplomacy Democracy and Development, USAID and Mercy Corps for championing peace project in Kogi, describing the feat as “a welcome development that would bring about needed unity, security and prevention of violence across Kogi.”
“As a government, we also owe the responsibility of protecting the lives of our people from any form of violence. Am assuring this gathering that Kogi will soon join the comity of States that will sign this bill into law as we approach the 2023 general election” he added.
The Executive Director, Savannah Centre for Diplomacy Democracy and Development, Amb. Sani Bala, in his welcome address, said that the dialogue on Community Initiatives was organised in collaboration with USAID and Mercy Corps, geared towards promotion and fostering of enabling environment for peace to reign supreme in Nigeria.
“We need to do more in moving Kogi to achieve the desired result in the areas of peace, security of lives and property as well as infrastructural development across the state” Bala appealed.
High point of the dialogue the forum was panel of session discussions on two major topics, namely; “Analyzing the Kogi State Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill and Its Benefits towards Sustaining Peaceful Society ahead of 2023 General Elections” and “Exploring Critical Strategies in Signing and Domesticating Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill in Kogi” What Has Been Done versus What Still Need To Be Done
It would be recalled that, the Kogi State House of Assembly in March 2021 passed the VAPP bill into law and is yet to be assented to by Governor Bello 13 months after.
Kogi, Plateau, Kebbi and Rivers are the four remaining States that are yet to sign into law, the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill.