The Oyo State House of Assembly, last Tuesday, called on the executive arm of government to put measures in place to checkmate the high prevalence of rape in the state.
The Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Adebo Ogundoyin, who made the call at the plenary, said that there was the urgent need to sensitise members of the public, including parents and children, to always speak up in any situation of molestation and rape.
“There is the urgent need to educate the people about the dangers and threats of child abuse, both of which are important to the future of the minor.
“The citizens need to be sensitised through the media; they need to be carried along on government programmes, particularly those relating to molestation and rape,” said Ogundoyin.
The mover of the motion, Mrs Olawumi Oladeji (ADP/Ogbomoso North), said stopping rape required changes to many policies, programmes and practices.
“Rape or sexual abuse in minors and adults, if not properly attended to, has numerous potential consequences that can last a lifetime and span generations.
“This can have serious adverse effects on health, education, employment, crime and the economic wellbeing of individuals, families, communities and societies.
“The Ministry of Health and the Hospital Management Board should ensure that victims/survivors of rape are given all-inclusive free medical attention and adequate counselling services,” she said.
Mr Isiaka Kazeem (APC/Oyo East/Oyo West), in his contribution to the debate, asserted that rape was a crime against humanity and that drug abuse engendered rape in both young and old.
Ashimiyu Alarape (APC/Atiba) said that the act should be condemned, adding that the Assembly should go for public hearing for people in the state to contribute.
Bayelsa Assembly Committee on Environment To Curb Unlawful Sand Dredging Activities.
With various complaints and pettitions by communities impacted by the activities of illegal sand dredging and mining in the Bayelsa State, the state House of Assembly has organised a public hearing on a bill to regulate the operations of sand dredging to ensure that the environment is not adversely impacted on.
The bill tagged ” Regulation of Sand Dealing and Dredging Operations Bill 2019″ according to the House Committee on Environment is aimed at gathering inputs from experts, technocrats and the public in order to formulate a people-friendly bill that will serve the best interest of Bayelsans.
The House Committee Chairman on Environment and member representing Nembe Constituency one, Hon. Ebi Ben Ololo noted that the public hearing became necessary on the need to remediate the environment and tackle the challenges posed by sand dredging operations in the state.
” The importance of this bill cannot be overemphasized because it can save lives. You are aware a number of times so many communities and their representatives have sent pettitions to this House, specifically the Chairman House Committee on Environment as per the environmental degradation that has taken place as regards the illegal sand dealing and dredging activities in various communities all around the state”, he said.
“With those number of complains and pettitions we thought it wise to put up a bill to take care of those issues. Most important thing is that we all know that public hearing is a mechanism by which parliamentary Committees obtain information, deal with the information obtained and also exchange views with experts and the public so as to fine-tune whatever bill there is for the public hearing to come up with a top class bill that will be people- friendly and also save lives of the people in Bayelsa”, he added.
” Lots of suggestions, contributions, opinions and interactions have been made as regards this very important bill, like we have assured the representatives of the various groups that we will go back in our committee, look at those very important areas where they have suggested and also fine tune the bill. So that in no distant time we will come up with a very formidable bill that will stand the test of time. That the people will benefit from”, Ololo reassured.
He lauded participants for their insightful contributions and opinions during the public hearing, promising that the Committee would do justice to come up with a bill that would meet the expectations of Bayelsans.
In her contribution, House Chief Whip and member representing Yenagoa Constituency 2, Hon. Ebiowu Koku Obiyai lamented the deliberate connivance between communities and the sand dealers, warning that if nothing is done to regulate the activities of sand dredgers Bayelsa communities will be eroded away.
The House Whip also expressed concerns on the activities of companies carrying out dredging business near bridges and sued a delibrate efforts by all in order to save the bridges from collapse.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa.
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