Some stakeholders in Rivers State are calling on the Ministry of Justice and the State Police Command to always use the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act in the prosecution of gender-based violence in the state.
The stakeholders said this at an interactive summit on implementation of the VAPP ACT organised by the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) with support from the Embassy of the Netherland in Port Harcourt.
Head of Legal Team, Rivers State House of Assembly, Felicia Nwoke said the VAPP Act had more stringent sanctions than the old criminal code.
She said the law was carefully crafted to protect genders at home and work places without discriminations, adding that the law aims at ending all forms of gender based violence which has become alarming in the society.
On our part, the representative of the Rivers State Police Command, CSP. Adebayo said there is need to tackle gender based violence and violence against persons, adding that the VAPP Act is a welcome development in the state as it is a veritable tool to fight the menace called gender-based violence.
She also said the police needed support in information gathering as well as conducive spaces for interrogation and logistics to facilitate the handling of the matter.
Also speaking, a participant from the Ministry of Justice, Veronica Brown called for a special unit or Gender Desk at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, stressing that the unit should be dedicated to gender-based violence in the state.
Earlier in her welcome address, Chairperson CEHRD Board of Trustees, Chief Constance Meju, commended the State government for making the VAPP law a reality in the state.
She said if enforced, the law would go a long way in checking gender-based violence in the state, but noted that the law must be made known to the public through awareness campaign.
The CEHRD Coordinator, Neni Barini Zabbey, commended the efforts of the different stakeholders which yielded the VAPP law and called on participants to share their ideas on how best to make the law work.
In an overview at the forum, David Vareba, Head of Human Right Programme CEHRD noted that following the passage of the VAPP law, it was envisaged that there would be a huge challenge in the enforcement of the law.
Monarch Denies Knowledge Of Kalabari Meeting In His Community
The Amanyanabo of Abalama Community in Asari Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, King Atkinson B Tom Tom VIII, says he was not informed of any meeting of the Kalabari people in his community on the 5th of August 2023.
The meeting, initially slated to hold at Abalama, was later moved to Obuama, Degema LGA where it later held.
Speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt, King Atkinson said he refused the organisers from holding the meeting in his community because he was not officially informed of the purported meeting.
The monarch also denied receiving money and drinks from the organisers of the meeting.
“I was not officially informed by anybody that a meeting slated to be held at Abalama on Friday, 5th August 2022 was initiated by anybody, organisations or group of persons.
“There was no official letter or personal contact by the organisers of the meeting before the scheduled date.
“Surprisingly, I heard about the meeting through rumour and based on this premise, I consciously went home on Thursday, 4th of August, 2022 to see whether or not a courtesy call will be made at my palace”, he said.
King Atkinson further said the Chairman of Asari Toru LGA also contacted him on phone to know whether he had knowledge of the meeting.
“I responded that I was not informed of the purported meeting as there was no formal or due process adhered to by the organisers.
“In like manner, the local government chairman further informed me that he was not also informed of the meeting as the Chief Security Officer of the LGA”, he said.
The monarch also accused the organisers of the meeting of inciting the public against him by misinforming the public that he was duly informed . He, however, said despite the misinformation, Abalama would continue to remain the conference room of the Kalabari people.
Atkinson used the occasion to call on the people to disabuse their minds of the misinformation.
By: John Bibor
Six Division Wins Army Proficiency Competition
The Six Division Garrison, Nigeria Army, Port Harcourt, last Friday won the division’s Inter-brigade Combat Proficiency Competition featuring 60 soldiers from four brigades in the South South.
The garrison emerged overall winner at the competition held at the division’s headquarters in Port Harcourt with 560 points.
The 63 Brigade, Asaba, came second while 16 Brigade, Yenagoa, took the third position as 2 Brigade, Uyo, came last.
The participating officers and soldiers competed for the top prize in map reading, 2.3 kilometre race, weapon handling, shooting and skills at arms in the five-day exercise.
Other events were open-river swimming, obstacle crossing as well as leadership training and lectures.
Addressing soldiers at the competition’s closing ceremony, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Six Division, Maj.-Gen. Olufemi Oluyede, praised the participating brigades.
He said the competition was organised to enhance the combat proficiency and professional qualities of officers and soldiers under the division.
“This competition is part of commitment to train and retrain personnel to boost esprit d’ corps, regimentation and endurance that is necessary to tackle challenges facing the army.
“The participants have gained physical fitness, determination and teamwork in view of the fact that training develops the requisite capacity of troops to function effectively,” he said.
Oluyede said the competition targeted mainly personnel on the ranks of major and below, describing them as critical to army operations across the country.
“These categories of officers are important in our counter terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and sundry crime operations in the country.
“The involvement of femaleofficers in the training and their competitiveness is another perspective and ingenuity added to the competition.
“Aside this, the competition brought together participants from various formations and units of the division, promoting mutual cooperation and comradeship,” he said.
The GOC said the competition was one among several other training exercises organised by the division to improve physical and combat readiness of troops.
He called on the participants to remain sharp and dedicated to duty, urging them to share their newly acquired knowledge and skills with junior colleagues in their respective units.
NYSC DG Hails Wike Over 5,000 Capacity Auditorium
Poised to upgrade facilities at the state’s National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camp, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has handed over the 5,000 capacity state-of-the-art Auditorium built by his administration to the corps in the state.
Inaugurating the project at the Orientation Camp, Nonwa-Gbam, Tai, last Thursday, the Director General, NYSC, Brigadier General Muhammad Kaku Fadah, described the project as representing an architectural masterpiece and urged other state governors to emulate the gesture.
Fadah, who doubled as the Special Guest at the occasion noted that no NYSC camp in the country has such auditorium, expressing hope that the other state governors would borrow a leaf from the Rivers State governor and ensure a comfortable stay of corps members on camp.
While noting the numerous people-oriented projects of governor Wike to the scheme in the state, Fadah stated that the governor was indeed”setting the pace in terms of commitment to providing critical infrastructure needed to create a conducive environment for corps members undergoing training during orientation course exercises in the state to have a sense of belonging and well-being”.
The NYSC boss expressed deep gratitude to the governor for giving the state orientation camp a face-lift with the ultra modern auditorium.
“Governor Wíke has done a lot for us. This occasion offers us a unique opportunity to appreciate your numerous people-oriented projects. It is also heart-warming to note that the state government under your able leadership has done a lot for NYSC”, he said.
Earlier at the Passing-Out Ceremony of the 2022 Batch B, Stream 2 Corps Members, Fadah charged the corps members to remain security conscious at all times and shun acts that are capable of endangering their lives, including staying out late, taking ride from strangers and attending night parties.
Fadah said, “the scheme is in constant liaison with security agencies and other critical stakeholders to ensure your safety always as well as in addressing other essential needs that will enable you have a fulfilling service year”.
A total of 1,288 corps members successfully completed the orientation exercise in the state.
By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu
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