Worried by the upsurge in cases of rape and other gender based violence in Rivers State in particular, and Nigeria in general, especially as it seem the coronavirus pandemic have provided an additional opportunity for perpetrators as a result of the restriction of movement and total lockdown by the government that followed, the Coalition of Eastern NGOs (CENGOS) is demanding assent by the Rivers State Governor, to the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Bill
CENGOS arrived at the position, after a two-day Household Discussion Training for Community Educators on Gender Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, which it organised in collaboration with the Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC) with funding support from AmplifyChange.
The coalition also regrets the delay experienced in the trial of cases involving perpetrators of rape and other forms of gender based violence which are prolonged in most instances, especially when underage children of 9 months, 3 years, 5 years etc are involved as currently witnessed in the state. CENGOS therefore want to call on the Rivers State Government to set up special courts to try cases of sexual and gender based violence for quick dispensation of justice.
CENGOS commends the show of extra-ordinary solidarity by the Rivers State House of Assembly in Passing the VIOLENCE AGAINST PERSONS PROHIBITION (VAPP) BILL, and we join other members of the civil society community to call on the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Chief (Barr.) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, to in the interest of victims/survivors of rape and other forms of gender based violence, assent to the Violent Against Persons Prohibition Bill as passed by the State Assembly.
We urge victims to speak-up and break the culture of silence, and call on all residents and Nigerians to stand up and take responsibility in the fight against sexual and gender based violence.
CENGOS Rivers State calls on Faith Based groups, NGOs and the general public to demand for Governor Wike’s assent to the VAPP Bill.