Story from Beatrice GONDYI, Bauchi
Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed has warned perpetrators of sexual and gender-based crimes in the state, to desist from such or face the full wrath of the law.
The Governor also tendered his apology to Bauchi women for unknowingly granting state pardon to a rapist.
He stated this on Tuesday evening when he received members of the Bauchi State Action Committee on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, led by the Governor’s wife, Hajiya Aisha Bala Mohammed, who paid him an advocacy visit at the Government House, Bauchi.
According to the Governor, with the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act operational in the state, anyone caught perpetrating gender violence or rape will be subjected to the provisions of the law.
He added that his administration will not grant pardon to those found guilty of gender-based violence and rape. This, he said, will serve as a deterrent to others.
Governor Mohammed submitted that the formation of the Bauchi State Action Committee on Sexual and Gender-Based Violence was timely.
The committee, the Governor noted, will sensitize the people of the state across its length and breadth on the dangers associated with sexual and gender-based violence.
He stated that sexual and gender-based violence have become a scourge not only in the state but also across the country and expressed gratitude to the state House of Assembly for enacting the VAAP Act.
“I have listened with a lot of interest to the address of my dear wife on very important issues of violence against women, violence against the vulnerable. I think this is a very good initiative.
He assured that his administration will do everything possible to protect women and children in the state, declaring that his state will be at the forefront in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence.
“I apologise to our women folks for the recent pardon extended unknowingly to one of the rapists in Bauchi. We will never pardon anyone found guilty of this grievous offence.
“I am happy with the advocacy set up by my dear wife because I believe that is the only way to go.
“We will do everything possible to protect our women folks and children. Bauchi will be at the forefront in fighting the menace,” the Governor declared.