A non-governmental organization known as International Alert has commended the Bauchi state assembly for passing the violence against persons’ prohibition (VAPP) bill in the state, adding that it visited the state for the continuation of a program on women, peace and security in Nigeria.

The organization also called on the media to ensure extensive reportage of gender issues for people to know what it entails.

The Senior Program Officer for Advocacy and Communication of the NGO in Nigeria, Kolo Kenneth Kadiri stated these on Wednesday in Bauchi.

He said the project that is being implemented by the NGO in Bauchi and Benue states is with technical partnership from UN women, a UN agency for equality and advancement of women with funding from the government of Norway through its embassy in Abuja.

The Senior Program officer said the national action plan was to serve as guidance for the increase in women participation in political governance, economic governance, social governance as well as peace and security mechanisms in Nigeria.

He said that the first phase of the focus was the conflict in the northeast, particularly in Yobe, Borno and Adamawa states, noting that eight other states have localised the ‘National Action Plan’ as ‘State Action Plan’ in reaction to the changing context of conflict in those states, be it Boko Haram insurgency, farmers/herders conflicts, land disputes or thuggery such as Sara-Suka in Bauchi state.

While stating that the goal is to ensure that all states across Nigeria have a state action plan, Kadiri noted that the mandate of his organization involved working with the state assemblies, judiciary, state security institution, traditional and religious leaders, civil society organizations, the media, as well as women and youth groups.

Kadiri who averred that during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a systematic increase in sexual and gender based violence across board, says women are usually the ones that are most affected.

“We have gone into four local governments of Ningi, Itas Gadau, Tafawa Balewa and Bauchi which we have targeted during the pilot phase to do consultations, we’ve tried to spread it across the three senatorial zones to ensure good representation”, Kadiri said.

He told the media to report issues related to gender and violence against persons, adding that when they are reported, something will be done on it and victims will get justice.

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