The Rivers state House of Assembly has resolved to focus attention on legislation that would tackle criminals who were currently contributing to slowing development in the state.
The Speaker and lawmaker representing Andoni constituency, Mr Ikunyi-Awaji Ibani, said that the activities of criminal elements, kidnappers and cultists who had continued to terrorise law-abiding residents of the state was totally condemned by the 9th Assembly.
Accordingly, the house, which made the resolution during plenary Wednesday, it would focus on legislation aimed at ridding the state of cultism, kidnapping and other crimes currently bedeviling it.
“On this note, the Rivers state Violence Against Persons Prohibition bill is therefore moved to the committee stage.
This was after the house leader Mr Martin Amaehule (Obio/Akpor constituency 1) moved a motion which was seconded by Mr Evans Bipi (Ogu/Bolo constituency). It enjoyed unanimous support of members.
Amaehule in his contribution, applauded legislators for the move toward domesticating the bill, adding that some states of the federation had already done same and now have operational law in that regard.
He said that the bill is divided into five important parts which encompasses all aspects that would curtail violence against persons in the state when passed into law.
“The initial provision of the bill as anchored by the National Assembly is basically to protect women and to ensure that violence against women is curtailed but going by our experience in our society today, clearly it shows that there are violence from women against men and in other forms too.
“The bill with 44 clauses caters for issues of rape, wife/husband battering, political violence, indecent exposures, cohesion and other anti security issues.
“This bill is quite timely, coming at such a time when some men take pleasure in wife battering and verbal abuse on the minor,” Amaehule said.
Also, Mrs Linda Stewart, representing Okrika constituency, thanked members for supporting a bill that would protect women whom, she said, were most vulnerable.
“The aim of the law when eventually passed into law is to reduce violence in public and private lives of the people and this will greatly benefit the women and the vulnerable in our society,” she said.
Mr Edison Ehie (Ahoada-East constituency 2) and 26 other members present supported the bill and adopted that it to moves to the committee stage.
Consequently, the speaker, in line with the House rules, set up a five-member ad hoc committee to enhance stakeholders’ inclusion on the bill at the committee stage.
The committee, headed by Mr Enemi George (Asari-Toru 1) as chairman, has Mrs Linda Stewart (Okrika) member and three other is expected to come up with findings that will strengthen the smooth passage of the bill. (NAN)