By Tosin Kolade
The Chief Executive Officer, Health Aid for All Initiative (HAFAI), Dr Ugochi Ohajuruka, has tasked the Federal Government to prosecute anyone caught violating provisions of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act 2015.
Ohajuruka made this call at an event to commemorate the 2023 International Day of the Girl-Child, in partnership with the Global Glow USA in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the VAPP Act was enacted in 2013, passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate on May 14, 2015.
It is aimed at eliminating violence in private and public life, prohibit all forms of violence against persons and to provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment for offenders.
Ohajuruka explained that it is time for government to implement laws, follow through the policies and let people know difference between wrong and right.
“We want to see perpetrators going to jail because they cut their daughters for nothing that they know nothing about,” she said.
She also revealed that poor access to menstrual hygiene products and facilities is one of the reasons why girls don’t stay in school or even engage in class and sport activities.
“HAFAI gives sanitary supplies to these girls, while advocating against harmful barbaric activities.
“We say the law has been passed and these practices have to be abandoned and we are happy that our organisation is making lots of milestone in these regards,” she said.
She advised parents to be hands-on and more accessible to their children, so that they will be able to confide in them when they are faced with challenges.
“Charity begins at home, the foundation of anybody’s life starts from the home that is why when we run community engagement program we discuss with religious and traditional leaders who are parents and parents of the girls as well that they should be more involved in the lives of their girls,” she said.
One of the girls, Adamu Hauwa, on her part charged the government to create more organisations like Global Glow and HAFIA in empowering and mentoring girls, teaching them to build self-esteem and leadership skills.
Hauwa added that government should provide scholarship opportunities for girls, saying many of them lack access to basic education.
The theme of the 2023 International Day of the Girl-Child is: ‘Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership.”.
The 2023 event aims to unite adolescent girls with advocates for their rights, including UN leaders, NGOs, businesses, and governments.
HAFAI promotes the rights of girls/women to education and safe reproductive healthcare choices using a holistic approach to behavioral change; and sustainable menstrual hygiene management solutions.
It also works to reduce maternal and infant mortality through disease control, immunization against common childhood diseases and population management. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Julius Toba-Jegede