By Ifeanyi Olannye
Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Wednesday signed the bill to eliminate violence in private and public life 2020, into law.
The governor, who assented to the bill at the Government House, Asaba, also signed into law the Delta State Local Content Agency Bill 2020.
He said that both laws would create the atmosphere for peaceful co-existence in the state.
He lauded the House of Assembly for being resourceful and enterprising, saying it had continued to discharge its functions, in spite of the tough times occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Okowa said that the law to eliminate violence in private and public life would provide maximum protection and effective remedies for victims and punishment against offenders.
He said that the law was very important to government and families because it would ensure the protection of women, the girl-child, children and men.
“We realise that to have a decent society such laws must be in place and I believe that this will ensure greater peace and harmony in the home and public place.
“Beyond this, it will enable us to live in peace and live like human beings we were created to be, because many times the instincts in man tend to go against the laws of peace.
“By the grace of God, this law will provide enough punishment for all offenders.
“I read through it and I am quite pleased with the punishments that have been spelt out for people who will be offenders.
“I urge all Delta people to find time to go through it so that they will be guided accordingly.
“The punishments are real and severe and I hope and pray that all Delta residents will conduct themselves in such a manner that will not go on the wrong side of the law,” Okowa said.
He further said that the local content law would provide opportunities for transfer of skills and technology to the people.
He, therefore, warned host communities against taking the law into their hands.
“We believe that there is a need to begin to think about our people and how to strengthen them.
“In strengthening them, beyond creating employment for them, the issues of transfer of knowledge and skills to them in places of work, and the need for respect for the communities and our people that they work with, is very important.
“This is not just about the oil industry, it includes all industries and business enterprises in the state employing people within the limit of the law.
“I believe that this local content law being domesticated in our state is for the good of our state and for our federation, because once Delta is peaceful, it will contribute her quota to national development.
“Once the community is peaceful, the state is peaceful, we are contributing our quota towards the development of the country.
“It is important that there should be a collaboration between the companies that operate in the state and the people in whatever form the company is operating.
“This does not mean that the people should take the law into their hands and start to create bottlenecks for companies. That is not the wish or intent of the law.
“I do hope that our people will be cautious and bring whatever complaints they have against the companies to government,” he said.
Okowa disclosed that he would present the 2021 Appropriation Bill to the Assembly in the next couple of days.
According to him, the budget would record a contraction, in line with current economic realities.
He said that the state government would continue to work hard to continue the execution of projects, in spite of the economic effects of the pandemic.
Presenting the bills to the governor, the Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, said that the scope of the bills bothered on violence against persons and the development of local skills, manpower development and transfer of technology by company operators in Delta.
Oborevwori said that the law on persons would effectively regulate the rampant violence against the girl-child and women in society.
“It also seeks to provide necessary measures to stop persons from committing crimes related to domestic violence and makes provision for law enforcement officers to effectively carry out their duties in relation to domestic violence by letting victims know their rights,” he said.
He said other benefits of the bill, include the prohibition of traditional harmful practices, widowhood maltreatment, female circumcision and genital mutilation.
He said the local content law, which would facilitate the transfer of technology and skills to indigenes by the companies operating in the state, would help to create employment opportunities. (NAN)