By Michael Ofulue Osogbo
The International Federal of Women Lawyers(FIDA) yesterday sensitized traditional leaders in Osun state on the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law.
The Osun FIDA met the traditional rulers during their monthly meeting held at the Government Secretariat, Osogbo.
According to the FIDA Chairperson, Mrs Oluwadamilola Olabiyi, the sensitisation programme was aimed at enlightening the traditional leaders on the VAPP law, passed by the state government, saying the law demonstrates government’s commitment to put an end to all violence against vulnerable persons.
Olabiyi said they believe that when the traditional institutions, which are the closest to the grassroots, are adequately aware of the provision of the law, it will assist in taming the problem.
She however enjoined the traditional leaders on the various offences, their punishments and fines, once a suspect is proven guilty by a court of law.
“This law is a significant step towards ensuring the protection and welfare of all persons in Osun State. Violence against persons is a serious issue that affects individuals, families, and communities, and the passage of this law demonstrates the government’s commitment to putting an end to it.
“The law covers a wide range of offenses, including physical violence, sexual violence, emotional abuse, and economic abuse, among others.
According to her, “Some girls are still being subjected to harmful traditional practices such as female circumcision.
“The association gives help in terms of advising broken homes and mediate between warring husband and wife.
“As a matter of fact, we are also saddled with the responsibility of protecting the rights of girls and women.
“It’s not a matter of begging you to be responsible to people who are economically dependent on you, and abandoning your spouse and children is now the matter of the law.”
Olabiyi, however,made it clear to the traditional rulers that the association does not only give legal advice and support to women alone, but vulnerable men who do not have the power and ability to fight for their rights.
Speaking, the Orangun of Oke Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin appreciated the women lawyers for sensitizing them about the VAPP law.
Oba Abolarin, who acknowledged the usefulness of the sensitisation, said FIDA has helped them a lot with the training.
“We want to appreciate you for the laudable sensitisation programme. You have helped us a lot with this training and sensitisation because most of the things discussed here today are what we sit and adjudicate upon on daily basis.
“We want to urge you our daughters to help us make copies of this law available for us to go and study.” he said.