The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for senatorial bye-election in Lagos East, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru yesterday expressed concern at the rising cases of domestic and sexual violence in the federation.
Abiru, a former Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State, said cases of domestic and sexual violence in the country were objectionable and unacceptable, thus pledging legislation to tackle the challenge if elected.
He gave this assurance at separate meetings with Christian and Muslim leaders in Ikorodu yesterday, promising that he would promote legislations that would address cases of domestic and sexual violence in the country.
He addressed the religious leaders alongside the Chairman of APC Senatorial Campaign Council, Chief Kaoli Olusanya; husband of Ogun State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Bode Oyedele and a former Commissioner for Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Muslim Folami, among others.
At the meeting yesterday, the APC candidate acknowledged that domestic and sexual violence “is another issue of concern, particularly for religious leaders. Cases of defilement, incest and sexual harassment are regularly reported in the social and traditional media.
“Sadly enough, we even have cases of fathers now abusing their own daughters. Similarly, we often read about husbands abusing their wives; guardians maltreating their maids and even wives ill-treating their husbands.”
With these issues rising astronomically, the APC candidate said domestic and sexual violence had become a burden for religious bodies and leaders altogether, noting that the issues “are not just a challenge for religious organisations, but also for the entire society.”
Abiru explained that the dynamics of these challenges called for synergy between the religious bodies, civil society organisations (CSOs) and lawmakers “to develop a legal regime that will reduce or at best prevent the perpetration of such heinous crime in the country.”
If eventually elected on October 31, the APC candidate assured the religious leaders that he would join forces with other stakeholders “to end the vicious culture of inhumanity and bestial behaviour in our society through the instruments of lawmaking and legislation.”
He allayed the fear of the religious leaders on section 839 (1) of CAMA, which empowered the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) “to suspend trustees of an association (church, mosques, NGO or CSO) and appoint interim managers on such associations.
He, however, said CAMA “has its own good sides. The Act has the capacity to improve ease of doing business and attract more foreign direct investments (FDIs).”
Abiru, however, promised “to promote legislation that will address the concerns of the religious bodies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs).
“In entirety, we also share this concern and promise, if elected, to seek amendment to this Act such that fear of stakeholders will be allayed,” he said.
On the brutality of SARS, Abiru again condemned the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), an arm of the Nigeria Police that had been attacking, brutalizing, maiming and even killing youths across the federation.
He said: “We are in an age of innovation. The use of information and communication technology (ICT) is pivotal to this era. As a result, the youths of this generation cannot do without laptops or holding their smartphones.”
The APC candidate condemned arbitrary arrest of the youths by the SARS, thereby rejecting the extra-judicial practices of SARS, which he said, should never again be mentioned in any part of the country.
To end police brutality, Abiru canvassed reform of the country’s policing system “to change their mindset towards the people. We must evolve a new system of police that makes all its operatives accountable to the taxpayers.
“Likewise, the police authority must submit itself to the National Police Service Commission. With the need to enforce the fundamental human rights of our youths nationwide, I will commit myself to creating an environment that allows our youths to operate without let or hindrance.”