Group urges Akwa Ibom Govt to back call for Tinubu’s approval of Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill


The Anti-Sexual Harassment Cluster in Akwa Ibom State, Connected Development (CODE), has called on the State government to collaborate with Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV) stakeholders in urging President Bola Tinubu to give assent to the Anti-Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institution Bill (2023).

Ubong Ekpe, the Akwa Ibom state Lead of CODE, made the appeal in Uyo during the Stakeholders Dialogue Forum on “Curbing Gender-Based Violence.” Ekpe emphasized that the passage of such a bill would foster a healthy educational environment conducive to learning.

He further urged the management of all tertiary institutions to endorse and support the establishment of Campaign Against Sexual Harassment (CASH) Clubs in their respective schools. He clarified that these clubs are not intended to target any lecturer but rather to provide students with an opportunity to voice any experiences of sexual harassment.

Ekpe stated, “The Government of Akwa Ibom State should lend its voice to the request of all SGBV Stakeholders to urge President Bola Tinubu to give assent to the Anti-Sexual Harassment in Tertiary Educational Institution Bill (2023) as it will promote a healthy educational environment needed for learning.”

He also revealed that the organization, in coalition with others, had formulated an Anti-Sexual Harassment bill for schools. This bill was presented to the Deputy Speaker and leader of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, emphasizing the prevalence of sexual harassment in both secondary and primary schools. Ekpe expressed optimism that the governor’s wife would support the bill to expedite its passage.


During the dialogue, stakeholders including representatives from the university, NAPTIP, judiciary, police, Akwa Ibom State government, and student unions called on academic institutions and organizations in the state to develop sexual harassment policies to guide employees against any attempts at engaging in sexual abuse. Such policies, they argued, would serve as a deterrent to potential perpetrators.

Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sule Musa, who represented Commissioner of Police CP Olatoye Durosinmi, condemned incidents of sexual harassment and violence. Musa stressed that all sectors must collaborate to curb SGBV, suggesting a death penalty for anyone found guilty of defiling a girl child.

“It is sad that a man of reputable position would be found defiling a girl of 10 years even below. If we damage our baby girl, the entire world is damaged. Therefore we should try as much as possible to safeguard them. If I may suggest, there should be a death penalty for anyone found guilty of defiling a girl child. It is pure madness.”

The Chairperson of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Akwa Ibom State, Iquo Abia, who served as the Keynote Speaker, noted that the VAPP law is comprehensive enough to prosecute perpetrators of SGBV. However, she lamented the lack of convictions in battery cases against husbands due to victims backing out of cases.

“The law is not a problem, the problem is the implementation of the law. We have instances when women will lodge a complaint and in the long run, they back out, some will even deny coming to you. That’s a big challenge. The VAPP law is comprehensive enough. The court deals with facts and evidence, a situation where a victim withdraws in the middle of a case is challenging.”

Abia also advised NGOs to ensure they make data available, as it aids in fund allocation during budget preparation.

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