Your Excellency, Happy Birthday. Long life and Prosperity. I have done the analysis of the VAPP Law 2021 passed by the House.
See the main points: International Funding of VAPP Laws in Nigeria:As part of the Generation Equality Forum convened by UN Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a commitment of $2.1 billion over the next five years to advance women’s economic empowerment, strengthen women and girls’ health and family planning, and accelerate women’s leadership particularly in Africa.
The VAPP Law 2021 is at the center of focus for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Program (https://www.gatesfoundation.org/ideas/media-center/press-releases/2021/06/gates-foundation-commits-2-1-billion-to-advance-gender-equality-globally ).Summary of the Imo State VAPP Law 2021A. VAPP Law recognizes Civil Unions that will destroy the traditional Igbo family.
B. VAPP Law Bans Use of Holy Bible and Holy Koran in public.
C. VAPP Law ordains Women as Priests of the Holy Catholic Church and crowns women as Ezes of Imo Communities.
D. VAPP Law was designed to gag all voices of good moral teachings.
E. VAPP Law legalizes Same-Sex Marriages.
F. In VAPP Law the Accused Perpetrator is Guilty until Proven Innocent.
G. VAPP Law legalizes Abortion.
H. VAPP Law Charges Preachers with Sexual Abuse.
I. VAPP Law is used to accuse Bishops, Priests, Pastors and Imams of Sexual Violence.
J. VAPP Law imprisons Parents for scolding their children for sexual immorality.K. Spouse under the VAPP Law includes Same-Sex couples and Trans-Sexuals.
Imo State Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law, 2021.Part 1 – Preliminary Interpretation:I. “Domestic relationship” means a relationship between any person and a perpetrator of violence constituted in any of the following ways – (a) they are or were married to each other, including marriage according to Marriage Act, custom or religion;
1. Comments: The VAPP Law recognizes Civil Unions that will Destroy the Traditional Igbo Family. This definition of domestic relationship recognizes Civil Unions since it says marriage between any persons that could mean between persons of Male sex and Female sex (heterosexuals), and Same-Sex: Male sex/Male sex, Female sex/Female sex.The term “Domestic relationship” is a form of Civil Union not known in Nigerian law, religion or customs.
The Marriage Act cited is not the Marriage Act of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is ANY Marriage Act. Any Marriage Act could also be the Same-Sex Marriage Act of the State of California or New York. The Marriage Act must be specified and recognized according to the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Recommendation: The VAPP Bill should be repealed for permitting Civil Unions which will destroy the fabric of Imo Society.
II. “Harassment” means engaging in a pattern of conduct that induces fear or harm or impairs the dignity of a person.
2. Comments: VAPP Law Bans Use of Holy Bible and Holy Koran in Public.
This definition of “Harassment” is too broad and targets to limit the spread of the Gospel of Good Morals. The message of the Gospel induces fear in a sinner, if the preacher says you must uphold the Ten Commandments or else you will go to Hell Fire!
The aim of the “Harassment” clause is to BAN THE PREACHING OF THE WORD OF GOD IN THE HOLY BIBLE AND HOLY KORAN.It therefore means that, if a woman or man committed adultery, and hears in the Sermon that punishment for breaking the Ten Commandments is Hell Fire, this would surely induce fear.
This makes the priest, pastor or imam a ‘perpetrator’ who has committed Harassment under the VAPP law. It indicts the Bishop, who authorized the printing of the bulletin that says ‘any person that commits adultery, fornication, abortion would be liable to hell fire’ and shares the tracts, bulletins, text messages, emails and other means of communication to the people repeatedly.
The Bishop could be sued for ‘Harassment’ since the message induced the fear of Hell Fire and impairs the dignity of the persons concerned. The aim of this clause is to gag religious preachers and destroy the moral fabric of Imo State.
Recommendation:If the VAPP Law was well intended, it should have an exclusionary clause that says:‘But does not include teachings on good moral conduct in the context of religious and traditional moral teachings’. The VAPP Law was not well intended and should be repealed, rendered null and void, and of no effect.
III. “Harmful traditional practices” means, all traditional behaviour, attitudes or practices, which negatively affect the fundamental rights and dignity of women, girls or any person such as – (a) denial of right of inheritance:
3. Comments: VAPP Law ordains Women as Priests of the Holy Catholic Church and crowns women as Ezes of Imo Communities.
The right of inheritance includes right of inheritance of property, right of inheritance of Ezeship throne, right of inheritance of traditional position in a family, right of Apostolic Succession, etc. The Igbo tradition has right of inheritance that is open to women and men but certain rights like right to Ezeship throne is reserved for male children, because the Ezeship is also a priestly position of Onye ji ofo na ogu. This follows the same tradition as the ‘Male Apostolic Succession Right’ of the Catholic Church Priesthood. The architects of the law want to outlaw the Male-Only Ezeship institution to destroy the Traditional Leadership Institution, and by extension destroy the Male Apostolic Succession of the Catholic Church. Their aim is to destroy the Church and remove both the religious and traditional restrictions to immoral conduct in society.
Recommendation:This clause should be specific and state:(a) denial of right to inheritance of parental land and movable property according laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. However, the VAPP Law used the inheritance rights to destroy the traditional and religious institutions.
IV. “Intimidation” means the uttering or conveying of a threat or causing any person to receive a threat which induces fear, anxiety or discomfort.
4. Comments: VAPP Law was designed to gag all voices of good moral teachings.
This definition of “Intimidation” is too broad and targets to limit teaching of Good Morals. It indicts parents, priests, pastors, imams, traditional rulers who preach against evil social practices.
Recommendation:An exclusionary clause should be inserted that says:‘But does not include teachings on good moral conduct in the context of religious and traditional moral teachings’.
V. “Marriage” means a union between a man and a woman as recognized under the Marriage Act, Customary Law, Islamic Law and Christian doctrine.
5. Comments: VAPP Law legalizes Same-Sex Marriage. This definition of “Marriage” is deceptive since it does not mention the biological sex and under which Marriage Act. It could well be the Same-Sex Marriage Act of the State of New York. It must stipulate the exact Marriage Act Law in the Federal Republic of Nigeria or recognized as marriage under the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The VAPP law uses the social construct terms ‘man and woman’ and not the biological terms ‘male and female’ as a means of deception. In a homosexual marriage, one spouse is a ‘man’ and the other spouse a ‘woman’, so that a marriage is said to be between a man and a woman under the Same-Sex Marriage Act of New York, for example. Note, it is Same-Sex of male/male, female/female, but in the social construct terms (recognized by the UN Yogyakarta Protocol) ‘man and woman’ of the Same-Sex.
Recommendation:The correct definition of “Marriage” means a union between a biological male and a biological female as recognized under the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the Marriage Act, Customary Law, Islamic Law and Christian doctrine .
VI. “Perpetrator” means any person who has committed or alleged to have committed an act of violence under this law.
6. Comment: In VAPP Law the Accused Perpetrator is Guilty until Proven Innocent.
This definition of a “Perpetrator” is illegal and unconstitutional. It is based on an illegal principle of guilty until proven innocent. Rather than ‘innocent’ until proven guilty. If a priest is alleged to have spoken words in a sermon like ‘adulterers would go to hell fire’ from the scriptures and someone accuses him of ‘emotional abuse’, from that moment the priest is charged as a ‘perpetrator of violence under this law’. Regardless, of the fact that the offence was not proven in any court of competent jurisdiction in Imo State. The aim of the detractors is to ‘Gag’ the Church from preaching the Word of God from the Holy Scriptures. A Bishop would be arraigned as a ‘Perpetrator of violence against Women’ under the VAPP law for his sermon even before any court has heard the case. This is a miscarriage of justice.
Recommendation:This VAPP Bill should not be signed into Law, but repealed, rendered null and void and of no effect.
VII. “Person” means a human being, male or female; a human life from conception to natural death;
7. Comments: VAPP Law legalizes Abortion.
This definition of a “Person” is deceptive. It sets out three criteria to be met to be a “Person” (1) a human being (2) male or female (3) human life that begins from conception to natural death;This definition of a “Person” is flawed. The Foetus in the womb of the mother is a human being, but cannot be identified as a male or female until later in development and could only be verified after birth to be male or female in each case, even though the life has began at conception. However, the identification as male or female could not be done because the Foetus was killed in the dastardly act of Abortion and Contraception. The Foetus does not meet the second criteria of the definition of the Person under the VAPP Bill. Hence the VAPP Bill denied the Foetus Personhood. This is a grave Crime Against Humanity that defies all known medical definition of Life. The legislators by passing the VAPP Bill have legalized Abortion in Imo State.
Recommendation:The appropriate definition of a “Person” is a human being from the moment of conception to natural death. The VAPP Bill should not be signed into law, rather repealed and rendered null and void and of no effect.
VIII. “Sexual abuse” means any conduct which violates, humiliates or degrades the sexual integrity of any person.
8. Comment: VAPP Law Charges Preachers with Sexual Abuse.If an Archbishop in a sermon says “some of you men and women who have committed adultery have sinned against God and your partners”. Anyone at the Mass could claim that this message clearly violates, humiliates and degrades his or her sexual integrity (Dictionary meaning of integrity: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles). This would mean that, the Archbishop would be charged for Sexual Abuse. The news of the charge of the Archbishop for Sexual Abuse under the VAPP Law would destroy the credibility of the Church even though no details would be provided on what the actual charge involved. The aim of the detractors is to use such headlines as ‘Archbishop of Owerri charged for Sexual Abuse’ to destroy the reputation of the Church. Recommendation:VAPP Law deliberately inserted the “Sexual abuse clause” to cause scandals. There is the “Sexual assault” clause which targets real offenders. The VAPP Bill should be repealed, rendered null and void, and of no effect.IX. “Sexual violence” means any physical, sexual, emotional or psychological violence or trauma inflicted on a person (male or female). This includes rape, violence, threat of violence, coercion, arbitrary deprivation of liberty or dignity, whether occurring in public or private.
9. Comment: VAPP Law was Used to Accuse Bishops, Priests, Pastors and Imams of Sexual Violence.
The VAPP Law has yet another deceptive “Emotional Sexual Violence” clause. How does one commit “emotional sexual violence” under the VAPP law? A priest, pastor or imam condemning homo-sexuality, fornication, adultery could be accused of evoking emotional distress in those implicated. The priest, pastor or imam could be charged for Emotional Sexual Violence in public under the VAPP law. The aim of the international detractors of Nigeria funding this VAPP Bill is to outlaw the Use of the Holy Bible and Holy Koran, and imprison bishops, priests, pastors, imams for preaching from the Holy books in public.
Recommendation:The VAPP Bill should be repealed, rendered null and void, and of no effect.
X. “Sexual harassment” means unwanted conduct or a sexual nature or other conduct based on sex, which is persistent or serious and demeans, humiliates or creates a hostile or intimidating environment. This may include physical, verbal or non-verbal conduct;
10. Comments: VAPP Law Imprisons Parents for scolding their children for sexual immorality. The term “Sexual harassment” was defined to include verbal utterances about any sexual acts without exemption to moral admonishments. A mother who criticises her daughter for engaging in the malpractice of sex-for-marks in the university could be charged of “Sexual Harassment” under the VAPP Law, since there is no exemption for admonishment of evil sexual acts and immorality. The aim of the detractors is to create an immoral Nigerian Society where correction of evil acts is made impossible by the VAPP Law. XI. “Spouse” means a male sex (husband) or a female sex (wife) as recognized under the Marriage Act, Customary Law, Islamic Law and Christian doctrine which qualifies either and both to be called spouse(s);
11. Comments: Spouse under the VAPP Law includes Same-Sex couples. This is a deceptive wording of the meaning of Spouse. The Marriage Act did not specify that of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Marriage Act in some countries like the United States acknowledges a Trans-sexual as one who changed from male to female and hence wife, or female to male and hence husband. The aim of the ambiguity is to make room for Same-Sex spouses. Recommendation:“Spouse” refers to persons in a covenantal conjugal union of a biological male person and biological female person in a partnership by their own free will.