Nigerian governors declare ‘state of emergency’ on sexual violence

The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi
The Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi

The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has declared a state of emergency on the increasing rate of sexual and gender-based violence in the country.

The NGF chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, said this via a communique sent to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday.

Mr Fayemi, who has signed the Sexual Violence Against Children (compulsory treatment and care for child victims of sexual violence) bill into law, said the Ekiti State has maintained a zero-tolerance to all forms of sexual violence.

In the latest release, Mr Fayemi urged other state governors who are yet to validate the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act and other relevant gender-based protection laws to create a register in each state ”that would ensure it names and shames sex offenders”.

He listed the resolutions listed by the governors.

“Governors strongly condemned all forms of violence against women and children and committed to ensuring that offenders face the maximum weight of the law; declared a state of emergency on sexual and gender-based violence.

“Called on State Governors that have not already domesticated relevant gender-based protection laws to domesticate the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, the Child Rights Act and the updated Penal Code to increase protection for women and children and ensure speedy investigation and prosecution of perpetrators in addition to creating sex offenders register in each state to name and shame.”

He added that governors would ensure state commissioners of police provide reports on their response to sexual and gender-based violence at the state and local government levels.

“We will invite the commissioners of police to provide a detailed report on the actions taken to strengthen their response to sexual and gender-based violence through the Family Support Units and Force Gender Units at the State and Local Government levels.

“Governors will commit additional funding for the prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence through appropriate Ministries, Departments and Agencies;

“Endorse the communique of the meeting of the First Ladies in Nigeria which held on 7th June 2020 to evaluate and mobilise action to check the alarming rate of sexual violence against women and girls and indeed all forms of violence against women,” the forum’s statement added.

Trend

For the past few weeks, Nigerians have continued to protest the incessant rape incidents across the country.

This newspaper reported the case of Barakat Bello who was raped and killed by hoodlums in Ibadan. Also, Vera Omozuwa, a 100-level student of microbiology at the University of Benin died days after she was beaten and raped inside a church by yet to be identified men.

For Hadiza Saidu’s daughter and niece, they were both raped by a neighbour. There was another report of a father who repeatedly raped two of his daughters ”at gunpoint”.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how police operatives arrested 11 men who reportedly took turns to rape a 12-year-old girl.

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A lawmaker at the House of Representatives, James Faleke, had recommended that persons found guilty of rape should be castrated. The House adopted the motion condemning sexual violence but rejected his prayer.

Their colleagues in the red chamber also called for stiffer penalties against persons found guilty of rape.



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