Nigeria vows to tackle rape, other gender based violence

Solomon Chung, Abuja

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (middle); Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Isu-Gekpe (second left) and the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Mr. Tony Ojukwu (second right) when the commission paid an advocacy visit to the Minister on rape and gender-based violence in Abuja on Thursday.

The Nigerian Government has vowed to stem the growing tide of rape and other gender based violence in the country.

This was disclosed by the country’s Information and Culture Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Thursday in Abuja when he hosted the Executive Secretary of the Human Rights Commission NHRC, Mr. Tony Ojukwu who was on an advocacy visit.

National campaign against rape and gender based violence
The Minister further revealed that the Information and Culture ministry is partnering with the Ministry of Women Affairs to launch a national campaign against rape and gender based violence.

He said available statistics of rape cases in the country was worrisome and unacceptable to the government.

“As a matter of fact, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture is partnering with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to launch a national campaign against rape and gender-based violence. This campaign will include advocacy, public sensitization and social mobilization.

The campaign is necessary not only to raise the level of awareness about rape and gender-based violence, but to ensure that Nigerians own the fight against the abhorrent and repulsive criminal acts” , he said.

Speaking on how to crack down on the menace of rape and other gender based violence, the Minister said the Nigerian government will not tolerate the dangerous trend.

“I can assure you that the Federal Government will do everything possible to stem the growing tide of rape and gender-based violence in the country”, he said.

The Minister quoted the Inspector-General of Police as saying that between January and May 2020, a total of 717 rape cases were reported and expressed delight that 799 suspects were arrested during the same period, while 631 cases were conclusively investigated and charged to court.

Activism against rape
Mr. Ojukwu said the Commission is carrying out a week of activism with the theme ‘Equality and Dignity for Women’, as part of its advocacy against rape and gender-based violence.

He called on the police and other first respondents to be more proactive in checking the cases of gender-based violence in the country, and described rape as the violation of the right to life and dignity of the victim.

The NHRC Executive Secretary sought assistance from the Minister in the campaign, especially in utilizing the public information organs to create more awareness on the issue.

 

Nneka Ukachukwu

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