Reps move for state of emergency against rape

The House of Representatives has asked for state of emergency to be declared against rape in Nigeria, resolving to attend its next plenary in black attires as sign of solidarity with recent victims of rape, as well as violence against girls and women in the country.

Worried by the rising spate of rape incidences in the country, the House on Thursday, also urged judiciary to forthwith, dispense with rape cases speedily, as it further mandated the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), to publish names and pictures of convicted rapists.

While urging the federal government to provide testing kits for rape victims at all primary health centres, the House called on the Inspector General of Police to immediately cause investigations into the cases of Uwa Omozuwa, Tina Ezekwe, the reported rape of minor in Jigawa State, as well as all other reported cases of violence against women, in a bid to bringing the criminals to justice.

This was sequel to a motion by Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye, on the need to condemn the rising cases of sexual violence and other social vices against women, as well as police brutality in the country.

The lawmaker in the motion recalled that there have been several recent nationwide media reports of gender-based
violence against Nigerian women and girls, expressing worries about “the disturbing growing spate of violence against women and girls recorded throughout the country.”

According to him, “The most common violence against women and girls are: Rape, Sexual harassment, emotional and psychological violence and socio-economic violence”, adding that it was disturbing that women and the girl child are daily exposed to these gender-based violence in Nigeria with negligible statistics of convictions compared to the prevalence of the dastardly acts.”

The lawmaker argued that weak institutions, poor enforcement, poverty and unacceptable social practices contribute to the ugly increase in violence against Nigerian women and girls, noting that a better government policy and legislative framework is required to stem the rising violence against women as well as improve and support women development.

Members observed a minute’s silence in honour of the death of Uwa Omozuwa, Tina Ezekwe and all other girls and women who had died as a result of rape or police brutality, after the motion w unanimously adopted, with a call on the government to embark on aggressive campaign against all forms of violence against women.  

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