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Minister canvasses stiffer penalties for rapists, insists on castration

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Kebbi NAWOJ condemns violence against women, seeks justice
• COVID-19 increases rape cases in Bauchi, PWDs, CSOs want the state of emergency

Disturbed by increasing cases of rape, especially of minors, Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, at the weekend, canvassed stiffer penalties for offenders.

Aliyu, who stated this in Abuja shortly after distributing palliatives to the National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Nigeria Football Association of Coaches, advocated castration of rapists to serve as a deterrent to others.

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She noted that the FCT administration was working closely with security agencies and the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) to push for an institutional framework that would ensure justice, stressing that members of the community would be engaged in the battle against rape, especially of minors.

In the same vein, representative of Ibadan North constituency II in the Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebayo Babajide, said castration remained the best punishment for rapists.

Speaking at Reporters’ Lounge, a live programme of Fresh 107.9 FM anchored by Adedoyinsola Aladedahunsi and monitored by The Guardian, Adebayo stressed that stringent punishment must be meted to rapists to serve as a deterrent to others.

Besides, Kebbi State chapter of the Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) has lamented the high rate of rape and murder of women in the country.

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In a statement issued by its chairperson, Mrs. Laiatu Augustine Bamaiyi, the group said the union was concerned about the constant rape and murder of women in the country, adding that NAWOJ has condemned the trend and demanded justice for the victims.

She urged security agents to ensure those behind the gang rape and murder of Vera Uwailla Omozuwa in Benin, Barakat Bello in Ibadan and the 85-year old woman, who was raped by 25-year old Ezekiel in Niger State, were arrested and prosecuted.

Meanwhile, Attal Sisters Helping Hands, (ASHH) Foundation has said the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the upsurge in the reported rape cases by 50 per cent in Bauchi State.

Executive Director, ASHH Foundation, Comfort Attal, who led a rally of persons with disabilities, vulnerable and concerned citizens to the Ministry of Justice, Bauchi State at the weekend, urged the Federal and state governments to declare a state of emergency on rape.

ASHH Foundation is supported by ActionAid and Canada to focus on rights of women, girls and the vulnerable in society, appealed to the Commissioner for Justice Yakubu Bello Kirfi, saying she was devastated at the escalating reports of violence against women and girls in the state and the entire country.

Responding, Kirfi assured the groups that the perpetrators would not go unpunished and charged the NGOs to always inform the ministry of any reported cases of rape.

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