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Nigeria, UN move against rape, sexual violence

By Tina Abeku, Abuja
04 December 2019   |   3:59 am
As part of activities to mark the sixteen days’ activism against gender-based violence, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and the United Nations Women (UN Women) yesterday embarked...

As part of activities to mark the sixteen days’ activism against gender-based violence, the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and the United Nations Women (UN Women) yesterday embarked on a walk to broaden the campaign against rape and related offences.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, said the march became necessary to increase the level of awareness among Nigerians and also to call on the relevant enforcement agencies to support the campaign.

“We still want to call the attention of all Nigerians to the problem of rape in our country. It is a walk to tell Nigerians that we need a safe and a healthy country, a country where women and girls are not abused and that is why we all came out wearing the orange shirts which signify a safe and bright country,” she said.

On the need for stiffer penalties against perpetrators of rape and sexual violence, the minister said it was in the spirit of ensuring that the law is enforced that made the team visited the Supreme Court and presented a letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and land another to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) in view of the vital role they place in tackling the problem.

According to her, “the police are very important in this campaign because they are usually the first point of call whenever rape happens. So, they play a key role here if this fight is to succeed because whatever is not well documented cannot yield results even if it is taken to the courts. So the police are very important in this matter.”

In her remarks, the Country Director of UN Women, Comfort Lampey, stated that females are not sex slaves or punching bags.

She therefore called on Nigerians to keep campaigning against rape “because it has become an epidemic.”

Represented by Mrs. Patience Ekeoba, she said: “At a time, HIV was an epidemic in this country and we joined hands. Today, the incidence has reduced.”