A day after the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu revealed that from January to May 2020, 717 rape incidents have been reported to the police across Nigeria, Resolutions against incidents of sexual abuse and other forms of violence have been made by the Police and other heads of relevant agencies in Abuja.
Of late there have been rising incidents of rape occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Some of the Victims who have lost their lives to rape and other forms of Gender based violence include; 22 year old Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, 19 year old Barakat Bello 21 year old Grace Oshiagwu and the list is endless.
The IGP said about
799 suspects have been arrested, 631 cases conclusively investigated and charged to court, 57 person convicted of rape while 52 cases are left and under investigation.
“The issue of rape has become sexual offences and gender violence has become a very serious issue now in this country especially during this lockdown because of the COVID19. We have seen case were students minors and group of women and children were raped and with the campaign on social media a lot of these cases were made know to members of the public” IGP Adamu said
The Question on the lips of many is, why has sexual violence become the order of the day? However, as part of efforts to curb this dastardly act, the police and other relevant agencies have found a common ground against rape, child molestation, trafficking in persons and other sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
The Director General NAPTIP Said
“The victims are the victims, the blame should be shifted to the perpetrators and not the victims so we need to re-strategize and put is back on the perpetrators. The naming and shaming is now going back to the perpetrators and I am happy with the sex offender register because all those who have committed the crime of rape they will have their names there, those who are convicted, their names will be open for everyone, but those that are not convicted but arrested, there names will be open on special application”
At the end of the tripartite meeting of the Police Chief with heads of the National agency for the prohibition of trafficking in persons and the national human right commission held at the force headquarters, these were among st the 12 resolutions made.
The police and NAPTIP are strengthening the capacity of their investigators to undertake comprehensive investigation, arrest and successful prosecution of the perpetrators as well as extension of support to victims of SGBV in order to stabilize psychologically and otherwise.
The Nigerian Police Force is working with NAPTIP to collate and supply necessary data and statistics on Rape and other Sexual Offences for input into the National Sexual Offenders Register.
The leadership of the Police, NAPTIP and the NHRC calls on prospective employers of labour to conduct through background checks on individuals to be employed , particularly those whose job descriptions involve working with children and other vulnerable persons, to ensure that prospective employees with criminal records and propensity for sexual offences are not employed to sensitive positions.
The Executive Director National Human Rights Commission, believes that a patriarchal society like Nigeria is a reason why victims of rape do not get justice. But all that is about to change. He said…
“From experience now it is always very difficult to prove cases of rape and Sexual and Gender Based Violence. Apparently when these laws were being made, they were made by a male dominated parliament and there is need now to bring the bring the Gender lens into it to bring the Gender perspective into it”
Children of 12 years and below have been reportedly raped by young and Old Adults. Most of these acts are not reported.
Parents, guardians, teachers, religious and traditional leaders and all other persons actively involved in the socialization processes have been told to inculcate in their children, wards and followers, proper and appropriate sex educations and values. This is believed to help control and reduce to the barest minimum incidents of this menace in the country.
One may beg to ask
What would make a person rape a defenceless infant
Who should be blamed for the rape and molestation of a three month old baby?
What stiffer punishment should be melted out to the rapist