The Federal Government has promised to do everything possible to stem the growing rate of the rape in the country.
This came against the background of alarming figures of 717 reported cases of rape between January and May, 2020.
The pledge was made by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Thursday, in Abuja, during an advocacy visit to him by the officials of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
He said, “According to the Inspector-General of Police, between January and May 2020, a total of 717 rape cases were reported.
“That is an average of 143 cases per month and around five cases per day.
“And we are talking of reported cases. Definitely, there are also hundreds of unreported cases. This is totally unacceptable,” he said.
According to Mohammed, 799 suspects were arrested during the said period, while 631 cases were conclusively investigated and charged to court.
“It is said that the true measure of a society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members and that include women and children.
He assured that the Federal Government will do everything possible to stem the growing tide of rape and gender-based violence in the country.
Mohammed disclosed that his ministry was partnering with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to launch a national campaign against rape and gender-based violence.
He announced that the campaign would include advocacy, public sensitisation and social mobilisation.
“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.
“I have no doubt that when we launch the campaign, the National Human Rights Commission will also join us,” he said.
The minister also commended the NHRC for its ongoing advocacy campaign against rape and gender-based violence.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu earlier on, said “rape is a gross violation of human rights – right to dignity, right to life, right to sexuality.’’
Ojukwu said the public outrage on account of rape and other violent crimes against women and girls leading to the death of some of the victims had reached a horrifying and scary proportion in recent times.
He, therefore, called for all hands to be on deck to address this pervasive crime in the society.
By Emmanuella Ibe…
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