Chima Azubuike, Gombe
Pro Democracy Activist and the Executive Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre (WARDC), Dr. Abiola Akiyode, has urged the Federal Government to declare National Emergency in matters relating to Rape.
Akiyode stated this on Thursday in an interview with Journalists in Gombe at a Retreat organized in collaboration with African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) for Bauchi Legislators on Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law.
She blamed lack of political will and priority as major reasons why rape issues fester in the country adding that government across all divide must increase funding to end the rape scourge.
According to Akiyode, “Government must increase funding to sectors working on Rape, Make rape a National Emergency, meaning that all sectors will be made to do the needful in terms of prevention, and response as well as mechanism built around the scourge of rape not only in rape but in sexual violence.”
While reacting to the failure of Police to effectively prosecute cases relating to Rape due to paucity of fund Akiyode added, “Government can dedicate a part of the Abacha loot, which is meant to contribute to social welfare of the people, they have done it before with the MDG. Now that rape has become a National embarrassment such funds can be directed to that, to strengthen the police. The need to see Prevention of rape and prosecution of rape as important, so also the mechanism to address rape.”
Meanwhile, the Speaker Bauchi state Hon. Abubakar Suleiman, hinted that the bill on Violence Against Persons (Prosecution) has passed second reading in the house, adding that governor Bala Mohammed has adequate political will to domesticate the law in the state.
He said, “Because of it importance we have all agreed to give it speedy passage. We decided to partner with WARDC to end violence against people in the state, we can safely say we have declared war on rape, Remember that most of these victims are our constituents, we had to wake up to see that we protect them, even this morning we have heard of one rape case. Victims should see reason in exposing these ‘animals’ (violators) who perpetrate such ugly acts, if they don’t come the offenders will go unpunished. The governor is just like us, he will assent to it.”
Highlight of the retreat was virtual connections of resource persons including Mr Rommy Mom, member Police Service Commission, who
also expanded the scope on Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act.