Chima Azubuike, Gombe
The Secretary to Gombe State Government (SSG), Professor Ibrahim Njodi, on Thursday blamed the upsurge in rape and gender violence in the country on the silence of members of the society, adding that collective responsibility is required.
Njodi who stated this while receiving the state Violence Against Persons Prohibition Alliance led by the state coordinator Dudu Manuga, at the government house.
He said most of the time when rape or gender violence occured the people concerned often turn blind eye.
“Sometimes, we blame the community but the truth is that many people have I don’t care attitude towards the issue of rape because they feel that after all they were not affected. We don’t want to cry out because of stigmatisation from the community but as it is now, it is beginning to consume all of us because nobody is safe.
“It is like the case of the mosquito, the mosquitoes in the house of a rich man is not different from the one in poor man’s house and so it is with violence. It affects both the rich and the poor. A situation where a parent will commit incense with his child was because we have always turn the blind eye,” he said.
The SSG said he was happy that people are now bringing the matter to the front burner for discussion.
He stressed that the administration of Governor Inuwa Yahaya has taken the matter of rape and gender violence with all seriousness, adding that Gombe is the only state with a ministry on Internal Security and Ethical orientation, with three Special advisers on security which was aimed at changing the narrative.
Speaking earlier, the leader of the delegation, Dudu Manuga bemoaned the rating of the state in Gender Based performance.
She said, “Gombe state does not have sex offenders register. We don’t a shelter to take people that are faced with violence. It is worrisome when other states are coming first because they come laws, structures and strong will, Gombe is coming last.
“The rate of Gender based violence is at 52% and the highest in the country. Based on GBV research conducted for assessment, Gombe scored zero, the bottom of the 36 states in the country including Abuja.”
While urging government to intensify measures to curb harmful practices such as rape, Manuga added that “Government should inaugurate a VAPP implementation committee, with stringent punishment for perpetrators, if we have this in place Gombe state, society and private life will be sanitized.”