A few days after Vera Uwaila Omozuwa was attacked while reading in a church, raped and left for dead, her death warms up national causes against sexual assault against women.
The president's wife, Aisha Buhari, described the sexual assault against women and girls, sometimes by known relatives, as "discouraging" and "horrible".
In the state of Edo, where the controversial attack took place, the government is seeking to create a sex offender registry.
And the director general of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, called for the castration of rapists.
Renew the cause
Public figures from presidents and former veeps denounced the attack and death of Omozuwa, a 22-year-old boy who was waiting for the coronavirus pandemic to end before registering for the University from Benin for a baccalaureate in microbiology.
President Muhammadu Buhari offered "sincere condolences" to his family and friends, he said in a tweet.
"I expect the Nigerian police force to promptly and diligently investigate this matter and ensure that all those responsible for this barbaric act are brought to justice," he tweeted.
I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Uwaila Omozuwa. I expect the Nigerian police force to promptly and diligently investigate this matter and ensure that all those responsible for this barbaric act are brought to justice.
– Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) June 2, 2020
Aisha Buhari retweeted the president's tweet on his timeline between pieces of statement on how to stop sexual assault according to the "Leave our Daughters, Sisters and Mothers Alone" campaign.
"I will continue to work with the women of governors to ensure that the relevant political structures and frameworks are put in place to end gender-based violence in Nigeria," she said.
It is devastating to hear about the horrible death of our daughters who have been mercilessly raped by men, who in some cases are their fathers, brothers and protectors of their chastity. pic.twitter.com/vPlsn3n9zS
– Aisha M. Buhari (@aishambuhari) June 3, 2020
Omozuwa has become the latest poster child to end sexual violence against women and girls, but she is not alone.
This week, Jigawa police arrested a 57-year-old man for sexual assault on a 12-year-old girl.
When the minor spoke to the police, she mentioned 10 other men who had sexually assaulted her at different times.
The 11 men are all in police custody.
Another 57-year-old man in Osun was placed in pre-trial detention for allegations that he desecrated a 12-year-old girl on May 25 in the Oke-Mission area, in the community of Ejigbo .
It would not be the first time.
A trial court heard that the man, Moses Oloko, had raped the girl at least 10 times, luring her with N100 whenever he wanted to.
The scale of the rapes that hit the headlines and, at times, the physical injuries and death in their wake, alarmed former vice president Atiku Abubakar, whom he described as " pandemic "when he spoke with the Omozuwa family.
“I just spoke to the family of the late Uwa Omozuwa. I expressed my sincere condolences for his rape and murder. I feel their anguish, ”he said in a tweet.
"Unfortunately, rape is now a pandemic in our country."
"It is time that we review the rape laws to make sure there are no escape routes into the investigation, prosecution, sentencing and adequate punishment for this heinous crime. . "
I just spoke to the family of the late Uwa Omozuwa. I expressed my sincere condolences for his rape and murder. I feel their anguish. Unfortunately, rape is now a pandemic in our country.
– Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) June 3, 2020
Rape is already a criminal offense, but Dabiri-Erewa says the instrument is so weak in use that she supports "those who say that if you rape, you should be neutered."
She called Wednesday after meeting with the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority, which has donated some work items, including printers, desktops, laptops and other desk accessories to improve capacity. of the commission.
“What is happening is very frightening for the Nigerian. Nigerian women are not protected, they are vilified and a society that denies its women will not progress, so all women must speak out, "she said.
"It is getting too much and I tell you that if we do nothing now, Nigeria will be in trouble," she said.
A sex offender registry is used to track offenders who have been arrested or brought to justice or accused of rape.
The State of Edo is looking to open one.
Meanwhile, it seeks to ensure that victims can safely find the information they need to seek redress, said state attorney general and justice commissioner Yinka Omorogbe.
"I hope that in the coming months, after working with our consultants, we will be able to launch our own Edo State Sex Offenders Register, which should be a live register to prevent manipulation," said the Commissioner of Justice.
State of emergency
ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) and the Mothers and Marginalized Advocacy Center (MAMA Center) urged President Buhari to declare a state of emergency on gender-based violence, and called for action maximum penalties for sexual and other gender-based violence.
NAA National Director Ene Obi said, "Since the lockout in March 2020 following the COVID-19 pandemic, ActionAid Nigeria and its partners have documented a total of 253 cases of violence based on gender in Bauchi, Cross River, Enugu, Kebbi and Kwara. We have never been more alarmed by cases of gender-based violence in Nigeria than in recent times. Girls, women, young people and the elderly are now living in fear because they are no longer safe, even at home. "
Citing the most recent cases, she said, gender-based violence is no longer a female problem but a national problem, with the recent example of Lagos where Tina Ezekwe, 16, was shot dead by a police officer and died two days later.
According to her, in Kaduna, an eight-year-old victim identified as Jennifer remains traumatized after being raped by five men who drugged her and also in Bauchi where a 15-year-old girl was repeatedly raped by four men for to the point that she could barely walk and had to have surgery.
MAMA Center Executive Director Ola Onyegbula said: "We are concerned that such traumatic and injury-related moments are allowed to drag on or go unpunished in most cases without an adequate political response to sanction and bring the perpetrators to justice.
"As rape constitutes violence against women with traumatic injuries and even the death of victims, we demand that the reported cases be publicly condemned and not treated lightly in all political responses and judicial interpretations," he said. she declared.
The non-governmental organization Let’s Talk Humanity Initiative called on the Nigerian police force "to take immediate action on the need to end the culture of rape in Nigeria".
The founder, Fatima Ganduje-Ajimobi, told the Daily Trust in Ibadan: "There is a need for non-governmental organizations to start educating young boys and men that rape is as serious as murder. We call on other NGOs to join us in this fight against rape and child abuse. "
Download the Daily Trust News app