Ilorin (Precise Post) – A women’s rights activist, Mrs Christy Abayomi-Oluwole has called for the Kaduna state law, which makes castration a punishment for culprit of rape, replicated in Kwara.
Abayomi-Oluwole made the call on Wednesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin.
She spoke with NAN on the sideline of the two-day training programme organised by an NGO, Global Hope for Women Children Foundation (GLOHWOC) for Kwara Rapid Response team on handling sexual violence.
The training, which was supported by Actionaid Nigeria and the Global Affairs Canada, drew participants from relevant sectors on gender-based issues in the state.Abayomi-Oluwole, who is the Executive Director of the GLOHWOC, said that the newly passed law in Kaduna was appropriate and never too harsh for rapists.
“It is just very appropriate, like in Kwara, we are also pushing for the passage of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) bill.
“It has passed through the first and second readings; it is just for the public hearing and we were with the Honourable Speaker of the House of Assembly in Kwara last week with our donors Actionaid Nigeria and Global Affairs Canada representatives.“We were given an assurance that very soon the public hearing would be done.
“We also believe that what Kaduna State did we can replicate in Kwara because sexual abuse and rape are grievious offences.“They are offences that shouldn’t be taken with levity.
“So I don’t believe any punitive measure is too harsh to address such cases,” she said.NAN recalls that lawmakers in Kaduna State, North-Western Nigeria, on Sept. 11 approved castration through surgical process as punishment for those convicted of raping children under the age of 14.
On the claim by the Kwara Police that more than 20 rape cases had been prosecuted in the last six months in the state, the activist attributed the development to increased awareness for the victims to report cases.“I will say these cases have been in existence for long and it is not new but the only change therein is the fact that there was no awareness creation so people were not coming out to report cases,
“However, now because of the awareness creation, because of the sensitisation, people are now bold bold enough to come out.“The issue of stigma to some extent is being overcome and because of this people are coming out,” she said.
Abayomi-Oluwole also commended service providers for being alert to their responsibility of ensuring that rapes cases were addressed and not “swept under the carpet.”“Again there is collaboration between the various sectors, we are working with the police and like I told you we even have the head or the Anti-Human Trafficking of the Nigeria police in this training here.
“So, the collaboration between the police and other service providers has made it very easy for cases to be reported and for justice to have its way.
“This collaborative effort has given a lot of strength even to provision of services in the state as the coordinating response to sexual and gender-based violence in Kwara is alot better than what it used to before, “she said.