ActionAid Nigeria and her partners have documented a total of 253 cases of gender-based violence in Bauchi, Cross River, Enugu, Kebbi and Kwara States, Tribune Online reports.
Speaking on Tuesday, the country director of the organisation, Ene Obi said they have never been more alarmed about the cases of gender-based violence in Nigeria than in recent times.
According to Obi, girls, women, young and old now live in fear as they no longer feel safe even in their own homes since the lockdown started in March 2020 which was occasioned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While commending the efforts of the Nigerian Police in investigating and arresting some of the perpetrators, ActionAid said “we are concerned that arrest is no longer enough to serve as a deterrent as this is now almost a daily occurrence. More so, most of these cases are settled out of court and there is no real justice for the survivors and their families.
“Gender-based violence is no longer a women issue but a national issue; recently, in Lagos, 16-year-old Tina Ezekwe was shot by a trigger-happy police officer, she died two days later.
“In Kaduna, 18-year-old Jennifer remains traumatised after she was gang-raped by five men who drugged her. In Bauchi, a 15 year-old-girl was raped repeatedly by four men to the point that she could barely walk and had to undergo surgery.
“Another 12-year-old girl was raped by 11 men in Jigawa and all of them confessed to have violated the little girl at different times. Also, in May 2020, 22-year-old Uwavera Omozuwa, an undergraduate was raped while she went to read in a church near her home, she died three days later.
“As a community rooted organisation, we have documented cases on men violating their own daughters and we attest to the fact that this list is inexhaustive as more cases are reported almost on a daily basis and we worry for the safety of Nigerian girls and women as even our grandmothers are not spared.”
She stated that the situation has degenerated to the point that security operatives who are meant to protect are also threatening to rape and kill women and girls in the face of conflict as evidenced in the 26 seconds video where two soldiers threatened to rape and infect women and girls with HIV in Warri over the alleged killing of their colleague by residents.
ActionAid Nigeria, therefore, called on the government at all levels to rise and put an end to gender-based violence. We call on the Presidency to declare rape as a crime without options of bail or out of court settlement.
“We urge the Presidency to declare a state of emergency on gender-based violence, as this is the time to take concrete actions before Nigeria comatose into a state of anarchy where women and girls are left to wallow in hopelessness,” Obi said.