Following the series of violence perpetrated against women and children in Nigeria in recent time, the Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI) has called on governments at all levels and the judiciary to ensure strict enforcement of legislative provisions and penalties against incidences of rape and other acts of violence against women and the girl-child.
The call is coming barely 24 hours after the Senate canvassed for stiffer penalties for rampant rape cases as well as increasing brutality cases against the girl-child in the country.
The criminal and penal codes of 1990 are the laws guiding rape justice in Nigeria but many have said the code is deficient in many ways as it was silent on other methods of rape incidents being witnessed lately.
In 2015, the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act of 2015 (VAPPA) was also enacted to mitigate some of the challenges of the penal codes of 1990.
In the last one week, the country had witnessed the rape and gruesome murder of Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, a 22-year-old Microbiology student of University of Benin, the killing of Tina Ezekwe allegedly by a trigger happy policeman in Lagos and the rape of a 12-year-old girl by 11 men in Jigawa state amongst others.
Worried by this, the CCSI, in a statement on Wednesday called on authorities to be more deliberate in protecting Nigerian women and girls.
The Executive Director of CCSI, Mrs. Babafunke Fagbemi said “It is unacceptable what has happened to the young girls who met untimely death in the most gruesome manner.
“The question we should be asking is why this dastardly act should continue despite the myriad of laws that we have in this country.
“Is it that those who commit rape are let off easily or the laws themselves are grossly insufficient to act as a deterrent? “We need to look at the issues of our laws if they are insufficient with a view to strengthen them while the security agencies must ensure the enforcement of such laws.
“We are losing our precious daughters and those who survive this violence are left to live with the painful memories for a long time.”
Fagbemi added that the world of women and girls keep shrinking as sexual and domestic violence continue to affect their ability to enjoy rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men.
“Nigeria needs her women and girls and must defend and protect them from the hands of predators,” Fagbemi said.
Stressing that to make women and the girl child feel safe and confident to lead equal life as their male counterparts, justice must be served against perpetrators of crimes against women to serve as deterrent to other intending perpetrators.