by Juliana K. Tauna, Kaduna
Following the increase in the cases of rape in the country, governments at all levels have been called upon to ensure that drastic actions are being taken against any person found guilty of rape.
President of a non-governmental organization (NGO), ‘Eye Opener Youths and Woman Foundation,’ Mrs Margaret Julius, made this assertion during a campaign with theme as “War Against Rape Save the Future Mothers,” which held in Kakuri District Head’s Office, in Kaduna south recently.
Mrs Julius, who said they were at the district head of Makera Kakuri to expand the campaign against rape, noted that Kaduna state is presently facing three pandemics, which include: Covid-19, drug abuse and rape.
She stressed for the need to redouble efforts on the campaign and enlightenment against rape, which according to her, “If not tackled, will turn into pandemic; hence the need for the campaign against it. Rape case is not only on female gender; even the male children are victims of rape.”
The NGO president also called on traditional institutions to involve all stakeholders on the fight, saying, “because it’s already an epidemic; as such, all hands must be on deck to fight against the menace.”
She also urged parents to always caution their children and take good care of them by giving them good moral upbringing.
According to Mrs Julius, some parents do allow their teenage daughters to dress indecently without being cautioned.
“We are begging the government to take drastic action any person found
guilty. We are ready in this foundation to report any body that is being found raping the opposite sex,” Mrs Julius said, and called on religious leaders to wake up to their responsibilities, saying, “Most of these happenings are more like spiritual than ordinary.
“How can you explain somebody raping a child of three months? Let all of
us go back to the drawing board and play our own parts to fight the epidemic of rape,” she noted.
She however prayed that the District Head will pass the information of the campaign to government and other stakeholders, as rape can be eradicated.
Also, president of Physically-Challenged Association of Nigeria, Malam Rilwan Abdullahi, said they are also collaborating with the NGO on the campaign against rape.
Abdullahi also said the organization has been receiving series of cases across the country, adding that some of his members are equally being raped. As such, he sees no reason why persons with disabilities will not be part-and-parcel of the campaign.
He remarked that rape has taken different dimension, and the cases are becoming worse in the northern part of the country, which calls for all to go back to the drawing board to make sure that a lasting solution carved out to solve the problem, saying, “With the support of the traditional and religious institutions, we will bring this issue to an end.”
While expressing his appreciation to the Eye Opener foundation for involving persons with disabilities in the campaign, Malam Abdullahi stated that, “Traditional institutions should make sure that they use the traditional powers to handle any reported rape case judiciously.”
Mrs Martha John, of PHC Makera (GVB) Focal Person, called on the general public to ensure that immediately a case of rape is reported, the victim should quickly be taken to the hospital for medical check-up.
“For a post exposure prophylaxis treatment (PEP), we give it to any victim of rape so as to prevent the child from any infection such as HIV/AIDS.”
According to her, “The test is usually conducted within 72 hours, and immediately the treatment commences, after a month, the child will not be infected with any disease even, if the rapist came out to be positive to HIV or any other disease,” she said.
She laid emphasis on the need for parents to educate their children because, according to her, “If you don’t teach them the right way, others persons will teach them the wrong way. So, parents should educate them and make them believe in themselves so that no one can intimidate them.
Mrs Martha John explained that, “99 percent of rape come with people we know. They are not strangers; they know your movement and monitor you to go and rape your children.”
While responding, the District Head of Makera, Alhaji Shehub Tijjani, commended the efforts of the NGO for bringing the campaign to Kakuri-Makera community.
Alhaji Tijjani, who was represented by District Secretary of Makera Kakuri Kaduna south, Alhaji Saidu Yero, said the district has already received messages from federal, state and local government, and has been discussing the issue at council security meeting every Monday.
“We have informed our village heads, religious leaders, imams and pastors to include these issues in their sermons by orientating and sensitizing their
followers on the fight against rape.
He explained that the wards heads have been advised to carry out sensitization in their communities so that the problem will come to an end, noting that, “The issue of rape is a very serious matter in which government alone cope with,” and called on all and sundry to join hands in addressing the problem.