The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said his ministry is working hand in hand with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to launch a national campaign against rape and gender-based violence in the country.
The Minister stated this in Abuja on Thursday when he received a delegation of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), led by its Executive Secretary, Mr Tony Ojukwu, on an advocacy visit.
“As a matter of fact, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture is partnering with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to launch a national campaign against rape and gender-based violence. This campaign will include advocacy, public sensitisation and social mobilisation.
“The campaign is necessary not only to raise the level of awareness about rape and gender-based violence but to ensure that Nigerians own the fight against the abhorrent and repulsive criminal acts,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed assured that the government will leave no stone unturned in its efforts to stamp out rape and other forms of violence against women.
“I can assure you that the Federal Government will do everything possible to stem the growing tide of rape and gender-based violence in the country,” he said.
The Minister quoted the Inspector-General of Police as saying that between January and May 2020, a total of 717 rape cases were reported, and expressed delight that 799 suspects were arrested during the same period, while 631 cases were conclusively investigated and charged to court.
In his remarks, Mr Ojukwu said the Commission is carrying out a week of activism, with the theme ‘Equality and Dignity for Women”, as part of its advocacy against rape and gender-based violence.
He called on the police and other first responders to be more proactive in checking the cases of gender-based violence in the country and described rape as the violation of the right to life and dignity of the victim.
The NHRC Executive Secretary sought assistance from the Minister in the campaign, especially in utilising the public information organs to create more awareness on the issue.