By Idowu Abdullahi,
Amnesty International has called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to declare rape as a national crisis and come up with concrete policies against the action to ensure proper prosecution of rapists in the country.
The international human rights organization also decried what it described as Nigeria’s Federal Government’s inadequate response to the cases of rape in the country, saying the alleged inaction of the government was emboldening rapists across the nation.
The organization’s demand came on the heels of an incident of rape and murder of a 22-year-old student of the University of Benin, Uwavera Omozuwa, as well as 18-year-old Barakat Bello in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Amnesty International, while joining other civil societies demanding justice for the victims, through a post on its social media page on Wednesday, frowned at what it termed as rising toxic culture of menfolks in the country, which it said, must be checkmate to end the culture of rape in the country.
“The government’s response to rape continues to be, woefully inadequate. Frequent reports of rape across Nigeria is a gruesome reminder of the violence women and girls face. Violence against women and girls is often not properly registered or investigated.
“The rape and murder of an 18-year-old student, Barakat Bello, in Ibadan is shocking. Amnesty International is calling on the Nigerian authorities to declare a national crisis on rape. Women’s and girls’ safety must be paramount across Nigeria.
“Dear President Buhari, declare rape a national crisis. Rape is a crime. If there is no consent, it is rape, even if the victim stays quiet and does not resist. The “boys will be boys” mentality warps sex into something for men, done by men to women, without regard for the woman’s wellbeing. This toxic culture that encourages men to view women as passive sex objects needs to be addressed.
“We are joining people in Nigeria to demand justice for Omozuwa who was murdered and raped in a Nigerian church. Violence against women must stop. Authorities have to ensure justice for her and other women,” it wrote.
The rape and murder of 18-year-old student, Barakat Bello in Ibadan is shocking:
—Amnesty International is calling on the Nigerian authorities @MBuhari to declare a national crisis on rape.
—Women and girls safety must be paramount across Nigeria. #JusticeForBarakat pic.twitter.com/zXqZGVYIzX
— Amnesty Int. Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) June 3, 2020