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Buhari’s ex-aide advocates gender desks at police stations to address rape



An ex-aide of President Muhammadu Buhari, Mrs Juliet Ibekaku-Nwagwu, has called for the introduction of gender desks in the various police stations across the country.

She said such desks would be saddled with the task of handling the rising incidences of rape of young girls.

The Nigeria News Agency (NAN reports that Ibekaku-Nwagwu was the immediate past Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Justice Reform.

She also had vied to represent Enugu West Senatorial District at the National Assembly under the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the last general election.

The legal consultant made the call in an interview she granted NAN on incessant increase in the rape of minors across the country.

She said that the incidences of rape involving minors are quite unfortunate, adding that the police needed to do more in handling the menace.

She said, “The current situation is getting worse day by day, and this problem should be better handled by specialists on feminine matters because women are at the receiving end.

“The police should set up what we call gender desks in the various police stations across the country to prosecute and handle cases of rape.

“We do not have such desks in most of our police stations at the moment. We need people who understand that we have to prevent something from happening before it happens,” she said.

She said that in other countries, they have what is called the National Sex Offender Registry that provides the public access to sex offenders’ data and prevents sex offenders from touching or coming close to children.

“Unfortunately, we do not have such a registry in our country. Therefore, we need a re-assessment of our system because some of those things are happening within the schools and at our homes.

“We need to understand the mindset that leads people to commit such acts and find ways to prevent them from happening at again,” she said.

She said that the only way to reduce the ugly trend was to make sure that offenders were convicted; and were never allowed to come close to children.

“The victims should be severely dealt with to deter other would-be perpetrators from committing the same act in future,” she said.

She urged parents, religious bodies and schools to constantly educate their children against embracing attitudes that would likely make them become victims of rape.

“As our children are growing up, let them know that most of the people around them are not as good as they think they are.

“There must be a way to make children understand that they should not allow themselves to be touched by elders at their age for any reason.

“Parents and guardians should introduce sex-education to their children, especially the girl-child, and let them realise that it was for their good,” she said.

She advised children to always speak out whenever their uncles, neighbours or teachers began to exhibit certain strange behaviours around them.

She said that she was currently working on some anti-corruption issues as well as looking at issues of injustice against the female gender.