An NGO, Centre for Communication and Social Impact (CCSI) has called on governments at all levels and the judiciary to ensure strict enforcement of law against rape and violence against women and the girl-child.
Mrs Babafunke Fagbemi, Executive Director, CCSI, said on Wednesday in Lagos, that the Nigerian authorities must be more deliberate in protecting women and girls.
Fagbemi noted that the call became imperative following cases of violence perpetuated against women and children in different states during the past one week.
According to her, the cases include 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.
The other is the rape of a 12-year-old girl by 11 men in Jigawa state.
“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 in spite of 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 said in a statement.
Fagbemi added that the world of women and girls kept shrinking as sexual and domestic violence continued to affect their ability to enjoy rights and freedoms on a basis of equality with men.
She maintained that the issue had debilitating effects on their mental and physical health, which also limited their ability to compete fairly and contribute to a better society.
“Nigeria needs her women and girls and must defend and protect them from the hands of predators to serve as deterrent to other intending perpetrators,” she said.
Fagbemi commended the Edo State government and the Inspector General of Police for prompt actions, while urging the public to continue to demand for a thorough investigation and application of the full weight of the law against the perpetrators.
She commiserated with the families of the victims, adding that CCSI would continue to play a key role in enlightening the public against sexual and domestic violence.