Jennifer Yarima, the Chairperson of Plateau chapter of the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) has observed that women and girls living in houses without decent toilets are more at risk of being raped.
She made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Jos, adding that if women and girls had proper toilet, hoodlums would not find anything to capitalise on in their quest to commit the heinous crime.
She lamented that some rapists took advantage of the fact that most homes in some communities had no toilets, as such, found it easy to track down their victims.
Yarima revealed that NAWOJ had spoken with the Commissioner for Environment in Plateau on the need to ensure that all houses built decent toilets, explaining that defecating in the open by females and sharing toilet with different people, including men, could cause health problems for women and girls.
The chairperson advised parents to monitor the movement of their children, especially girls, and also be mindful of people they leave their children with, noting that most rape cases were done by people who were known to the victims such as uncles, cousins, neighbours.
She also called on parents to educate their children on sex education, saying that if they failed to do so, peers and other people might do so in a wrong manner.
“We must educate our children as a family so that when they go to the society, they will know what act is wrong or right, and would also know how to control themselves outside.” she said.
She said that the culture of silence by most families when a member was raped must be jettisoned, as such act encouraged culprits to continue the heinous crime.
NAN recalls that in July 2019, the Acting Managing Director of Jos Metropolitan Development Board (JMDB), Mr Kefas Yilrwang, had lamented that some houses in Bukuru and Jos metropolis were built without toilet facilities.
Yilrwang had told NAN that occupants of such houses simply located nearby bush or abandoned building structures to ease themselves.
In an interview with NAN at that time, a female tenant (name withheld) said that she often went to nearby ‘bush’ to defecate, adding, “that is what most tenants in this area do.
‘’It is not a new thing; we are used to it and we have accepted it because the house rent is very cheap and affordable to us.
“Someday, our income might improve to enable us to secure accommodation with good toilets, but for now, this is what we can afford.”
Edited By: Emmanuel Okara/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
Roundup: UK lawmakers return to virtual Houses of Parliament
Unlike the usual hustle and bustle atmosphere resembling the start of a new term at college, only a trickle of MPs entered the famous wood-paneled chamber, one of the most watched debating venues in the world.
Britain remains in lockdown, with millions of workers forced to stay at home. Opposition politicians, though, were eager to see the wheels of parliament turning again to enable them, as Labour’s Valerie Vaz said, to hold Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government to account.
As though to emphasize her point, Vaz, the shadow leader of the Commons, gave notice that when the real debates start again Wednesday, there would be questions directed at the government about its response to the coronavirus crisis.
Tuesday, the first day back, was not the time for the usual political scraps between rivals.
Speaker Lindsay Hoyle said that to follow the 2-meter distancing policy, only 50 of the 650 MPs would be allowed to enter the chamber at any one time.
Dozens more will be in their constituencies in every corner of Britain, participating in debates and proceedings through a video conferencing system known as Zoom.
The hybrid format needed parliamentary approval before it was introduced.
After a debate lasting over two hours, Speaker Hoyle sought the views of the MPs present, representing a splattering of politicians from the Conservative and opposition benches.
All those in favor replied with a familiar “aye”, while those against said No. There was a silence, as Hoyle proclaimed “The ayes have it, the ayes have it.”
The decision gave the green light to the biggest ever change in the parliamentary procedure in its 700-year history.
Politicians from all sides agreed it was not a perfect answer compared to the often packed and noisy debating chamber, but it was better than nothing.
Parliamentary staff carried out a dress rehearsal Monday ahead of the re-opening Tuesday.
Meanwhile a report by the Commons Procedure Committee warned of the risks of relying on new and untested technology for debates and votes. But the cross-party committee gave its support for the hybrid sittings.
The first full proceedings using the Hybrid Parliament system will take place Wednesday.
One of the first big tests for the new system will come Wednesday when the weekly Prime Minister’s Questions session takes place.
Prime Minister Johnson, still recovering from COVID-19, will not be taking part. Instead, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will be in the dispatch box to answer questions.
Johnson, showing signs of an eagerness to return to the front line of politics after his experience with the coronavirus, had a brief conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump. Another conversation is planned with British Queen Elizabeth II.
Downing Street said Johnson and Trump, in their phone call, had agreed on the importance of a coordinated response to the virus, including through the G7 group of nations.
The Times in London reported that Johnson had not formally returned to work and that Raab, who is continuing to deputize, will chair cabinet on Thursday.
The Times quoted sources saying it was possible that the prime minister would return to Downing Street full time next week but no date had been set.
Though the usual rowdy PM atmosphere will be more subdued on Wednesday, Raab, standing in as First Secretary, is expected to face some tough questions from MPs in the House, as well as MPs joining in via the videolink from the homes.
Welcoming MPs back to Westminster after an extended Easter period recess, Speaker Hoyle described the situation as exceptional and unprecedented.
Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg said business over the coming weeks will be limited to oral questions, statements and urgent questions.
He said the government is looking into extending virtual ways of working and more substantive business, including legislation.
Karen Bradley, chair of the House of Commons Procedure Committee said doubts had been raised about an electronic voting system planned for use during the period of the “hybrid” parliament.
Usually politicians head through “yes” and “no” lobbies at the side of the House of Commons when they vote.
Rees-Mogg told MPs no contentious legislation was planned for the first few weeks to enable the system to be properly tried and tested.
Special lanes have been marked out on the floor of the chamber to ensure politicians and staff follow the distancing rules.
Video screens have also been placed around the chamber which allow 120 MPs to take part in debates from their homes.
Initially, the special arrangements will continue until mid-May unless politicians agree to an extension.
EFCC recovers N3.6bn, 10 houses from suspected looters in Ilorin
The Ilorin Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says it has recovered N3.6 billion and 10 houses from suspected looters.
EFCC Zonal head, Mr Isyaka Sharu, spoke on Monday in Ilorin during the annual International Anti-corruption Day rally.
The Commission has recovered N3.6 billion from suspected looters. Two out of the recovered properties are in Ikoyi.
One is in Lekki and the recent recovered property worth over N1 billion is in Ilorin,” Sharu said.
He said that at the eve of the last handing over, EFCC saved the state of an attempt to loot over N4 billion of its tax refund.
Effort is being made to recover the balance of about N2 billion from some notable individuals in the alleged fraud in KWRS,” Sharu said.
The State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazak said that the match against corruption was for everybody, noting that “if we do not kill corruption, it will kill all of us’’.
AbdulRazak said that corruption was detrimental to the economy and social development because it reduces the capacity to work.
It is important to work together and fight against corruption. It is killing the people gradually, the hospitals, schools and social infrastructures,” he said.
The governor commended the anti-graft body for its efforts and support in the recovery of money, saying “when we came into power, there would have been nothing for us to work with.”
The past administration left a huge amount of debt, and if EFCC had not saved the attempt to loot N4.8 billion, there would not have been anything to work with,” he said.
AbdulRazak said the N4.8 billion was still intact in the government cash reserve, and it would be used to work for the state economy and balance the budget for next year.
”I also thank EFCC for the recovery of N111 million from fraud cases,” he said.
NAN reports that the rally was to further create awareness for the world to unite against corruption, money laundering and terrorism.
The rally also addressed issues on international cooperation, repatriation of stolen items, deportation, criminal proceedings, transfer of sentenced persons, transfer of criminal proceedings, mutual legal assistant treaty and confiscation.
Edited by: Chinyere Bassey/Ismail Abdulaziz
Zambian lawmakers hail Chinese firm for construction of modern houses
Mathew Nkhuwa, Member of Parliament for Chingola constituency and Chali Chilombo for Nchanga constituency said the Chinese firm has executed standard works within the stipulated time frame.
Nkhuwa said in an interview that the Chinese firm has not only constructed housing units in Chingola but has lifted and improved the face of the mining district by rehabilitating the road network.
He said a total of 95 housing units for police officers were commissioned recently adding that the government was committed to uplifting the living standards of the security personnel.
“The district will regain its lost glory as of the cleanest town in Zambia as a result of the good road network,’’ he added.
Meanwhile, Chilombo said with good housing units the police officers would be motivated to work extra hard.
“We are happy that the housing units have been completed on time, by the Chinese firm which has brought about a new face to Nchanga police camp,’’ Chilombo said.
(Edited & Vetted By: Hadiza Mohammed/Emmanuel Yashim)
Rain triggered collapse of houses, kills 15
Officials on Monday said 15 people, including 10 women and three men, were killed in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu after three houses collapsed completely due to heavy rains.
Officials said the houses collapsed at Nadur village near Mettupalayalam in Coimbatore district, about 502 kilometres southwest of Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu.
A senior official at disaster management in Coimbatore told Xinhua that “this morning 15 people (10 women, three men, a girl and a boy child) were killed after their houses collapsed completely due to heavy rain.
“Our teams are at the spot trying to retrieve bodies’’.
The collapse of houses triggered panic in the area.
According to officials, they immediately rushed teams of disaster response force, police personnel and firefighters to the spot to carry out rescue operations.
“Some bodies have been retrieved and search for others is underway,’’ officials said.
Rains lashed many parts of Tamil Nadu and neighbouring Puducherry on Sunday, triggering water logging at several places.
Edited & Vetted By: Hadiza Mohammed/Abdulfatah Babatunde