The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to “stage a campaign against the rape and violation of the girl child”; while mandating security agencies to “employ strategies to check the rising cases of rape in the country.”
This followed a trending story about Uwa Omozuwa, an undergraduate student allegedly raped at a church in Benin City last month.
The lawmakers took the decision after Sen. Sandy Onor representing Cross River Central Senatorial District cited Orders 42 and 52; moved a motion on the issue of rape and asked that the Senate do condemn the rising incidence.
“Senate notes that a 16-year-old girl was raped in Lagos, a first-year undergraduate student in the University of Benin was equally raped and killed.”
Senator Biodun Olujimi while seconding the motion, asked that the authorities take proactive measures so the girl child is protected. “Rape is real and we must not allow it to go on.”
Also contributing, Senator Akon Etim Eyakenyi said a severe penalty should be given to such culprits “It is not just arresting the culprits and taken to the police station, the court and then sentenced to a few years of jail time that is enough.”
Meanwhile, Senator Betty Apiafi called for not just stiffer penalty, but stronger advocacy against rape.
The lawmakers observed a minute of silence in honour of the two girls and others who have fallen victims of rape.
They also urge security agencies to ensure the enforcement of the child rights act which includes the forceful marriage; and urged the State Houses of Assembly to amend the code to make rape punishable.