Remarks by The Hon Minister of Information And Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed, During Advocacy Visit By The National Human Rights Commission

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Please permit me to formally welcome the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu, and his entourage, on the occasion of this advocacy visit.

I want to commend your commission for its ongoing advocacy campaign against rape and gender-based violence generally. Your campaign couldn’t have come at a more auspicious time. Today, as we are fighting the pandemic of Covid-19, we are also being confronted with another pandemic, the pandemic of rape.

According to the Inspector-General of Police, between January and May 2020, a total of 717 rape cases were reported. That’s an average of 143 cases per month and around 5 cases per day. And we are talking of reported cases. Definitely, there are also hundreds of unreported cases. This is totally unacceptable

The good news is that 799 suspects were arrested during the same period, while 631 cases were conclusively investigated and charged to court.

It is said that the true measure of a society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members, and that include women and children.

I can assure you that the Federal Government will do everything possible to stem the growing tide of rape and gender-based violence in the country.

As a matter of fact, the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture is partnering with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to launch a national campaign against rape and gender-based violence. This campaign will include advocacy, public sensitization and social mobilization. The campaign is necessary not only to raise the level of awareness about rape and gender-based violence, but to ensure that Nigerians own the fight against the abhorrent and repulsive criminal acts.

I have no doubt that when we launch the campaign, the National Human Rights Commission will also join us.

Once again, I thank you for this advocacy visit, and I thank you all for your kind attention.