The Federal Government has disclosed its resolve to go tough on rapists, expressing its determination to make rape a non-bailable offense.
Minister of State in the FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja during the presentation of a compendium entitled, “My COVID-19 Story: Voice of Hope and Resilience”.
According to her, laws are underway to ensure that established cases of rape are no longer bailable in the country to serve as a deterrent to culprits.
Aliyu, who was represented by the Deputy Director, Administration in her office, Mrs. Maria Ogbonnaya-Ngwu, said the FCT Administration has established a centre to address cases of girls who are abused or suppressed.
She said; ‘It is also gratifying to know that our dear President, Muhammadu Buhari, in him lies a man who believes in the worth of the girl-child. We have been able to present to him various cases of gender-based violence in the Federal Executive Council.
“Let me assure you that laws will soon be rolled out, to serve as a deterrent to culprits who are guilty or people found culpable of abuses of the girl-child. Unlike before that rape cases are ‘bailable’, we are now working towards a situation where it would no longer be a bailable offense.
“In the Federal Capital Territory, we have been able to give succour to the girl-child, we have been able to encourage the girl-child, we have been able to make them believe in themselves. The girl-child is not subordinate to any other child. The Administration will continue to boost this, and continue to preach this experience and embark on advocacy”.
While commending Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Abuja for taking the initiative in bringing young girls together to pen down their own experiences during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the minister expressed confidence that after 25 years of the post-Bejing conference, the girl child is waxing stronger.
Earlier, Founder and President of Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, noted that the unexpected outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic has redefined global health and lifestyle, stressing that governments across the world have had to adopt concrete measures to stop the spread of the virus and reduce the negative impact on the socio-economic life of their citizens.
Ahmadu assured that the foundation would continue to champion the rights of the girl-child despite challenges posed by the outbreak of the virus.
The book chronicles the experiences of young girls during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and advocates the need to protect the dignity of the girl-child.