July 4, 2020

Sadiya Umar Farouq calls for strong laws against rape offenders

Ex-Minister, Sadiya Farouq alleges malicious attacks on her person, threatens legal actions

Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq

Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq

…As over 3m apply for N-Power programme

By Nneka Ikem

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq has called for strict   legislation to prosecute rape offenders.

The Minister made the call on Friday when she received the board of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) led by the Director General Julie Okah-Donli in her office in Abuja.

Hajiya Sadiya raised concerns on the incessant rape incidents in the country and called for stiffer legislation and the political will to ensure that offenders are not only named but prosecuted according to the law.

“As a woman and a mother, this issue has given me sleepless nights because as the NAPTIP DG noted and in a news report I read last week, rape is not a gender specific crime. Male and females are all affected especially minors .

“The naming and shaming of rapists through the publication of their names is a good step but we also need stronger legislation and political will to prosecute rapists”, Farouq said.

The Minister also commended ongoing efforts of NAPTIP to stem the scourge of rape as well as   the Nigerian Governor’s Forum for its resolve to declare a state of Emergency on Rape.

The     Governor’s Forum had hinted that it plans to set up a Sex Offenders’ Register.

The Nigerian Police recently announced a record of 717 rape cases in 5 months. According to its report, 799 suspects were arrested out of which 631   have been investigated and charged to court . So far, no convictions have been made.

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Hajiya Sadiya however charged NAPTIP to join hands in doing more to bring rapists to book.

In audience too was the Permanent Secretary of the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry, Jalal Arabi.

NAPTIP is a law enforcement agency of the Federal Government of Nigeria, founded in 2003   to combat human trafficking and other related human rights violations.

In another development, the Humanitarian Affairs ministry said it has received more than three million applications, so far,  from candidates seeking enrollment in the N-Power programme.

This came as it announced the disengagement of independent monitors it recruited to  monitor batches A and B of the N-Power programme as well as other National Social Investment Programmes.

The ministry,in a statement, Friday,through its Deputy Director of  Information,Rhoda Iliya,said,”Enrolment of beneficiaries for N-power Batch C commenced on Friday June 26th2020 and has received over 3 Million applications since the portal opened.”

The statement said:”The ministry will conclude activities of the Independent Monitors enrolled with those two batches by 31st July 2020.”

The disengagement of the monitors following the conclusion of the first two batches.

In the statement,the ministry disclosed that it was looking “forward to a  new set of monitors with the roll-out of the Integrated National Social Investment Programme, set to kick off when the new N-Power Batch C beneficiaries come on board”.

According to the statement, the Minister, Hajia

“thanked the Independent Monitors “for their service in monitoring the activities and programmes of the National Social Investment Programmes. “