By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
The Borno State Coordinator of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Barrister Jummai Usman Mshelia has said that 495 cases of Sexual and Gender Based Violence have been recorded in the state in 2022.
Addressing the Press on Wednesday at the Mohammed Buba Marwa Hall , NUJ Centre Maiduguri as part of activities celebrating 16 Days Activism of the Commission, she said 200 cases were prosecuted in 2021.
The Borno State Coordinator called for the establishment of a Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) facility testing centre to facilitate the prosecution of cases stressing that the greatest impediment to her Commission in prosecuting cases comes from family, friends and relations.
Barr. Mshelia commended the Police Command for deligent prosecution of cases and also praised the Borno State House of Assembly for speedily passing the Violence Against Persons (VAP) Law and Child Protection Law in Borno as it had made some complicated offences easier to prosecute especially with a broader defination of Rape to mean penetration whatsoever.
She explained that the National Human Rights Commission serves as a defender in ensuring that every human enjoys the fundamental, equal and inalienable rights which are entitled to them right when they are born and also to make sure that these rights are not degraded and any human is made to feel less of themselves.
Barr. Jummai Usman Mshelia observed that sadly in our society today, cases of violations of these fundamental rights keep being experienced by some persons in society who have been gagged and as such cannot speakup against the violations and even disturbingly come to accept the violations as a normal way of life and sometimes equate it to submissiveness as encouraged in the Holy Books.
She said the female especially suffers this violation of being voiceless in a society which gives men the leverage to ” do and undo” without being held accountable for their actions.
“This unfortunately gives rise to cases of rape, female genital mutilation, physical violence perpetrated against women, domestic violence with women being in the receiving end, denial of resources, neglect etc which women are made to pass through”, she said.
The Coordinator said that it is in the light of these appalling occurances against women that the Commission seeks to remove the gag from the mouths of women and give them a voice to speak out especially in the event of the 16 Days of Activism which is a period dedicated to tackling Sexual and Gender Based Violence issues faced by women.
The Borno State Coordinator said this year’s activism which is themed “UNITE! Activism to end Violence Against Women and Girls” serves to lay more emphasis on the basic efforts made by the Commission, The Media, The Government as well as Humanitarian partners to ensure that women and girls are raised with equal opportunities and grow in a safe environment where they can freely tap all thrir potentials which greatly benefits the society in the long run.
She said , this message will keep being spread until the aim to totally stamp out scenario of Sexual and Gender Based Violence perpetrated against women and girls nosedive below ground level and a restoration of the pride of women and girls is achieved.