The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila on Wednesday advocated for stiff resistance to the phenomenon of rape in the country by citizens and leaders.
Speaking when he granted audience to a delegation of the Movement Against Rape and Sexual Violence (MARS-V) led by the wife of Kaduna State governor, Hajiya Aisha Ummi el-Rufai, at the National Assembly on Wednesday, the Speaker described rape as a pandemic, saying the statistics on rape cases in Nigeria “is mind-boggling.”
He said Nigerians, especially those that hold religious views on rape, need adequate education and awareness against the rape pandemic.
“Whilst I see so many women here with you, this is a fight not just for women. I can see some few men too, but this is a fight for all. Let a subliminal message be sent that even though over 95 per cent of the victims are women, let it be that it’s us, the men, that are championing your course.
“The statistics are very alarming on the issue of rape. You hear figures in terms of rape and gender-based violence that are mind-boggling. It’s only a deprived mind that can engage in rape. I consider the issue of rape as a pandemic. In my estimation, it’s a pandemic.
“The issue of rape should be treated the way Corona is treated. How do we treat a pandemic? There has to be a frontal onslaught. The media has a role to play. It should be in the front line. There’s a lot of work to be done from different angles.
“In a pandemic, you look for a cure. No sane man would have sexual intercourse with a 3-month old baby. The idea alone is sickening,” Gbajabiamila said.
The Speaker also said the Nigerian laws related to rape are weak, hence they would not deter people from engaging in the act, calling for stiffer penalties for offenders.