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Nigeria’s failure to tackle rape emboldens perpetrators, silences survivors – Amnesty International

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Amnesty International (AI) has condemned Nigeria’s handling of rape cases in strong terms.

The human rights organization noted that despite authorities’ declaration of a “state of emergency”, sexual assault persists with most survivors denied justice.

AI observed perpetrators are avoiding prosecution, with hundreds of cases of rape going unreported due to pervasive corruption, stigma and victim blaming.

Its latest report, ‘Nigeria: A Harrowing Journey; Access To Justice for Women and Girls Survivors of Rape’, covers cases of sexual violence against women and girls, including a 6-year-old and an 11-year-old who died after rape.

The report said cultural stereotypes, failures of law enforcement to investigate rape cases, toxic misogyny and insufficient support for survivors, have created a culture of silence and impunity which continues to fail hundreds of victims.

Osai Ojigho, AI Director in Nigeria regretted that concrete actions have not been taken to tackle the rape crisis in Africa’s largest nation.

Ojigho condemned the system for making it increasingly difficult for survivors and the deceased to get justice, while allowing culprits to get away with gross human rights violations.

The lawyer and gender equality advocate said the fear of not being believed, or being blamed for rape is creating a dangerous culture of quietude that prevents survivors from seeking justice.

“It is unacceptable that survivors of rape and other forms of gender-based violence face such a torturous ordeal to get justice, which only adds to their pain.

“The ‘state of emergency’ has proven to be an empty declaration, which has so far done nothing to protect women and girls in Nigeria”, Ojigho protested.

The report is based on research carried out between March 2020 and August 2021, including interviews with 14 women and girl survivors of rape aged between 12 and 42.

AI researchers also spoke with seven parents of child survivors. Interviews were conducted in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Sokoto and Bauchi States.

During the COVID-19-induced lockdown, Nigeria witnessed an upsurge in cases of rape. The police confirmed 717 incidents between January and May 2020.

Women Affairs Minister, Pauline Tallen announced that at least 3,600 cases of rape were recorded during the lockdown.

Again, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) received 11,200 reported cases of rape in 2020.

Vera Uwaila Omosuwa, a 22-year-old microbiology student, was beaten and raped in 2020 in a church near her home in Benin, Edo. She died days later.

DAILY POST reported her sister’s revelation of how the police demanded bribes when the matter was reported.

5-year-old Hamira was drugged and raped by her neighbour in April 2020. Her injuries were so bad she could no longer control her bladder.

18-year-old Barakat Bello, an 18-year-old student, was raped during a robbery in her home in Ibadan, Oyo State. She was struck with machetes and died on June 1, 2020.

11-year-old Favour Okechukwu was gang-raped to death in Ejigbo, Lagos; a 70-year-old woman was raped in Ogun; In May 2021, a 6-year-old girl was raped to death in Kaduna.

In June 2020, the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) called for death sentence as a punishment for rapists in Nigeria.

 

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BREAKING: Lagos govt shuts Dowen College in Lekki over Sylvester Oromoni’s death

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Sylvester Oromoni

Lagos State Government has ordered the closure of Dowen College in Lekki over the death of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.

The school will remain shut pending the outcome of an investigation.

Oromoni was allegedly murdered by students and there are fears that the culprits are on the run or left the country.

Gory details of the act have sparked outrage on social media with Nigerians demanding the arrests of the perpetrators.

On Friday, Commissioner for Education, Folasade Adefisayo announced the seal of the college.

A terse statement by the ministry’s spokesman, Ganiu Lawal, quoted her as saying state officials met with the school management and staff.

Adefisayo appealed for calm, saying “no effort will be spared in getting to the root of the incident”.

Sylvester Oromoni

BREAKING: Lagos govt shuts Dowen College in Lekki over Sylvester Oromoni’s death

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2021 World Disability Day: We suffer discrimination to get employment in Kogi – PWDs

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People With Disabilities (PWDs) have cried out over discrimination in employment for Ministries Department and Agencies in Kogi State.

Kogi State Chairman of PWDs, Comrade Ibrahim Arome, who disclosed this on Friday against the backdrop of the 2021 World Disability Day lamented that many of his members have been denied employment opportunities even when they have the capacity to deliver.

Arome, who noted that there is ability in disability, called on the Kogi State Government to implement the disability rights law to address some of these challenges affecting his people.

He added that there is a need for the government to establish the disability commission to enable PWDs to have a sense of belonging in the state.

Arome explained further that PWDs lack mobility in the state stressing that the special schools across the state have been abandoned by the government thereby making education difficult for their members as the existing public schools in Kogi State are not accessible.

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“We use this year’s celebration to appeal to the executive Governor Alh. Yahaya Bello kindly implement the disability right law and establish a disability commission in Kogi state. Governor Yahaya Bello should kindly provide PWD’s with mobility (Bus) because to our special being, mobility is not for fashion but a necessity.

“We are also appealing that the Government should ensure that all the MDAs in Kogi state obeys and adheres to the disability Act 2018 and reserve at least 5% of every employment, empowerment and appointment for PWDs,” he said.

“The Kogi state Governor kindly gives immediate order through the appropriate quotas for the renovation of special skills schools across the state and equip them with the learning special materials and manpower to help reduce the risk of our special members traveling to other states to acquire education”.

In his lecture titled “Bringing out the abilities in persons with disability”, the Chairman, Southwest Nigeria Association of the Deaf, Mr. Sulaiman Akinremi, said more than 500 million people in the world are disabled as a consequence of mental, physical, or sensory impairment.

Akinremi said, “In the majority of these countries, it is estimated that 1 in 10 persons has a physical, mental or sensory impairment and at least 25% of the entire population is adversely affected by the presence of disabilities.

“It is also estimated that at least 75% percent of these people live in developing countries and living in areas where they do not receive the services needed to enable them to overcome their limitations. Disabled people in the developing world often face more acute barriers than those in developed nations mostly those living in Isolated rural areas in the developing world. In some countries 20% of the population are disabled.

“It can be estimated that, when disabled people’s relatives are included, 50% of the population is affected by disability. In addition, disabled people are the poorest of the poor. They often do not have access to adequate medical services and where such services exist, the medical personnel lacks the experience of their needs”.

He noted that any country or society that is on the path to greatness will need to take a pragmatic shift in its orientation about persons with disabilities and it will greatly influence whether persons with disabilities become assets or liabilities.

“PWDs faced a lot of challenges but they are not limited by their disabilities except those placed in their ways by government and society. Though people may doubt the capacity of PWDs to prove their abilities, they have often proved them wrong. They are able to take negativities and turn them into motivation and drive with their different abilities.

“The world is witnessing a rapid transformation in thoughts, concepts, and behaviours aimed at bringing about development. Government and society cannot afford to be left behind by clinging to outdated ideas or concepts inhibiting transformation by undervaluing the particularly important and leading roles PWDs have to play,” he added.

Earlier in her address, the Kogi State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajia Fatima Kabir Buba said the present administration has continued to give priority to PWDs in the state stressing that over 2000 People With Disabilities benefited from the N10,000 COVID-19 palliative in 2021.

Represented by the Ministry Permanent Secretary, Mr. Aleni Emmanuel Allenclay, the Commissioner said, “Persons with disabilities are a very important segment of our population that requires special treatment.

“The Administration of new direction agenda under the leadership of His Excellency the Governor of Kogi State Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello is working assiduously towards giving a new liaise of life to PWDs in the area of education, health care, empowerment, and legal support system as well as main streams them into the State Development Plan”.

DAILY POST reports that, on September 23rd, 2013, the UN General Assembly convened the historic high-level meeting on disability and development aimed at creating a fully disabled agenda inclusive society.

The 2021 World Disability Day has the theme “Leadership and Participation of PWDs towards an inclusive accessible and sustainable post-covid-19 world”.

DAILY POST also reports that the World Disability Day in Kogi State which was organized by, the leprosy mission Nigeria, Sightsavers, had in attendance, INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prod James Apam, Kogi State Commandant, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps,(NSCDC), and the Commissioner of Police, Kogi State.

The day is celebrated on December 3rd every year.

2021 World Disability Day: We suffer discrimination to get employment in Kogi – PWDs

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US foundation donates ambulance to Benue IDPs

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A United States-based medical foundation with a branch in Nigeria, Dr. Patrick Adeel Foundation, also known as Shahnaz Shakeel Foundation, has donated a fully-equipped ambulance to the Benue State Government for use by Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.

A representative of the Foundation in Nigeria, Mr. Terver Atsewe, who presented the ambulance to Governor Samuel Ortom Thursday, 2nd December 2021 at the Benue Peoples House Makurdi, said it is to be used in conveying sick people from the IDP camps to the hospitals.

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Mr. Atsewe who stated that the ambulance was equipped with the latest medical facilities such as gas cylinders and other first-aid facilities assured that more of such vehicles would be given to the state.

Receiving the ambulance, Governor Samuel Ortom expressed appreciation to the foundation for the donation and assured that the ambulance would be utilized judiciously for the benefit of the IDPs.

The Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Dr. Emmanuel Shior led the representative of the foundation to the Governor for the presentation.

US foundation donates ambulance to Benue IDPs

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