Officials in Plateau State say they have proposed a Sexual Offenders Register to publicly disclose perpetrators of rape and gender based violence in the State.
This is so that they are “named and shamed,” said the State Governor, Simon Lalong, Tuesday.
“They are the ones that are entitled to stigmatization not their victims,” said the Governor in a webinar on “Addressing Sexual, Gender-based Violence and Rape in Nigeria” organised by Gideon & Funmi Para-Mallam Peace Foundation.
The fight against sexual, gender-based violence and rape according to the Governor must be fought with “a lot of attention” to ensure justice for victims and deter others.
The Northern Governors Forum to which Lalong is Chairman has declared a “State of Emergency” on the “increasing” rate of sexual and gender-based violence in the country.
In Lalong’s words, “We have all resolved and condemned all forms of violence against women and children.
“The Forum also resolved to ensure that member States promulgate laws with stiffer penalties against perpetrators of sexual based violence.
“As part of our resolve, Governors are to ensure the domestication of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, 2015 in their various States without further delay”.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing in the webinar said addressing gender-based violence and rape must be handled “holistically” to promote intolerance for perpetrators and succour for victims.
The United Kingdom, Laing said is willing to support any action by advocacy groups, government agencies and/or religious leaders to end gender-based violence and rape.
The First Ladies of Ekiti and Kebbi State, Mrs. Bisi Fayemi, and Mrs. Zainab Bagudu respectively, lauded Nigerian Governors for ensuring that States pass legislations against rape and gender-based violence as well as domesticate the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015.
Conveners of the Forum, Professors Funmi and Para-Mallam said sexual, gender-violence and rape are exacerbated by violent conflicts.
They called for more action by government and civil society groups to end the cycle of violence that targets women, girls and children.
Plateau owned Peace Building Agency has led several reconciliation dialogues between conflict groups.
It has recently been mandated to hold engagements with communities on the dangers of sexual and gender-based violence, a press statement from Dr. Makut Simon Macham, the Director of Press and Public Affairs to the Governor of Plateau State says.