Sola Ojo, Kaduna
The Kaduna State Commissioner of Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Baba, on Monday expressed worry over incessant violence against women, despite the ongoing awareness campaign in the state.
Hajiya Hafsat, who was a leading human rights activist in Kaduna before her appointment as commissioner by Governor Nasir El-Rufai three years ago, had over the weekend posted a video on her Twitter handle @HafsatMohBaba of a young woman, allegedly beaten to a pulp by her husband over N500, which attracted thousands of aggressive responses within and outside Nigeria.
I am getting very disturbed by the spate of violence meted against women by their "supposed" husband's. This case is of one Sgt. Yusuf Bello of @PoliceNG who beat his wife mercilessly over ₦500. Where does the love and respect go when they assume this beastly mode? pic.twitter.com/xKCt26f3FD
— Hafsat M Baba (@HafsatMohBaba) December 22, 2019
Some of her tweets read:
“I am getting very disturbed by the spate of violence meted against women by their ‘supposed’ husbands. This case is of one Sgt. Yusuf Bello of @PoliceNG who beat his wife mercilessly over ₦500. Where do love and respect go when they assume this beastly mode?
“I have also noticed that the trend is getting more rampant especially with security operatives who are increasingly feeling above the law. I call on the heads of @PoliceNG, @HQNigerianArmy @NigAirForce @NigerianNavy @CustomsNG and other security agencies to step in.
“We have reported the case of this violent policeman to the Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs led by @samuelaruwan, who we’re sure will expedite action. However, we need to begin a serious conversation with ourselves; why is there a seemingly increase in marital violence?” she asked.
In a telephone chat with our correspondent on Monday, the Commissioner said: “Let me share with you where we are on the matter. Since we made our position known a few days ago about a policeman who beat his wife mercilessly, the husband’s family members have been coming to beg on his behalf.
“I have told them that my ministry had already written a letter to the Commissioner of Police here in Kaduna and we are waiting for him to act on the matter and we know he will act well.
“However, even if the woman will return to the house, since feeding fee is the causal agent of the domestic violence in that house, they should slash the man’s salaries into two and give the woman and her children half for their feeding,” she added.
Also reacting, Executive Director, Legal Awareness For Nigerian Women (LANW), Barrister Rebecca Sako-John said Nigerians will not be happy if the matter is swept under rug, insisting that justice must be done.
“The act is an offense under Kaduna Penal law. It is also an offense under Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law and Gender Equity and Social Inclusion (GESI) policy of Kaduna state. So, it does not matter whether he’s a law-enforcement agent or not.
“You cannot also say because you are a law-enforcement agent then you can take the laws into your hand. The law should take its course so it can serve as a deterrent to others because the act has influence on the survivor.
“The matter should be properly investigated and should be charged to court if facts are established. This case should not be allowed to die down. People should learn how to control their temper and use other means of conflict resolution no matter the provocation. We will not be happy if this case is swept under carpet,” she stated.
Meanwhile, police authorities have shown interest in the development.
“Your complaint is hereby acknowledged and investigation has been initiated. Tracking number will be issued shortly.
“Kindly DM contact details of the lady to facilitate necessary action. Thank you for contact NPF-CRU,” Police Complaint reacted through its Twitter handle @PoliceNG_CRC
When contacted over the development, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Kaduna State Police Command, DSP Yakubu Sabo, told our correspondent that he was “working on it”.
“I’m working on it to establish the fact, and if we find it out to be true, the Force will act accordingly. Police Act and Regulations has a section that addresses the issue of discipline for any of its erring member. I will update you after our findings,” the police spokesman promised.