Fred Itua, Abuja
Minister of State, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, has revealed that laws were underway to ensure that established cases of rape were no longer bailable to serve as deterrent.
The minister stated this during the official presentation of a compendium: “My COVID-19 story: Voice of hope and resilience” which chronicles different experiences of young girls during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
“Let me assure you that laws will soon be rolled out to serve as deterrent to culprits that are guilty or people found culpable of abuses of the girl child. Unlike before when rape case were bailable, now we are working towards ensuring that it would no longer be a bailable offence,” Aliyu said.
She commended Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Abuja for taking the initiative in bringing young girls together to pen down their own experiences during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic. She also expressed the confidence that 25 years after the post-Bejing conference, the girl child was waxing stronger in the society.
Aliyu, represented by the Deputy Director Administration in the office of FCT Minister of State, Mrs. Maria Ogbonnaya-Ngwu, said the FCT Administration had established a centre to address cases of girls who are abused or suppressed.
“It is also gratifying to know that President, Muhammadu Buhari believes in the worth of the girl child. We have been able to present to him various cases of gender based violence in the Federal Executive Council. In the Federal Capital Territory, we have given succour to the girl-child; we have been able to encourage the girl-child to make them believe in themselves. The girl-child is not subordinate to any other child. The administration will continue to boost this, and continue to preach this experience and embark on advocacy,” she said.
Founder and President, Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Dr. Jumai Ahmadu, noted that the unexpected outbreak of COVID-19 had re-defined global health and lifestyle, stressing that governments across the world have had to adopt concrete measures to stop the spread of the virus and reduce the negative impact on the socio-economic life of their citizens.
Ahmadu saidt the virus had demystified technologies of advanced countries, including developing nations, noting that if there was one thing that the virus had thought humans, it was the supremacy of God.
She, however, assured that Helpline Foundation for the Needy would continue to champion the rights of the girl child despite challenges posed by the outbreak of the virus.