The rising cases of rape and other crimes across Nigeria have attracted the attention of the West Africa Action Network against Small Arms, WAANSA.
The group which lamented the increasing rate of such crimes, disclosed that cases of rape would continue to rise because Nigerians are angry and are looking for the avenue to ventilate their anger.
Temitope Lamidi, the WAANSA’s Executive Director- Gender, while speaking in Abuja said women and girls are mostly at the mercy of rapists who constantly pour out their frustration on them, lamenting that Nigeria is not at war, but it looks like the country is in serious crisis.
Lamidi said, “Most places that rape cases are prominent are places prone to crisis. Nigeria is not at war, but we are at war. Rape is increasing because people are looking for ways to ventilate their disappointment, their anger, and their frustration.
“We cannot do enough advocacy about this, but we have to keep advocating because it is the biggest weapon we can use. This is amnesty month, and we have to keep speaking out. People cannot even travel on Nigerian roads. Before now, we would pray for journey mercies, but that is becoming an archaic prayer point now because we pray against kidnapping and banditry now, so we have to keep shouting that people should drop their weapons.
“When we go for advocacy at the grassroots, the boys will always ask that if they drop their weapons what are they getting in return. But since we don’t have much to give, we will keep advocating.
“If there are 200 people carrying weapons and 7 people drop theirs, then we are not where we used to be, even though we are not where we are supposed to be.
“We have a 16-day-gender activism. It is a global event, and this is the time we want media support to be able to speak out. There are some adverts that we don’t learn, but we know them because you hear them every day, and they will become a part of you. There are songs you don’t learn, but because you hear them every day, you can sing them. This is why we are determined to take our advocacy to all parts of the country. Let’s shout it enough, and the media is an important tool to use in driving home our message,” she said.
Another member of the network, Martin Igwe who also spoke, appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing a substantive person to coordinate the amnesty affairs in the country.
According to him, “WAANSA Nigeria wants to use this opportunity to thank Mr President for answering our call because we have been at the forefront of appealing to him to appoint a substantive person to coordinate the amnesty affairs”.