Amnesty International asks Buhari to declare rape a ‘national crisis’

Rights watchdog, Amnesty International Wednesday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare rape as a national crisis in the country.

The organization said that it joined its voice to other civil society groups demanding justice for the duo of Uwavera Omozuwa and Barakat Bello who were victims of rape.

Omozuwa, 22, a student of University of Benin, was allegedly gang-raped by unknown men in Benin and died in hospital a few days later.

Bello was also a victim of a similar incident in Ibadan, Oyo State.

AI Nigeria in a series of tweets urged the Federal Government to discourage a “toxic culture that encourages men to see women as passive sex objects.”

The organisation said: “The government’s response to rape continues to be, woefully inadequate. Frequent reports of rape across Nigeria are gruesome reminder of the violence women and girls face. Violence against women and girls is often not properly registered or investigated.

“The rape and murder of an 18-year-old student, Barakat Bello, in Ibadan is shocking. Amnesty International is calling on the Nigerian authorities to declare a national crisis on rape. Women and girls’ safety must be paramount across Nigeria.

“Dear President Buhari, declare rape a national crisis. Rape is a crime. If there is no consent, it is rape, even if the victim stays quiet and does not resist. The “boys will be boys” mentality warps sex into something for men, done by men to women, without regard for the woman’s wellbeing. This toxic culture that encourages men to view women as passive sex objects needs to be addressed.

“We are joining people in Nigeria to demand justice for Omozuwa who was murdered and raped in a Nigerian church. Violence against women must stop. Authorities have to ensure justice for her and other women.”

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