Babatunde in Gombe
Gombe government and Stakeholders in State gathered to brainstorm on ways of finding solutions to the increasing number of rape cases in the State which they said has taken a pandemic dimension.
Prominent among the stakeholders who gathered at the auditorium of the State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development yesterday, included the Speaker of State House of Assembly, State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, State Commissioner of Women Affairs and Social Development, a State femae High Court Judge, traditional ruler Civil Society Organizations, women pressure among many others.
Convener of the meeting and executive director of Advocacy Centre for Development (AD4C), Ambassador Ibrahim Yusuf, said rising cases of rape in Gombe is now overwhelming and trending.
According to Ambassador Ibrahim who is also the Gombe State Chairman of Association of Non Governmental Organizations (ANGO), they need support in all ramifications especially from from the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development before the situation gets out of control.
“That is the reason why all hands must be on deck to find a lasting solution, he stated.
In her welcome address, the State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs Naomi Joel Awak, said the meeting was aimed at charting a way forward considering that rape has become a menace to the world and giving women sleepless nights thereby causing long term trauma to parents and especially the victims.
The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Zubairu Mohammed Umar, described the situation as very alarming but says that the State Government through his Ministry is concerned about the situation and is proposing a review of the State’s criminal justice system with regards to rape cases to be forwarded as a bill to the State House of Assembly.
Some of the reviews he said was for tape cases to be now heard in all the magistrate courts in the local government areas so as to curtail long processes of investigation that makes it mandatory for cases to be only heard in Gombe, thereby allowing the cases to delay for very long periods or die naturally in some instances.
Expressing his personal opinion, Zubairu Umar charged Police prosecutors to investigate beyond the evidence of culprits caught in the act. “It is beyond a man satisfying his sexual urge because there is no reason whatsoever, an adult will find sexual satisfaction from babies of three or six months or five or six year old”, he said.
He added that, ” the Police must interrogate further, search deeper to go after people that may motivate culprits to committing the offence. In my opinion, no crime is greater than rape apart from culpable homicide because of the everlasting trauma it leaves with the victims”.
On his part, the Speaker of the Gombe State House of Assembly, Abubakar Sadiq Ibrahim, who chaired the meeting, said, rape has taken a pandemic dimension in Gombe because in the whole of the country, recent reports shows that Gombe is only second to Kano.
He assured that the State legislature is ready to legislate on the child rights law and any other bill aimed at finding lasting solution to the menace.
The Senior District Head (Yarima) Gombe, promised the support of traditional rulers under him and any thing that will help in addressing the moral decadence in the society which is growing by the day as a result of misuse of technology a complete departure from our traditional African morals and values as well as religious tenets.
The meeting brought together many civil society organizations, Federation of women lawyers (FIDA), religious leaders, the Police among many others who all agreed that hands must be on deck to fight the pandemic. END.