Executive Director of Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, Dr Abiola Akiyode, has called on the Nigerian Government to deploy repatriated late General Sani Abacha's loot in fighting rape and other crimes in the society.
Akiyode stated this in Gombe at a retreat for Bauchi State House of Assembly members on Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law.
She blamed lack of political will and priority as major reasons why rape issues fester in the country, adding that government across all divide must increase funding to end the rape scourge.
She said, "Government can dedicate a part of the Abacha loot, which is meant to contribute to social welfare of the people, they have done it before with the MDG. Now that rape has become a national embarrassment, such funds can be directed to that to strengthen the police. They need to see prevention of rape and prosecution of rape as important, so also the mechanism to address rape.
"Government must increase funding to sectors working on rape, make rape a national emergency, meaning that all sectors will be made to do the needful in terms of prevention and response as well as mechanism built around the scourge of rape not only in rape but in sexual violence."
Speaker of Bauchi State House of Assembly, Abubakar Suleiman, hinted that the bill on Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Law has passed second reading in the Assembly, adding that Governor Bala Mohammed has adequate political will to domesticate the law in the state.
He said, "Because of its importance, we have all agreed to give it speedy passage.
"We decided to partner with WARDC to end violence against people in the state, we can safely say we have declared war on rape.
"Remember that most of these victims are our constituents, we had to wake up to see that we protect them.
"Victims should see reason in exposing these 'animals' (violators) who perpetrate such ugly acts. If they don't come, the offenders will go unpunished."