Governor of Lagos state, Akinwunmi Ambode, Monday, recommended that a minimum sentence of 25 years imprisonment should be the appropriate punishment for rapists.
He recommended this during a symbolic walk against domestic and sexual violence at Alausa on Monday. He said:
“It is highly recommended. We need new laws which will respond adequately to the nature and occurrences of this era.
“Domestic violence is a crime and should be treated as such. The Protection against Domestic Violence Law, 2007 should, therefore, be amended accordingly,” he said.
Also, he urged the Nigeria Police Force, to work towards becoming more professional and ensure that proper investigation of reported cases be carried out.
“As the saying goes, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the next best time is now.
“ We firmly believe that the actions we take today will be the seeds sown for a brighter future for our women and indeed, our children.
“We believe our state can continue to pioneer in this agenda and become a benchmark not just in Nigeria, but globally,” he said.
According to Governor Ambode, a lot of progress had been made in protecting the rights of women and the girl-child, and against “oppression of the female gender’’.
“We need to ask ourselves the hard question: for this course we honour today, how can we truly ensure we are walking the talk?
“In our state, there has been a significant increase in formal and informal reporting of domestic and sexual violence cases, but contrary to what it appears to be, this menace is not a recent development.
“These occurrences have been around for years, but they were seen as norms because nobody spoke out against them, and such acts were overlooked based on misguided definitions of gender roles.
“What we are tackling today is an almost innate culture which relegates women to the background, and forces them to suffer in silence.
“In Lagos, we are waging a war against this culture and we will do everything within our power to transform ours to a culture of equality, respect and dignity for all.
“It is a journey of radical transformation, and our government is wholly committed to seeing it through,” he said.
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“We are not just reactive in helping survivors, but also taking aggressive steps to prevent future occurrences.
“Our aim is to build a system of trust and accountability, where survivors are encouraged to speak out and potential perpetrators are discouraged to commit future acts,” he said.
Participants of the symbolic walk displayed placards with various inscriptions, including “Domestic Violence is Not a Family Matter, Report It”, “Women Empowerment, Gender Parity, that’s what I stand for” and “Lagos State says no to domestic violence”.
In addition, Governor Ambode included that the state’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team had executed various interventions and initiatives against sexual and gender-based violence.