The FCT Minister of State, Dr Ramatu Aliyu, on Wednesday in Abuja, said that plans are underway to make rape a non–bailable offence.
Aliyu made this known during the presentation of a compendium titled, “My COVID-19 Story; Voice of Hope and Resilience”, which chronicled different experiences of young girls during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the book was compiled and published by the Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Abuja, under the leadership of Dr Jumai Ahmadu, who is also the founder.
Represented by Maria Ogbonnaya-Ngwu, Deputy Director Administration in the office of the Minister of State, Aliyu stressed the need to protect the dignity of the girl-child.
“It is also gratifying to know that in our dear President Muhammadu Buhari, lies a man that believes in the worth of the girl-child.
“We have been able to present to him various cases of gender-based violence in the Federal Executive Council.
“Let me assure you that laws will soon be rolled out to serve as a deterrent to culprits that are guilty or people found culpable of abuses of the girl child.
“Unlike before when rape case is bailable, but now we are working towards that it would no longer be a bailable offence.
“In the Federal Capital Territory, we have been able to give succour to the girl-child, and able to encourage the girl-child to believe in themselves.
“The girl-child is not subordinate to any other child. The administration will continue to boost this, and continue to preach this experience and embark on advocacy”.
The minister commended Helpline Foundation for the Needy, Abuja for taking the initiative in bringing young girls together to pen down their own experiences during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic.
In her remarks, founder and President of the foundation, Dr Jumai Ahmadu, noted that the unexpected outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic had re-defined global health and lifestyle.
She said that governments across the world have had to adopt concrete measures to stop the spread of the virus and reduce the negative impact on the socio-economic life of their citizens.
Ahmadu further noted that the virus had demystified technologies of the advanced countries including developing nations, noting that if there is anything the virus had taught humans, it was the supremacy of God.
She, however assured that Helpline Foundation for the Needy would continue to champion the rights of the girl-child in spite of the challenges posed by the outbreak of the virus.