The Judiciary has been charged to review penalties associated with abuse in Nigeria in order to adequately address the violation of the fundamental human rights of victims of abuse. The charge was made by Wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari at the workshop on War against Abuse in Nigeria, organized by Future Assured at the State House Conference Centre on Saturday, 16thDecember, 2017.
Mrs. Buhari was making reference to the 6 month old baby that was raped in Kano last year and the perpetrator getting off with a N10, 000 fine.
She also made reference to recent occurrences of child abuse, human trafficking, child marriage, cyber bullying, domestic violence and abuse of the elderly, saying they remain a major cause of concern despite legislative measures.
Mrs. Buhari harped on the need to educate people and raise necessary awareness on preventive measures and the need for immediate reporting of incidences to law enforcement agencies to take appropriate action. “This workshop,” She said, “will proffer workable solutions to addressing this social problem.”
She called on victims to speak out and let the law take its course, stressing that there should be no excuse for any form of abuse.
“If one child or adult is protected as a result of this workshop, it would be well worth it.” She added.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who graced the occasion, spoke on the need to keep the limelight on issues of abuse, citing issues of baby factories, oppressive widowhood practices, conscription of children as beggars, suicide bombers and female genital mutilation.
He said cases of abuse are preventable and urged that the risk factors be identified and dealt with. He also spoke on the need to counsel boys on how to treat women with equality and dignity.
Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, delivering his keynote address, said the workshop was timely as it addresses issues that have pervaded the news, making reference to the victims of illegal migration, trafficking and slavery, many of whom have died due to wrong information. He said the legal framework guiding issues of abuse in Nigeria are robust and stressed the need for collaborative effort to check the trend.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustafa, delivering the speech of the President, said Future Assured has done very well as an NGO and called other NGOs to emulate Future Assured.
Goodwill messages were delivered by the Minister of Interior, representatives of the Senate President and Inspector-General of Police, UNICEF, National Council of Women Societies, Nigerian Bar Association, National Orientation Agency and UN Women.
The workshop was attended by wives of governors, state chief judges, attorneys-general, NGOs, Civil Society Groups, and development institutions.