Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has advocated a minimum of 25 years jail term for rapists and those indulged in domestic violence.
The Governor, who made the call during a symbolic walk against domestic and sexual violence at Alausa, Ikeja, said there is the need for a law that will respond adequately to the offence.
“Rape should not be met with light sentencing; the minimum sentence of 25 years 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,” Governor Ambode said.
Lagos State, according to Ambode, will continue to pioneer in the area of penalizing domestic and sexual violence, to become a benchmark in Nigeria and worldwide.
“A lot of progress has been made in the steps taken to protect the rights of women and the girl child and in the war against the oppression of the female gender. However, there is still so much to be done. We need to ask ourselves the hard question: for this cause we honor today, how can we truly ensure we are walking the talk?
“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.
“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,” Governor Ambode said.
Ambode asked Nigerians to regard domestic and sexual violence as a crime, and should be treated as such, while calling for the amendment of the protection against domestic law 2007.
He also asked the police to always ensure proper investigation of reported cases of domestic and sexual violence, by training officers to specialize in such offences.
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