A traditional ruler in Yobe State has been suspended indefinitely from his position as Lawan (Ward Head) of Fannami ward in Gashua, Bade local government area, following an allegation of rape of a six-year-old boy from his community.
A statement from the Commissioner for Information, Home Affairs and Culture, Alhaji Abdullahi Bego, on Sunday noted that the governor, Mai Mala Buni, has been briefed on the development. According to the statement, the ward head of Fannami was accused of raping a six-year-old boy, a situation currently brewing tension in the community.
The statement reads: “The governor has directed that appropriate administrative and legal measures be taken swiftly to investigate and prosecute the traditional ruler. Consequently, the traditional ruler has been suspended pending the outcome of the police investigation on the matter.
“A letter to that effect has also been served the traditional ruler by Bade local government council and the victim has also been evacuated and treated by medical personal at the Gashua General Hospital.”
Meanwhile, a new report on sexual violence against minors has revealed that over 60 per cent of rape victims in Nigeria were toddlers and teenagers. The report signed by the Country Director, Pathfinder International, Dr. Farouk Jega, was released in Abuja at the 5th Network Meeting of Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) organised by the British Council’s Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (RoLAC) and the European Union (EU).
Jega, who was represented by the Technical Adviser on Gender, Pathfinder International, Ms. Favour Adam, said the statistics collated at SARC shows that 60 per cent of rape survivors are children from 0-14 years. “Also, we gathered that not only girls are being raped, even boys at a percentage of 15-20,″ she said.
Programme Director, British Council Security Justice and Conflict Programmes, Dr. Bob Arnot, said “more than 10,000 clients have gone through SARCs, a six years data of people in 15 states of the country.”
The states include Adamawa, Akwa-Ibom, Anambra, Borno, Enugu, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Niger, Yobe among others. He added that in approaching holistically the problem of sexual violence in Nigeria, the various Civil Society Organisations and other stakeholders must set aside institutional jealousy to allow the flow of collaboration.
Earlier, the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, noted that Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is a global pandemic that requires fundamental and coordinating actions to guarantee the safety and security of vulnerable women across the world.He said: “The activism against gender-based violence is an opportunity to put it at top political agenda as well as a need to have female leaders pursuing the right of women, as women rights are also human rights.”
The Programme Manager RoLAC, Ms. Priscilla Ankut, called for sensitization of survivors of sexual assault, to encourage them to tell their stories. She said there is also need for victims to be aware of available help services.