wo lawmakers in the House of Representatives have told Nigerian women rape incidents could reduce if they dress more decently.
Sex crimes have dominated the national discourse over the past week after three high-profile cases of rape that also resulted in the murder of two of them.
Uwaila Omozuwa, a 22-year-old first year student of the University of Benin was raped and fatally wounded in Edo State last week, and died days before 18-year-old Barakat Bello was raped and murdered at the home she shared with her family on Monday, June 1, 2020.
The Jigawa State Police Command also announced last week the arrest of 11 men who had, at different times and on many occasions, allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl.
During plenary at the lower chamber of the National Assembly on Thursday, June 4, Rotimi Agunsoye, representative of Kosofe Federal Constituency in Lagos, raised a motion of urgent public importance on the need to condemn the rising cases of sexual violence and other social vices against women in Nigeria.
In their contributions to the motion, many lawmakers said stiffer penalties, including the death penalty, should be made to discourage all manner of sex crimes in the country.
‘Girls, women dress terribly’, says 53-year-old lawmaker
While making his contribution, Henry Okon Archibong, representative of Itu/Ibiono Ibom Federal Constituency, Akwa Ibom, said he supports calls for punitive measures for rapists, but that the law alone is not enough to solve the problem.
The 53-year-old said the fundamental issue leading to rape can be traced to the moral decadence in the Nigerian society.
“The families have failed, the religious bodies have failed, the school system has failed right from the primary school system.
“Now, we know that because of the economy of the country, parents don’t spend time with their kids anymore, and that is supposed to be a foundation where children, boys are trained.
“If this foundation is faulty, there is no way we can build on a faulty foundation,” he said.
The lawmaker said children are bound to become ‘psychologically deranged’ when they have faulty sexual development, and said rape is a kind of ‘psychosocial malfunction’.