By Hussaina Yakubu
Kaduna – Kaduna State Commissioner for Human Services and Social Development, Hajiya Hafsat Baba on Friday, commended the state Assembly for passing law approving castration as punishment for rapists in the state.
The Commissioner made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna.
Mrs Baba said that the approval by the assembly was a clear indication that the lawmakers were very concerned on the rising cases of rape, including of minors, in the state.
“It Is a very welcome development for all of us, and the people that have been calling for harsher punishment of either castration or death penalty,” she said.
The commissioner expressed the hope that parents and the general public would help in ensuring that rapists no longer go scot free.
She disclosed that from January to May 2020, over 400 cases of assault and rape were reported to the four sexual assault referral centers in the state.
Mrs Baba said although the cases had reduced slightly compared to same period in 2019, it is still very alarming.
She cautioned parents of rape victims against covering up or keeping silent, but help to ensure that perpetrators are properly dealt with in accordance with the law.
“I will advise parents not to give up and should try and go to government hospital if there is any rape case. It is not acceptable by law to go to private hospital because the results are not being acknowledge by the court,” she said.
Mrs Baba called on the media to do more in assisting and enlightening the public for people to know about the law on Gender Based Violence, and follow up the story to conclusion.
The commissioner said the ministry has constituted a team working on GBV, supported by development partners to ensure that justice is done to the victims.
She added that the state government is also providing free services to victims at its four sexual assault referral centers, including social support and rehabilitation.
Mrs Baba reiterated that the government will ensure the prosecution of any rapist and others engaged in gender based violence in the state.
She however said that the main challenge has to do with parents of victims withdrawing cases or getting paid by perpetrators to keep silent.