Don’t sweep rape cases under the carpet, El-Rufai’s wife pleads with traditional leaders, malams
Aisha-Ummi Garba El-Rufai
By Ibrahim Hassan Wuyo
Wife of the Kaduna State Governor, Hajia Ummi El-Rufai, has taken her campaign against rape to Turunku, the ancestral home of legendary Queen Amina in Igabi Local Government area of Kaduna state, where she pleaded with traditional leaders and malams to stop giving protection to rapists.
The Governor’s wife also used the occasion to address children and educated them on the tricks to identify a potential rapist and how to raise alarm if any comes to them.
Ummi who appealed to traditional, religious and other community leaders, to stop giving protection to rapists at the detriment of the rape victims, said, the ungodly practice of sweeping rape cases under the carpet, on the mere excuse of protecting the dignity of the victims must stop.
According to the governor’s wife, cases of rape, especially of minors had assumed an alarming rate in Kaduna state, and the crime had continued because the perpetrators have, allegedly been enjoying the protection of community leaders.
“We are here in continuation of our campaign against rape, to meet you the community leaders, traditional, religious leaders, social mobilizers, youth and community influencers, to help us in this fight.
“We are here to put a structure in place through which report can be made of rape cases. We also want you to help in fighting the menace within the community by being the police of your communities.
“We are not encouraging you to beat up suspected rapist, but help arrest such persons and reach out to the authorities.
“We also want you to help us stop the victimisation of the victims of rape. It is the perpetrators of the crime that deserve to be shamed not protected. “We have often heard of instances where community leaders themselves are the ones protecting the rapists.
We are here to tell you to stop that, because if we continue to pardon the rapists just because they are our neighbours, families or even because we want to protect the dignity of the victim so that the victim would get somebody to marry them in future, then the rapists will not stop, they will always look for the next victims after being pardoned,” she said.
A member of her entourage and Team Lead, Kaduna State Active Squad Against Gender-Based Violence, Professor Hauwau Evelyn Yusuf, said any leader protecting rapists under whatever guise, is as good as the rapists themselves in the eye of the law.
Speaking on behalf of the community leaders, the Village Head of Turuku Sabuwa, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman appreciated the governor’s wife for choosing his community as the first point of the campaign.
“Turuku being the home of the famous Queen Amina will lead the fight against rape and other gender-based violence,” he said.