Worried by the alarming reported cases of rape and other gender-based violence in Kaduna on a daily basis, wife of the State Governor, Hajiya Ummi El-Rufai, on Monday stormed the Kaduna State House of Assembly (KSHA) where she advocated castration and death penalty for intending and existing rapists to serve as deterrent to others.
Her visit to the KSHA was coming ahead of the public hearing on the bill for a law to amend the Kaduna state Penal Code 2017 after the bill scaled through the second reading.
The bill which sought to amend section 258 of the principal law, was to be amended so as to make it more effective in protecting the citizens of the state particularly women and children against rape and other sexual violence.
According to Mrs El-Rufai, there are reports of three to five rape cases from all parts of Kaduna State daily, a development she frowned at and sought the support of critical stakeholders like KSHA to have workable laws that will caution intending and punish existing rapists – thereby making the state safer for all citizens irrespective of their gender.
“I am here to see how our respected lawmakers can expedite speedy passage of the amended bill on sexual violence. It is happening to our children and women every day. Our children and women need to be protected and that is why I’m seeking for the speedy passage of the bill.
“Already, the Governor is doing a lot to make Kaduna a save place for all citizens irrespective of their gender and with all hands on deck, that is possible.
“We have three to five cases of rape from all parts of Kaduna on a daily basis. I am saying this because I am directly involved having been working closely with groups of individuals working on sexual violence here in Kaduna.
“So, I believe, if we have this bill passed into law, our children and women in Kaduna will be safer than what we are seeing now. This is why we are calling on our lawmakers if possible, to ensure hash penalties include castration and death sentence to serve as deterrent to intending and existing rapists”, she prayed.
Responding, Speaker, KSHA, Yusuf Zailani (APC Igabi), expressed concern over the increase in reported cases of violence against children and women, promised to give the bill a speedy passage into law by next week after the public hearing.
Zailani, who received his August visitor at the Assembly’s Common room in August said, this was the first time a wife of a sitting governor would be interested in such an important bill and made her to the House in the history of Kaduna State.
“This is the first time we will be receiving a sitting governor’s wife coming to the Assembly to make a case of this magnitude. A case on rape for that matter.
“With evidence, you have shown to us in the presence of my honourable members, my body is weak. This is sad. This is terrible. We talk about our state first before Nigeria as a whole. We are in trouble. We need to move forward.
“I know the committee in charge are very serious people and will not compromise. I will not tell you what we are going to input into the bill but in the end, everybody will be happy and smile. By next week, we are going to pass the bill into law”, he assured.
The only female lawmaker in KSHA and the entire Northwest, Mrs Comfort Amwe (PDP Sanga) who is the Chairman, House Committee on Human Services and Social Development revealed how she wept the first time the bill was discussed in the House.
“I want to say as the only female legislature in Northwest Nigeria, my first appreciation goes to Governor Nasir El-Rufai. The day we first met on this bill, I had some emotion that I could not control.
“Thank you for bringing this to the consciousness of the assembly. We will make it very hasher so the perpetrators will know that we are serious with this”, she assured.