Benue state government, in collaboration with the police in the state, on Thursday night, raided five brothels, leading to the arrest of 72 commercial sex workers.
The security adviser to Benue state governor, retired colonel Edwin Jando, disclosed this while addressing a group of women under the aegis of Women Situation Room Nigeria, Benue State chapter, who protested against the rise in defilement and raping of children in the state.
The women, who marched through major streets of Makurdi, capital city of Benue on Friday, decried the continuous rise in rape and defilement of children in the state.
The leader of the group, Mrs Gbazua, disclosed that in July alone, fifteen cases of rape involving children between the ages of two and seven were recorded in Benue State.
Gbazua lamented that the situation has become worrisome, which, according to her, needed urgent attention.
The women carried placards which read: ‘Say No to Rape, Stop rape and Child Abuse; Pass VAPP Law in Benue State, Stop girl defilement, CPN opposes rape against women, Implement laws against rape and other related crimes now in Benue, among others.
Gbazua, said the Women Situation Room Nigeria, in partnership with Alliance Against Domestic Violence and Abuse, AADVA, facilitated the sit-out protest, adding that the black on black attires they wore for the protest symbolizes pain, hurt and grief of the violation of babies and children and women.
She noted that the recent defilement and death of a 14-year-old girl in Lagos state necessitated the protest, which she disclosed took place in ten states including Benue, Bauchi, Kano and Kaduna.
“There is a law against rape and defilement at the federal level–VAAP Act but the law is yet to be passed in Benue state. The draft bill is with the state assembly and we are calling on the House to expedite action in passing the bill into law, so as to prosecute those who indulge in such act.”
“The habit of silence, shame, religious interference and official inaction had interfered with the justice system in Nigeria. We are calling on the government to do something against this, ” she stated.
The state governor, who was represented by his security adviser, said that rape is a capital offence and whoever indulges in such act must be punished.
‘’We have decided to visit all the relaxation spots in Makurdi, so as to chase away sex workers and discourage people from engaging themselves in such ventures.
“We will arrest and persecute anyone that is found guilty of engaging in prostitution or act of rape because such profession and act is an ungodly and wicked means of living a life.”