Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, on Saturday made a case for stiffer sanctions for perpetrators of violence, especially as it concerns abuse of human dignity.
They spoke at a programme, National Workshop on War Against Abuse in Nigeria, organised by Mrs. Buhari’s pet programme, Future Assured, in Abuja.
Osinbajo said it was time to ensure that those responsible for different forms of abuses in the country are punished.
He said it was ironic that while girls are advised to take preemptive measures to avoid being raped or against other forms of abuses, the boys are not being educated on why they should not engage in any abuse.
He said law enforcement agencies should ensure the full implementation of existing laws to ensure adequate sanctions.
Osinbajo also expressed sadness at the number of Nigerians that have been killed in their attempts to seek greener pastures in Europe.
He said, “These abuses can be prevented. We don’t have to wait until it happens. We need to do all within our power to prevent abuse, victims should not be made to be on the defensive all the times.
“Women are always taught how to behave but the men and boys that perpetuate these crimes are not even mentioned.
“Our ability to safeguard women and girls is the key to Nigeria moving forward.”
The Vice President also spoke on efforts by the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to tackle various forms of abuses in the country.
He said, “We have a dedicated desk to supporting state on gender based violations and violence.
“Law enforcement is needed for effective sanctions, the laws are there but we need implementation of laws judiciously, we seek the Cooporation of law enforcement agencies.
“The role of men and boys in gender based violence should be looked into, additional research on how to make evidence useful should also be considered.”
Mrs. Buhari, on her part, said a slap on the wrist judgement against perpetrators of any form of violence particularly against women and children will only embolden them.
She blamed most cases of abuse on lack of information and urged victims as well as guardians of victims to speak up and report perpetrators to law enforcement agencies.
She said the wave of abuses in the country necessitated the workshop.