Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and the wife of the President, Mrs. Aisha Buhari, on Saturday advocated 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 abuse in the country were punished.
He described as an irony a situation whereby girls are advised to take pre-emptive measures to avoid being raped and the boys are not being educated on why they should not engage in any abuse against their female counterparts.
He appealed to the law enforcement agencies to ensure the full implementation of all existing laws so that perpetrators would be adequately sanctioned.
Osinbajo also expressed sadness at the number of Nigerians that had 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 everything within our power to prevent abuse. Victims should not be made to be on the defensive all the time.
“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 said the Federal Government had a dedicated desk designed to support the state governments against gender-based violations and violence.
Mrs. Buhari blamed most cases of abuse against women on lack of information and urged victims as well as guardians of victims to speak up and report perpetrators to law enforcement agencies.
The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who was the chairman on the occasion, described as a huge shock the images of Africans, including Nigerians, in search of greener pastures in Libya.
He noted that over 3,000 Nigerians had voluntarily returned to the country following the prompt response of the President and relevant stakeholders.