Official: Centre records 400 rape cases in Zamfara

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The Zamfara State Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) has recorded no fewer than 400 sexual assault cases in the last two years, its Coordinator, Ahmad Shehu, said.

Shehu said this in Gusau on Wednesday at an interactive with civil society organisations (CSOs) media, security personnel, members of the state’s children parliaments and representatives from MDAs in the state

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event was organised by Save the Children International (SCI), a UK aid-funded NGO, in collaboration with the State Ministry of Women and Children Affairs.

The event was held to commemorate the 2021 International Day for Girl Child with the theme: “Digital Generation, Our Generation”.

The coordinator further said that the centre that was established in the last two years in the state faced many challenges that affected its operations.

According to him, the major challenge is a lack of funds.

“We need resources to follow up cases.”

In their separate motions at the event, members of the state’s children’s parliament called on the government to investigate and end the girls’ `almajiri’ issues in the state.

They also called on the authorities to make concerted efforts to find solutions for various challenges affecting girl child development.

A member representing Bungudu Local Government Area in the parliament, Nura Usman, expressed fear over the growing rate of female almajiri in the state.

According to him, the issue is becoming terrible especially in the rural communities.

“Something urgent needs to be done to save the lives and future of our innocent younger sisters.

“I am appealing to policymakers, traditional and religious leaders, parents and guardians and other stakeholders to ensure they stop such activities in the state,’’ Usman said.

In her remarks, the Speaker of the Parliament, Sa’adatu Muhammad, called on the government to come out with policies to address various issues affecting girls child education.

“As we all know, education is the bedrock for the development of any society and educating a woman has numerous advantages to the societal development.

“All stakeholders especially parents, guardians and policymakers must put hands together to ensure that quality education is given to the girl child and other children for the future of our society,’’ Muhammad said.

The speaker also called for the speedy passage of the Child Protection Bill in the state, adding that it would promote child protection and development in the state.

“The bill is paramount to everyone in the society as it will protect children from gender-based and domestic violence, child labour and rape, among other challenges facing them.

“The bill will also ensure the protection of children with disability as it will promote quality education and health care for children in the state,’’ the speaker added.

She commended Gov. Bello Matawalle administration, state legislature, officials from the ministry for women affairs and its partners, Save the Children, for their efforts toward promoting child development in the state.

The speaker appealed to them to ensure the speedy passage and signing of the bill, considering its impact on the future development of children in the state.

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