Nigeria is set to launch a national campaign against rape and gender-based violence in the country, said Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, on Thursday.

Speaking at a forum in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, the minister said the government will do everything possible to stem the growing tide of the “pandemic”, with an alarming figure of 717 reported cases of rape between January and May.

Nigeria’s police chief Mohammed Adamu had on Monday said about 799 suspects had been arrested in connection with 717 rape cases in the country between January and May.

The information minister told reporters that the campaign is necessary not only to raise the level of awareness about rape and gender-based violence but to ensure that Nigerians own the fight against the abhorrent and repulsive criminal acts.

“That is an average of 143 cases per month and around five cases per day and we are talking of reported cases. Definitely, there are also hundreds of unreported cases and this is totally unacceptable,” he told his audience.

Mohammed disclosed that his ministry was partnering with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs to launch a national campaign against rape and gender-based violence.

He said the campaign would include advocacy, public sensitization, and social mobilization.

Also speaking at the event, Tony Ojukwu, head of the National Human Rights Commission, said rape is a gross violation of human rights.

Ojukwu said the public outrage on account of rape and other violent crimes against women and girls had reached a horrifying and scary proportion in recent times.

He called for all hands to be on deck to address this pervasive crime in society. Enditem

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