Ted Odogwu, Kano
A peaceful street walk organised by the St. Louis Old Girls’ Association in Kano State to call attention to rising cases of rape in the state was stopped on Tuesday by the police.
SLOGA had planned the street walk in collaboration with some women groups, but the police stopped it for ‘security reasons’.
However, the President of SLOGA, Hajya Aisha Dankani, who said the organisation obtained the permission of the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Rabi’u Yusuf, to embark on the work, described the disruption of the walk by the police as surprising.
Dankani said her association had already scheduled the programme before the police directed them to suspend it.
She said, “We were about starting the walk only for the state police commissioner to contact us to stop it, saying it is unlike women of the state to troop out en masse on the streets for a walk for any reason.
“The commissioner cited security threats as reasons for the withdrawal of the earlier approval granted to the association for the walk.
“It was a peaceful walk and not a protest. We decided to embark on the walk to express our concern about the rising cases of rape in the state.’’
Dankani explained that the objective of the group was to register its grievances with the state leadership and lawmakers over the rising cases of rape in the state in order to seek justice for the victims.
The association, in a statement, said it had reliable data from some hospital sources, indicating that cases of sexual violence were on the rise in the state.
“Apart from young adolescent girls and women, the data indicate that a large proportion of victims of rape are now children, within the age bracket of 0-10 years,” the organisation said.
Citing the case of Baby Khadija, who was raped in February, 2017 at the age of six months, during which she suffered perineal injuries, the women said they were determined to stand against sexual violence and crimes against females in the state.
“As professionals, women, mothers and grandmothers, wives, sisters and aunts, we have united together, with one strong voice to condemn all forms of sexual violence, especially against children in the strongest possible terms,” they said.
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