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Group of men known as Men Against Rape hold all-male awareness walk against rape, sexual and gender-based violence at Ikeja in Lagos, Nigeria on June 11, 2020.

Nigeria Declares 'State of Emergency' on Rape

The announcement comes after public outcry over a spate of recent killings of young women in the country.

Governors in Nigeria have called a state of emergency over rape against women and children, following a string of high-profile cases across the country which have led to nation-wide protests.

A forum of 36 governors condemned the acts and stated that they are "committed to ensuring that offenders face the maximum weight of the law."

The officials are calling on all states to set up a sex offenders register and allot for increased funding to tackle the problem. According to CNN, states are also being urged to sign two new federal laws that will further punish rape and violence against women.


Nigerians have been protesting and rallying online to fight sexual violence in response to a string of recent killings of young women, including the university student Uwaila Vera Omozuwa, as well as 16-year-old student Tina Ezekwe who was shot dead by police in Lagos who opened virus while enforcing a COVID curfew, and an 18-year-old woman known as Jennifer.

Celebrities and public figures like Tiwa Savage joined in the fight, using their platforms to push for government action on the matter.

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari spoke about the crisis during an address on Friday. "I am particularly upset at recent incidents of rape, especially of very young girls. The police are pursuing these cases with a view to bringing perpetrators of these heinous crimes to swift justice."

"I wish to assure all our women of this administration's determination to fight Gender-Based Violence through the instrumentality of the law and awareness creation."

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Photo by NurPhoto via Getty Images.

A Year After #EndSARS, Nigerian Youth Maintain That Nothing Has Changed

Despite the disbandment of the SARS units, young Nigerians are still being treated as criminals. We talk to several of them about their experiences since the #EndSARS protests.

On September 12th, Tobe, a 22-year-old student at the University of Nigeria's Enugu Campus was on his way to Shoprite to hang out with his friends when the tricycle he had boarded was stopped by policemen. At first, Tobe thought they were about to check the driver's documents, but he was wrong. "An officer told me to come down, he started searching me like I was a criminal and told me to pull down my trousers, I was so scared that my mind was racing in different ways, I wasn't wearing anything flashy nor did I have an iPhone or dreads — things they would use to describe me as a yahoo boy," he says.

They couldn't find anything on him and when he tried to defend himself, claiming he had rights, one of the police officers slapped him. "I fell to the ground sobbing but they dragged me by the waist and took me to their van where they collected everything including my phone and the 8,000 Naira I was with."

Luckily for Tobe, they let him go free after 2 hours. "They set me free because they caught another pack of boys who were in a Venza car, but they didn't give me my money completely, they gave me 2,000 Naira for my transport," he says.

It's no news that thousands of Nigerian youth have witnessed incidents like Tobe's — many more worse than his. It's this helpless and seemingly unsolvable situation which prompted the #EndSARS protests. Sparked after a viral video of a man who was shot just because he was driving an SUV and was mistaken as a yahoo boy, the #EndSARS protests saw millions of young Nigerians across several states of the country come out of their homes and march against a system has killed unfathomable numbers of people for invalid or plain stupid reasons. The protests started on October 6th, 2020 and came to a seize after a tragedy struck on October 20th of the same year.

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