Nigeria Declares 'State of Emergency' on Rape

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.

(Photo by Adekunle Ajayi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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."