Pristine Cactus Foundation, PCF, a faith-based non-governmental organisation has called for caution in reopening of schools and religious centres, while aslo demanding for justice for all victims of rape and all forms of gender-based violence across the country in the face of increase in cases of COVID-19.
The group commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for suspending the initial plan to reopen religious centres while urging other states to take necessary precautions. “We want people to know that COVID-19 is real and we must take all necessary precautions to keep safe. ”
In a statement signed by Dr. Fatimah Habeebu-Adeyemi and Dr Haleemah Alimi on behalf of Pristine Cactus Foundation, they called on government at all levels to ensure justice for all GBV victims.
PCF also emphasized the need to continually educate our children both boys and girls while urging all state governments to domesticate the Violence Against Persons ( Prohibition), VAPP, Act and implement strictly.
“All hands must be on deck to tame the scourge of violence from proper home training to policy measures.”
“All parents and care givers must be at alert regarding the responsibility and huge trust of educating the children in their care and investing in their total development.”
The group also urged parents to take children’s upbringing more seriously. “We are seriously worried about the increasing incidence of rape cases across the country.
And we should put a stop to shaming and blaming of rape victims or survivors saying they are not properly dressed as many decently dressed girls are now target for rape.”
“No woman deserves to be raped, and while Islam encourages decent dressing, accusing victims of being responsible for rape because of their dressing or being in particular places at the time of the crime is a great injustice.”
“The victims cut across all demographic spectra age-wise, with toddlers and the elderly also involved, so the theory of indecent dressing being a factor is faulty.”
PCF called for review of laws on rape and provision of stiffer penalties that can serve as deterrent to others.
“The Nigerian police must put their expertise into use to track down offenders. The National Orientation Agency and related agencies should continue to sensitise the populace on the need to protect the girl child.”
While sympathising with all Nigerians who have lost their relatives to the global Corona Virus pandemic, PCF warned those calling for opening of religious houses and schools to desist because the worst is not over yet as COVID-19 cases are still increasing as witnessed in some states in Nigeria, 19 states in the USA and as reported with school children in Isreal among other countries.
“We advised Nigerians to desist from calling on government to reopen religious houses and all educational institutions, especially pre-tertiary institutions.
Let’s exercise more patience in order to avoid increase in cases of COVID-19.” The group concluded.
PCF’s focus is on mentoring young Muslim women on balancing married life with professional careers; succeeding in a not too friendly environment and being of best health always.