Reps shun resolution to wear black for rape victims

Some members of the House of Representatives failed to show up in black on Tuesday in solidarity with victims of rape and other sexual violence in Nigeria.

The House had on Thursday resolved that members should dress in black at the next sitting to show solidarity with victims, as more cases are being reported.

Among the presiding and principal officers seen at the plenary on Tuesday, only the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila; Deputy Chief Whip, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu; and the Deputy Minority Whip, Adesegun Adekoya, observed the resolution.

However, the Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Wase, put on an ash agbada; Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, came in navy blue agbada; Chief Whip, Mohammed Monguno, wore white agbada; and the Minority Whip, Gideon Gwani, also came in white.

About half of members seated also appeared in different colours.

Two large banners were, however, placed behind the Speaker’s seat, with the inscription, ‘Reps Say No to Rape’.

During the plenary, Gbajabiamila said, “Honourable colleagues, we have brought the campaign saying ‘no to rape’ to the House, and the campaign continues. There is a table out there (by the entrance) set up and these are banners to do your one-minute video for your constituents, warning against gender-based violence and rape.”

The Speaker urged members to participate in the exercise and send out the videos.

The House had spent over two hours on Thursday to debate the rising spate of sexual violence across Nigeria, calling for stricter measures to check the crime.

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