Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state has ordered the opening of a sex offenders register in the state.
In a webinar organised by Gideon and Funmi Para-Mallam Peace Foundation to address Sexual, rape and gender-based violence in Nigeria, the Plateau state governor said that he regrets the extent to which the menace of rape and other forms of sexual violence have gone in the country.
He said that in Nigeria, these crimes have taken an alarming and disgraceful dimension, adding that the sex offenders register was aimed at ensuring heavy punishment for the perpetrators and also dissuade people from partaking in the crime. Lalong said,
‘One thing we take very seriously as a government is the prosecution of rape and sexual offenders. Following an increase in rape cases in the country, I have directed the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to step up vigorous prosecution of offenders no matter their status.
‘Very soon, we shall open a Sexual Offenders Register where the data of convicted offenders shall not only be deposited, but their identity made public so that they are named and shamed. I believe that they are the ones that are entitled to stigmatization, not their victims.’
The Plateau state governor also gave directives to the Plateau State Peace Agency to sensitize residents within the different communities on the dangers of sexual and gender-based violence adding that women and children were more susceptible to the abuse.