On Sunday April 12th, 2020 the Nigerian political twitter sphere experienced as always, an all-out disagreement between several contenders but leading the pack were the twitter handles of @B_Elrufai also known as Bello El-Rufai the son of the current Governor of Kaduna State and the twitter user @thanos_zer.
The penultimate inbox message from @B_Elfufai to @thanos_zer at 10.21am is quoted here “oh and tell your mother I’m passing her to my friends tonight. No Igbo sounds please! Tueh”…
Whilst the tweet drew condemnation and outright objections from all sides, our attention was drawn to the justification of this comment by the current first lady of Kaduna and Chairperson of the Kaduna Sexual Trauma Centre Hadiza Isma El-Rufai who tweets under the handle @hadizel “all you people talking about @B_ELFUFAI. Don’t @ me. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind. All is fair in love and war. My belief: respect everyone, but take no shit from anyone. I didn’t see any threats of rape. I would never condone that”
We strongly condemn the use of RAPE in all its linguistic guises as a form of punishment for someone that has erred and use the opportunity to remind all of us that rape as a weapon of war is not and will never be acceptable. The perception that women’s bodies are available to be used as agents of revenge cannot be encouraged and the wider society has a responsibility to call out those who err and fail to adhere to proper etiquette, rules of engagement and laws of Nigeria.
While we battle covid19, its immediate effects on our communities and the increase in sexual and gender-based violence, the NFF still has not lost touch with identifying threats of violence against women and girls, calling out perpetrators and documenting all forms of violence against women and girls. In a country with a high level of unreported and undocumented cases of rape, sexual assault and domestic violence, it is only an astonishing level of arrogance that results in a governors son threatening to gang rape someone’s mother, and then gets full support from his mother the first lady of Kaduna state and the Chairperson of the Kaduna sexual trauma taskforce.
This question becomes imperative, has Bello done this before? This threat speaks volumes, and should not be taken for granted.
Therefore, the Nigerian Feminist Forum calls for the following:
• The Nigeria Police Force should invite Bello for questioning and prosecution under the Cyber Crimes act siting a violation of section 23
• MsHadizaIsma El-Rufai should be immediately relieved of her position as Chairperson of the Kaduna sexual trauma centre and taskforce.
• Ensure the safety ofthreatened persons.
There is an alarming increase in Cases of SGBV crises in the country, whether by social media, or other ways, it calls for all hands to be on deck, to eradicate sexual and gender based violence.
All is NOT fair in Love and War, when Nigerian Women’s Bodies are involved.
ABOUT THE NIGERIAN FEMINIST FORUM
The Nigerian Feminist Forum (NFF) is a biennial public policy forum that brings together self identifying feminists, who through feminist principles challenge the system of power, promoting the learning and teaching of feminist principles and universality of women’s rights.