The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, has called on Nigerian men to be as law-abiding as women, based on the statistics of convicts and suspected criminals held in custodial centres nationwide. The former Osun State governor, during a media briefing on Thursday in Abuja, expressed his pleasure with the figures that suggest women contribute very little to the nation’s crime burden.
Of Nigeria’s current 69,680 people held in custodial facilities, only 1,275 (1.8%) of them are women, according to statistics he announced at the Presidential Villa. The ratio drops even further when narrowed down to convictions as only 256 (1.3%) of the 19,457 convicted people currently in custodial centres are women. Fifty eight of those convicted women are on the death row and 1,019 are awaiting trial. Over 70% of inmates of custodial centres are awaiting trial but Aregebesola assured Nigerians that the government was committed to ensuring that “congestion issues are managed efficiently.
“Our women in Nigeria are fantastic law-abiding citizens,” the minister said. “And I want to call on our brothers to emulate the women. Just look at these figures I’ve given you. I give kudos to Nigerian women for their comportment, attitude, and lawful standing in the country.”
It is good news that there are far fewer women than men among Nigeria’s total prison inmate population of 69,680. However, we dare say the numbers given are not enough to draw the conclusion that women are less likely to commit crime than men. Isn’t the minister too hasty in commending the womenfolk and indirectly writing off men? Psychoanalysts need to take a deeper look at that study to tell us whether or not Aregbesola’s postulation was right.
However, if further checks prove him right, there will be some political food for thought. If it is scientifically proved that women are less criminally minded than men are, perhaps it will be time to consider a paradigm shift in political leadership. Perhaps, the thievery so rampant in political high places dominated by men will reduce if women are in charge.