Edo State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe, has vowed that anyone who indulges in rape would be given the appropriate judgement and punishment such person deserved.
The Commissioner who led a peaceful protest against rape to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) premises, noted that the Godwin Obaseki-led administration is making everything possible to make sure rape culture is totally eradicated in the state.
In the protest organised by coalition of gender-based Non-Governmental Organisation, Omorogbe said not only does she believe rape can be totally eradicated, she added that Governor Godwin Obaseki has been working to make sure this come through soonest.
“All we are trying to do is to make sure there is no more rape in Edo State. Not only do I believe that rape can be totally eradicated in the state, government of Mr. Obaseki is committed to ensuring there is total eradication of rape culture in this state, and to ensure that all rapists get their judgement and given the punishment that they deserved. We are doing all we can to make sure that this becomes a reality”, she added.
Reacting to falsehood being peddled on social media that Omozuwa Vera Uwaila (UNIBEN 200L student that was recently raped and murdered) was impregnated by her pastor before setting her up, the Commissioner said the claim was not only false but misleading, stressing that autopsy carried out on Uwa shows she was not pregnant and was also a virgin.
“We were all terribly shocked to what happened to Uwa. It was terrible; it was a brutal experience. We were further shocked by some of the different things we saw all over the places particularly on social media, and that is why it is important we come here.
“For example, we saw a terrible lie being peddled on social media and not regular press that Uwa was being impregnated by her pastor. That has been refuted though it caused serious anguish to the family members. It’s a terrible story.
“Though one cannot talk at this point, but from the autopsy done on Uwa, it was clearly established that not only was she not pregnant, she was a virgin, so how boyfriend and pregnancy came in only God knows”, she added.
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On her part, Roseline Okosun, Chairperson, Edo Women’s Development Initiatives, expressed worry at the increasing rate of rape in the nation, just as she expressed fear that mothers, children no longer safe in the nation.
While stating that it has never this bad since she was born, Okosun lamented that even neighbors, relations do go into rape, stressing that fathers too do rape their biological daughter.
“Our mothers are no longer secured and safe with their children. They can no longer leave their children with their neighbors anymore, and even with relations. Relations are raping our children, fathers are raping their daughters.
“I grew up here in Edo and I have not heard it this bad before that fathers, young boys are raping our daughters in the universities and down to primary school. I don’t know the curse that has been placed on our land”, she lamented.
Further lamenting that children of months old are being raped, Okosun called for a stop to the menace, just as she advocated that anywhere the girl child find herself she must be secured and safe.
She noted, “Even a three-month-old child is being raped. What is the problem with us in this country. We are saying no to all of these. It must come to an end, and that is why we are here. Our children must be safe!”
Also lending her voice,Stella Obehi, a legal practitioner, said they were out to express their deep sadness, anger, and dismay over the incident of rape and defilement in the land, adding that they do not want women and children to be raped anymore but be treated with respect and dignity.
While calling on law enforcement agencies and the government to put in place laws that will protect women and children against rape, she noted that rape thrive because stakeholders are silent about it.
She said, “We are saying we do not want our women and children to be raped anymore. We want our women to be treated with respect and dignity. We are calling all stakeholders to join us to form forces against rape.
“We do not want the culture of silence anymore because probably this is why the menace has thrived so long. We want law enforcement agencies to be up and doing in their jobs. We want government also to put in place all needed to protect us from rape.”
Welcoming them to the premises of the NUJ, Roland Osakue, Chairman Edo NUJ, disclosed that journalists are against rape and ready to provide all the necessary support so as to put an end to the menace.
While saying that rapists are criminals in the society, Osakue stressed that they needed to be treated as criminals without pity.