Civil Society organisations, led by Kids & Teens Resource Centre in Ondo State staged a walk against rape calling on the Federal government to declare a state of emergency on gender based violence in Nigeria.
Speaking on this trend, the CEO, Kids & Teens Resource Centre, Martin-Mary Falana on behalf of other organizations called on the Federal Government to immediately declare a state of emergency on sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in Nigeria.
The conveyor, Folashade Bamigboye advocated for effective implementation of existing laws aimed at protecting children and the domestication of the VAPP laws across all states to create a safety net for girls and women in Nigeria.
According to her, since the Uwa case occurred and got so much public attention, many more cases had been reported across Nigeria. There had been the case of 18-year-old Barakat Bello in Ibadan who was raped to death, the 12-year-old girl in Jigawa raped by 12 men including a 67-year old man, the 13-year-old Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje who was a victim of her guardian’s criminal tendency.
Similarly in Ondo state, a Pastor of Holy Ghost Mission Church Ehinogbe, Owo, Ondo state, Peter Alatake, has been arraigned before a Chief Magistrate Court for allegedly raping a 16-year-old secondary school girl suffering from epilepsy during a ‘deliverance’ session in his church. An undergraduate, Femi Adejuwon raped a 16-year-old secondary school leaver in Akure, the Ondo state capital, to mention a few.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director, Queen TKO Foundation, Olori Funmilayo Aladetoyinbo cried over the trend of incest and child molestation in Ondo State, and advocated stiffer penalty to abusers of child’s rights and called for establishment of Action Committees on GBV in communities and religious institutions to tackle child sexual abuse in the state.
Addressing the various civil society organisations on a walk at Adegbemile centre in Akure, the Chairperson, House Committee on Women Affairs and Social Development and Chairperson, Ondo State House of Assembly Committee on Gender Issues, Hon Favour Tomomewo said efforts were in top gear to domesticate the Violence Against Persons and Property Act (VAPP) which would further protect women and girls in Ondo State.
Disturbed by the cruel incidences of rape and molestation of minors in the state, she joined her voice with the advocates by requesting that the Federal Government declare a state of emergency on Rape.
The event brought together civil society actors, SGBV survivors and specialists and they unanimously called for increased commitment and political will to end SGBV. They called on Government to strengthen SGBV prevention and response as a priority.
The actors; ForHer initiative, Girls to Women Research and Development Centre, Better Living Foundation, Gender and the Girl Child Development, Kick Against Molestation Initiative, Queen TKO Foundation, The Etabitha Project and the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps among others took turns and shared their views, ordeals and wishes on cases of rape, child molestation and killings of girls and women in Nigeria and called for Death Penalty for perpetrators.
Olufisoye Adenitan for Radio Nigeria