Thursday, 4 June 2020

Growing Rape Cases: C'River govt frowns, calls for punitive measures on offenders

Ukorebi Esien | 3rd June 2020  

As rape cases and sexual violence begin to take prominence in Nigeria with several cases emerging in the last one week, the Cross River State Government have condemned it in all it entirety calling for strict and Stive penalty on offenders.

This was contained in a press statement from office of the Special Adviser to the Cross River state Governor, Sen. Ben Ayade and made available to TDN. The Special Adviser, Blessing Ekpo in her statement noted that the recent outbreak of rape, sexual violence, and other form of gender based violence, calls for deep concerns as it shows the level of moral decadence in the country. 

She further called on leaders (religious, political and traditional) to speak out and brace up to the challenge of moral decadence. She added that the recent cases, experienced in the country with particular reference to the 100 level UNIBEN student who was gruesomely murdered inside the church after being raped, and the Cross River State experience where a police officer raped his16 years old daughter and another Rt. Soldier who raped a 4 year old child. And the many other cases scattered around the country are reasons for serious concerns. 

Ekpo called for stringent measures and stiff penalty to be meted on offenders revealing that her office will soon unveil strategies set out to curb these vices and warning all those who may be found guilty to be ready to face the wrath of the law.

Blessing Ekpo, SA Gender and Development

The statement reads in full;


The Special Assistant to the Governor of Cross River State on Gender And Development, Miss Blessing Ekpo has called for action against rape and gender violence in Nigeria. The SA made the call in response to the the growing number of rape cases in the country in recent times.

It can be recalled, albeit sadly, that recently, a 100 level student of the University of Benin, 22-year-old Uwavera Omozuwa was beaten, raped and murdered in a church in Benin City, the capital of Edo State.

The hashtag #JusticeForUwa is trending on social media in Nigeria and beyond to call for the perpetrators of the dastardly act to be tracked down, made to face the law and punished as a form of justice for Uwa.

Before that a policeman allegedly shot dead a 16-year-old girl, Tina Ezekwe, in Lagos. Tina was supposed to write WAEC this year. Two police officers have been arrested in Lagos for killing her and we want to see them prosecuted.

In April, an 18-year-old known only as Jennifer was allegedly attacked and raped by a gang of five men in Kaduna, in northern Nigeria. The family of the girl fearing the culprits could escape justice brought the information to public space.

Just yesterday, news broke that an 18-year-old girl,  Bello Barakat, was reportedly gang raped and murdered by unknown men in Ibadan, Oyo state capital. The 18-year-old student of Institute of Agriculture, Research and Training, Ibadan, was attacked and killed while in her parents' house.

Today, my office received information about a case of rape in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State. The case which is already before the Nigeria Police involves a father raping his 16 year old daughter somewhere in 8 miles, Calabar.

This is one case too many and it is time all stakeholders make strong commitments and take action to stop rape and gender Violence in the state and the nation.

Our state governor, His Excellency, Sen. Prof. Ben Ayade is poised to take serious action against those found to be guilty of such crime in the state. Surely we will leave no stone unturned to ensure justice prevails 

I am calling on all leaders, including leaders in religious and traditional institutions, to speak up against rape and gender violence in Cross River State and beyond.

The Office of the Special Assistant to the governor on gender development is unveiling strategies in the next few weeks to curb these vices and warns all those who may be found guilty to be ready to face the wrath of the law.

Comr. Blessing Ekpo
SA to the Cross River State Governor on Gender And Development