Rape epidemic: NGO wants justice for slain UNIBEN student, others

A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Wanda Adu Foundation, has called on relevant government bodies to bring to justice individuals behind the rape to death of a year one University of Benin (UNIBEN) student, Vera Omuzuwa and other several rape and child sexual abuse cases in the country.

The Foundation, which made the call in Abuja during a protest against the rising number of rape cases in the country, advocated death sentence or chemical castration for rapists.

Wanda Ebe , founder of the Foundation, who led scores of protesters in a peaceful march around Unity Fountain, Maitama, in the heart of Abuja, said only a harsh penalty would dissuade perpetrators of rape from contemplating such terrible act.

She said: “Death sentence is what we ask for, there is a case of a four-year-old child who was raped and all her internal organs gushed out from her vagina. Look at the cases of Uwa and other several rape and murder cases.

“Rape is a murder, it is killing even if you are not dead physically, emotionally or mentally you are dead. So there should be death penalty or chemical castration for every rapist,” she said.

While decrying the slow wheel of justice in cases involving rape and child sexual abuse, Wanda said women should be allowed a pivotal role in determining the punishment to be melted out to rapists.

“Government should give opportunities to women in leadership to make decisions. The men are being biased about it because several of them are molesters, several of them abuse children. Let the punishment of rape be decided by women,” she said.

Also speaking, Lemmy Ughegbe, Director Communication and Advocacy, Make A Difference Initiative, said rape which used to be a ‘virus in Nigeria’ has now become epidemic.

“In 2015, UNICEF came out with a report on Nigeria and said one out of every four girls gets raped before their 18th birthday and one out of every 10 boys get raped before 18. That was in 2015. Today you can’t open the newspaper without seeing at least two or three cases daily of rape.That means the statistics of UNICEF in 2015 is now a joke,” he said.

The AUTHORITY reports that the protest, which saw to activitists and other Abuja residents displaying various placards that denounce rape and sexual violence, was organised by Wanda Adu Foundation in collaboration with the International Centre for Investigating Reporting (ICIR) and Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR).

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