Features Labour Matters

Rape, sexual assault: Expedite legislative action against offenders

By Rita Esegina

The Nigeria Labour Congress has condemn the recent wave of rape, sexual violence and other forms of violence against the female folk.

President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, in a recent statement said, “We are alarmed that our age-long culture of respect for women is being torn into shreds by criminals who believe that the female body is theirs to seize, ravish and devour at will without consequences.

“The recent rape and killing of Ms. Uwaila Omozuwa, a 22-year old 100 level student of University of Benin, Edo State on Wednesday 27th May 2020 is a cruel addition to the long list of Nigerian women and girls who have had their body privacy and their lives desecrated and destroyed by rapists”.

“Ms. Uwaila Omozuwa who was studying Microbiology, soughted the quiet of her Church in Benin City where she can study in peace was raped and killed. Although she was rushed to the hospital but she gave up the ghost on 30th of May 2020. Ms. Uwaila has been studying in the church for the past three years due to lack of public library in the area.”

The statement further recalled another rape incident that took place on on April 27, 2020, involving an 18-year old girl Jennifer, who was gang raped by five men in Narayi, Kaduna State.

“Not long ago, an eleven-year old girl and a thirteen-year old girl were gang raped in Ilorin, Kwara State. As if the life of girls and women are the cheapest commodities in our part of the world, on 28th May 2020, a seventeen-year old girl, Tina Ezekwe was gruesomely felled by police bullets during a supposed enforcement of the lockdown curfew at Iyana Oworo part of Lagos metropolis, at a bus stop near her home.

“Rapists are now transmitting that girls and women are no longer safe as they have been raped in their parent’s houses, husband’s homes, workplaces especially house helps, schools hostels, in the open field and in forlorn places.

“According to a national survey sponsored by the United Nations Women (UNWomen) in 2014, one in four women in Nigeria had experienced violence during childhood, with about seventy percent of the affected girls and women reporting that it happened more than once. Out of the number of affected women, only 5% sought help and only 3.5% received any help such as medical assistance and counseling”.

“Rape is a terrible crime as it’s an act of sexual intercourse with an individual or an infant without his or her consent through force and threat of force and the Congress believes that it is high time the rape epidemic was uprooted in Nigeria.

“We also call on the National Assembly to expedite legislative action on some of the bills before it that are aimed at strengthening penalties for rape and increasing the protection of children, girls, women, the aged and other vulnerable persons. We also call on the National Assembly to quickly domesticate the International Labour Organization’s newest Convention – Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment of Workers.

“Furthermore, we call on the police to improve the capacity of its officers to deal with cases of rape. The delay, compromise of evidence and unwillingness to prosecute rape offenders to the fullest extent of the law suggest a society that tolerates abuse and violence against women”.

“Rape thrives under the shadows of silence. We must disavow the culture of silence on rape cases. We will be judged by how we treat the weak and voiceless. We call on law enforcement agencies and social institutions to rise up to this challenge. It is our collective duty to protect our mothers, daughters, sisters and brothers from the deadly fangs of rapists. If we fail in this onerous duty, then we would have truly failed”.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment

This News Site uses cookies to improve reading experience. We assume this is OK but if not, please do opt-out. Accept Read More