Today, concerned citizens, students, Youths and activists, filled the atmosphere of the Ondo state capital, Akure city, following the incessant cases of Rape across the country, which included a case of Rape in Owo local government in which a clergy was alleged to have raped a 16 year-old girl, who came for epilepsy deliverance, comrade Obinna Ezechukwu, co-organizer of the Akure Anti-Rape protest, writes.
The clergy was released on bail on the basis of prison congestion, despite medical report that states that he committed the crime, yet the Attorney General of Ondo state did not even protest the bail application and allowed a rapist back on the street. Then we ask, who is the next Uwa? Who is the next Barakat?
If crime is inevitable, then Justice must also be inevitable. Most of us have sisters, daughters, wife, mothers and female friends, going about their normal activities just like late Miss Vera Uwaila and late Miss Barakat Bello, not knowing that evil awaits them to strike it’s deadly blow. We don’t want such, hence it’s imperative that all rape cases are resuscitated to serve justice so we take rapists and paedophiles off our streets.
In the middle of Akure we passed the following messages:
- There is no justification for rape. The argument of indecent dressing is a religious argument which has not basis in Law.
Back in the days, before the advent of full clothes, African societies were mostly naked, covering only the delicate part of their body, yet at that time, rape was frowned at, and such dressing mode was never a justification for rape.
- If we say indecent dressing is a criteria for rape, then we make case for rapists and give victims the blame, thereby strengthning the mentality of a sick twisted personel that it is okay to rape since the blame will be placed on the lady.
- I see almost naked women a lot, yet I do not grab them or corner them to fulfil a lustful desire, so why should such be a justification for rapists?
What then is the justification of those who rape covered women, children and old people? Should we also blame indecent dressing?
Let’s get the facts right, what causes rape is simply RAPISTS.
• Parents should ask their children what happened to them when they were not at home, someone may have defiled them, especially someone close to these children. By so doing, they can get their children to talk and help take rapists and paedophiles off the street.
- We admonished victims of rape to come out and seek assistance for justice, through the organization VARSH (Voices Against Rape and Sexual Harassment), so as to help take rapists off the street and clear our streets.
The exercise was a War Against Rapists, as we warn the people in the society to stay clear the thought of carrying out a rape action, and control their urge.
In a stop at a Police Division in Akure, we admonished the police officers to be astute in carrying out their duties to ensure justice for rape victims—not asking for money before they do their duty. The DPO came out to address protesters and assured that if we do our part in warning citizens, they will do their part in ensuring justice.
From there, we marched to the Governor’s office. On getting there, Governor Akeredolu was said not to be around, but it was so demeaning that the good people of Ondo state who trekked kilometers under the sun to the Governor’s office could not get an audience from the administration, despite protesters who were crying for justice and more stricter measure to curtail rape. The Chief Security Officer kept “playing us” claiming a representative will soon come which we never saw.
Two of us decided to go in to submit the petition letter to the Governor’s office secretary, in which they recieved a copy and we held on to another copy, to which effect we expect a response from the Governor concerning the letter so as to take proactive measures in curtailing rape and nabbing rapists.
The March was a combination of students, activists, groups such as, Voices against Rape and Sexual Assault (VARSH), Child Development and Female Reduce Organization and the Take it Back Movement.
We also had various media agencies such as Sahara Reporters, Town Crier, Channels, AIT, ITV, Crest FM, TVC and others.
Today, we striked an atmosphere to pass a message that Rape is not okay and there are still sane people in society who frowns against such abomination.