In her renewed effort to curb the heinous act of child rape in the state, wife of the Akwa Ibom Governor, Mrs Martha Emmanuel, has vowed to subject all culprits of such crimes to the full weight of the law.
To tackle this, Emmanuel says she is collaborating with the International Federation and Women Lawyers (FIDA), the State Police Command and other appropriate agencies to ensure that no culprit of child rape is granted bail once arrested.
The essence of such measure, according to the Governor’s wife is to ensure that those arrested with the crime she considers a sin against God and humanity are made to feel the full weight of the law, to serve as deterrent to others.
In a chat with newsmen in Uyo on Monday, the First Lady commended the State Command of the Nigeria Police Force for graciously approving her appeal to keep perpetrators of child rape in custody till they are duly charged to court for prosecution.
She said she has so far been able to secure about 15 convictions since she took up the advocacy, and vowed never to spare anyone who sexually violates a child in the state. “The advocacy has yielded positive results, I made a petition to the commissioner of police that non of these culprits should be granted bail, and I thank God that the appeal has been granted.
“About 15 have been prosecuted. We are working in partnership with FIDA and the ministry of women affairs. So even when I leave office, there are many other people that will still be doing this. Its a global fight, this rape issue must stop, it is a sin against God and humanity.”
The Governor’s wife while admonishing parents especially mothers on their role as care-givers, wondered why some men should be involved in such heinous acts, saying it is disheartening to see an underage girl defiled. “We have been advising mothers against leaving daughters in the hands of neighbors. Don’t leave them with any man because you never can tell what might happen. Some of the cases, its actually the uncles.”
She encouraged victims of the crime to speak out and report cases of rape as well as other vices against the girl-child to her non-governmental platform, Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path- Initiative (FYReP) and the Ministry of Women Affairs, stressing that culprits must be made to face the full wrath of the law.
Speaking on renewed spate of domestic violence in the country, which has led to reported cases of husbands killing wives or vice versa, Mrs Emmanuel,, advised women to constantly watch out for the ‘red flags’ in their homes to prevent domestic violence from escalating to the point of resulting in loss of life.
“We always advise women to watch out for the red flag and take necessary action, try to reach out for help and don’t wait for things to get out of hand. No husband or wife should be violent against each other.”