By Michael Adesanya/Abeokuta
The Women Entrepreneurs and Professionals Development Network has written the leadership of the National Assembly seeking stronger intervention to stem the tide of rape in the country
The group, led by its Global Convener, Iyalode Alaba Lawson in the letter titled, ’Enough is Enough’ and dated June 16, 2020, was addressed to Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila – with a copy forwarded to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The letter, accompanied with video clips of some rape cases, stated that it all started as a small pebble, noting that it has become mountainous boulders seeking to crush the social and moral fabric of the country.
They lamented that hardly a second goes without rape case in the Nigerian society, urging for urgent attention.
“We are referring to the alarming issue of rape and defilement that have ballooned into monstrous proportions. Hardly a second goes by, that a minor is not raped by and individual or gang raped by multiple members of a gang,” the letter reads in part.
I”Nobody is spared; the old the young, even babies, day old babies and to make matter worse, the victims’ lives are often terminated. Their lives are snuffed out after being desecrated and defiled by these nefarious elements”.
The group pointed out that, astonishingly, the male gender is not left out of the whole mess, adding that there is also an astronomical increase in the rate of underaged boys defiled both by men and women, stressing that these experiences traumatize the victims for the rest of their lives, ’even with proper counseling, if their lives are not terminated’
The letter says: “This simply cannot stand. We cannot afford to allow this to continue in our society, thus, we solicit your help in mitigating this growing menace by asking for the maximum penalty of death for rapists. This, we believe will help in deterring would-be rapist. Rapists are like murderers because they take away the lives of their victims both literally and figuratively”.
The women body therefore appealed to the lawmakers to move speedily to ensure that, the motion for death sentence is passed into law, emphasisng that, “this is very important matter of the utmost urgency, ‘as lives of our daughters, sons and indeed everybody are at risk. It could be turn of anybody tomorrow”.
Signatories to the letter, included Chief (Mrs) Anita Nana Okuribido, Mrs Affi Ibanga, Mrs Mimy Bawa-Allah, Mrs Regina Obasa, Barrister Joanne Miller-Egboh, Ms Omotola Omole,Mrs Norah Ajoke Hollins, Mrs Annah Akpan, Mrs Edith Lawal and Mrs Ifeyinwa Adesida.