The rape and killing of 22-year-old Vera Uwaila Omozuwa and others in the last two weeks have continued tospark public outrage with many groups calling for stiffer penalties for rapists.
In Abuja, some aggrieved people took to the streets in a peaceful protest to add their voices to the growing campaign against sexual abuse and gender based Violence against women.
The protesters marched to the gates of the Police headquarters in Abuja, dressed in black clothings and chanting “Silence is not Consent “
They seek Justice for the death of Uwaila Omozuwa and Barakat who suffered ill fates in the hands of their violators which led to their death.
They described the deaths as one too many that must no longer be swept under the carpet.
Similarly, a group of concerned Nigerians mostly women, took to the streets and converged on the Lagos Police command to declare a state of emergency on the ‘Epidemic’ called sexual and gender based violence.
Before the age of 18, one in four girls and one in ten boys go through the horrifying experience of being sexually abused in Nigeria, that’s according to a report by the United Nations Children fund In 2015.
Since the lockdown in March, ActionAid Nigeria has recorded 253 cases of gender based violence in Bauchi, Cross river, Enugu, Kebbi and Kwara states.
But the reported cases of sexual violence and murder of girls and young women in Nigeria in less than a month shows there are more cases than data recorded.
The stories of rape or sexual harrasment are all too familiar but it seems justice is rarely served on perpetrators. It took the Police about 15 minutes to come out and address the protesters.
Nigeria’s Criminal Code recommends life imprisonment for those convicted of rape and 14 years for attempted rape.
With the culture of silence making it difficult to estimate the cases of rapes each year and lengthy period trails take, Nigerians might have to wait a little longer to get their demands met.
They are waiting on the government and law enforcement agencies to take decisive steps on the matter. .
In Osun state, the National Association of Osun State students, NAOSS is advocating for the institution of judgment of death sentence on rapists, to serve as deterrent to others.
The wife of the State Governor, Kafayat Oyetola and speaker of the State House of Assembly also called for more advocacy against rape.
Mrs Oyetola is saddened by the rising cases of sexual harassment and wants every Nigerian to join hands in
fighting the act.
In Osun state life imprisonment is the punishment for any one found guilty by court to have committed rape.
But how effective is the law that has been in existence since 2002?
Speaker of the state House Of assembly wants police to be alive to their responsibility.
In Akure, the Ondo state capital, a group of youths staged a walk to join the call for government to enact laws that will discourage rape in the country.
The group under Child development and female rescue Foundation sensitised the people on the need to shun rape. They want stiffer penalties against rapists.
The leader of the group, Akinrifesoye Leah urged the federal and state governments to enact laws to that would ensure that rapists are sent to jail.
She said, “It is said that rape cases are on the increase. Rapists are killers, they should be punished heavily.
” There should be stiffer penalties for rapists, they should not be allowed to live among humans”.
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