Kogi women kick against amnesty for rapists, recommend death sentence

Women in Kogi State, have kicked against amnesty for rapists, recommending death sentence or life imprisonment

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Kogi women kick against amnesty for rapists, recommend death sentence

Women in Kogi State, have kicked against amnesty for rapists, recommending death sentence or life imprisonment, for those found guilty of rape in the State.


Women of Kogi Central Senatorial District made the call Tuesday September 15 in Okene, during a sensitization workshop organized by the Challenged Parenthood Initiative, CPI, in collaboration with Action Aid Nigeria, so as to raise awareness for the proposed bill on Violence Against Persons Prohibition, VAPP, which has passed through second reading in the Kogi State House of Assembly.


They also called on the Government to intensify efforts to rid Kogi of other social vices ravaging the 21 Local Government Areas of the State.


Overwhelmed by on the content of the bill and what it intends to achieve, the women unanimously knelt down and offered prayers against any person who intend to work or stand against the passage of the bill in the state.


The Executive Director, Challenge Parenthood Initiative, CPI, Eunice Abimbola Agbogun, while noting that the bill is currently awaiting public hearing in the hallow chamber, said if passed, the bill will address most of the societal and domestic violence in Kogi State.


Agbogun, who admonished participants to take the sensitization down to the grassroots, in a bid to allow quick passage of the bill, said the campaign on violence against women was a collective responsibility.


"We have read of some horrific accounts of this heinous crime through various media channels in recent times.  A lot of times victims of this heinous crime don’t even report the incident to the appropriate authorities so their stories do not even make it to the newsroom. 


"Many victims of rape for fear of stigmatisation and being blamed for their ordeal bear the pain of the crime committed against them, thereby leaving their assailants roaming free to perpetrate more crimes. It is indeed quite unfortunate that victims are sometimes blamed for being raped.


"The question one may now ask is how effective the laws which pertain to rape have been over the years in securing convictions and serving as deterrents to offenders. It has been observed that prosecuting rape cases can be quite tough due to a myriad of factors ranging from stigma to the provisions of the law itself on the issue. 


"Information obtained from the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) website indicates that there have been 65 rape convictions between 1973 and 2019 in Nigeria. This number, no doubt is insignificant considering the number of reported cases of rape in the country. There is a need for quick passage of this law in Kogi state to address tur menace of rape and other issues on violence against woman" she added.


Also speaking, the Executive Director, Initiative for Grassroots Advancement, INGRA, Mr. Hamza Aliyu, highlighted other areas which the proposed bill seeks to address to include, sexual harassment, rape, intimidation, molestation, physical or psychological threat, political violence and thuggery.


The bill according to Mr. Aliyu, also recommends severe punishment ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment, for any offender, while any person who incite, aids or abet crime of the above, will be convicted for the same offence and will be liable for at least ten to twenty years and above or option of fine from N100,000 to N500,000.


Adding her voice, Mrs. Omeiza Leah, the Chairperson, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwifery, NANNW, Kogi Central Chapter, admonished parents to caution their children against any form of violence, that would tarnish their image and those of their family.


She added that the campaign for supporting the bill should start immediately in their various communities as this would help to checkmate the excesses of those perpetuating the grievous crime in Kogi state.  


Our Kogi State Correspondent reports that the sensitization programme, which is geared towards the quick actualization of the bill to become an act, had in attendance participants across the five Local Government Areas of the Central Senatorial Districts, religious leaders, community leaders, market women and Justice Josiah Joe Majebi of the High Court of Justice Okene.


The team of Challenge Parenthood Initiative, CPI, is expected to meet with the 25 lawmakers in the Kogi State House of Assembly later this week.


Copyright: Fresh Angle International (www.freshangleng.com)

Odimayo Olatunde Frederick
graduate of Mass Communication and Kogi State Correspondent of Fresh Angle International Newspaper
Read other stories by Odimayo Olatunde Frederick

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