…says it should be tamed
By Festus Ahon
GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, decried the high rate of rape cases, saying it has become a disturbing phenomenon that needed to be tamed because of its negative impact on the country’s development.
Okowa who stated this at the State Sexual and Gender Based Violence, SGBV Stakeholders Conference which held in Asaba with the theme, ” Generation Equality: Stand Against Rape, and other forms of SGBV”, decried the new wave and rising cases of Gender Based Violence, GBV in the country.
The conference was organized by the Delta State Sexual and Gender Based Violence Response Team (DSGBVRT) in collaboration with the O5 Initiative Foundation, non-Governmental organisations to sensitive the general public on the need to check the menace of rape among others GBVs.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Kingsley Otuaro, said; “Some speakers have identified poverty as the cause of the GBV, We agree but there are many other causes which called for a holistic approach to tackle.
“Gender-Based Violence has become a disturbing phenomenon and most of the actions are ritualistic; where older men have to rap very young children aged below six years.
Also speaking at the ceremony, wife of the Governor, Dame Edith Okowa, said: “Most mothers have abandoned their homes in pursuit of money and socials thereby leaving their in the bare to the societal menace”.
Mrs Okowa who is the Founder of O5 Initiative, decried the poor attitude of parents to their children upbringing, adding that
lack of parental care remained a major cause of GBV being witnessed in the society today.
She said “parents must all return to their original love and care for the family and to God as a solution”.
The State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Flora Alanta, said rape cases and other violence has been a rival between the men and the women, adding that the women were worst hit in anti social vices.
Alanta said 95 percent of persons trafficked, were women and girls, lamenting that higher percentage of them were being raped daily by stronger men.
“But I want to call on the men to Zip up and our women and girls should Close up by dressing decently in order to check the menace”.
The State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Mr Peter Mrakpor, in his welcome address said sexual and gender based violence has become pandemic.
Mrakpor who is the Chairman of DSGBVRT, said the essence of the meeting was to sensitise the public on the danger and consequences and to prefer solutions on how to handle issues of GBVs, insisting that no society, country or region is immune to SGBV.
He said there were existing laws in the country to deal with the issues related to rape, such as Section 357 Criminal Code; provide life imprisonment for rape.
“The State government and the civil so cities need to be more sensitive and creative in to deal with the problems as joint actions by government, national and international are a crucial necessity in addressing sexual and gender-based violence,” he said.