*As Oyo moves to implement stiffer punishment for attacker
GOVERNOR Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has called on Nigerians to support fight against rape incidents perpetrated across the nation, calling on victims of rape to confide in people around them immediately they experienced such attack.
This coming even as the state government said that it is already revisiting the existing laws on sexual violence, to implement stiffer punishment.
Makinde, through the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, also condemned the high increase of rape and murder of children and women in the state.
The state’s Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Inclusion, Alhaja Faosat Joke Sanni stated this while addressing newsmen in her office in Ibadan Tuesday.
Alhaja Sanni described the cases of Azzezat Shomuyiwa, a pregnant postgraduate student of the University of Ibadan, Social Work Department, Faculty of Education and that of 18 years old Barakat Bello, a part one student of the Federal College of Animal Health and Production, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, who were raped and murdered in their respective homes on different occasions at Akinyele Local Government Area of the state as worrisome and disturbing.
She said: “We are really saddened about the events and we empathize with the families concerned and our dear students in the state, we want to use this opportunity to call on the people throughout the nation, because we have seen that rape cases are daily reported across the nation, people should not abandon rape victims to their fates.”
“There should be conscious efforts by us all to support victims, we have the police stations around us to report to, we can also approach NGOs that will take up the cases on behalf of the victims for free.”
“Azzezat and Barakat are promising women whose lives were cut short at their prime and as a Ministry, we have been fighting against all forms of violence against women and children who are the most vulnerable in our society.”
“We collaborate with security agencies and other relevant ministries to ensure that there is zero tolerance to all forms of gender-based violence and sexual abuse against women and children.”
“Presently, Oyo State House of Assembly is set to revisit existing laws on sexual violence so as to visit stiffer and harsher punishment on the perpetrators of the evil acts.”
She stressed further that the bill on sexual offences against children had passed second reading at the legislative house, assuring that the committee saddled with the work was doing everything necessary to make it pass through the 3rd reading and become a law.
The commissioner appealed to the general public, especially the students to be calm as all efforts were ongoing to bring the culprits to book and to make the case serve as deterrent to would-be perpetrators of the evil acts.