Civil Society Organisations, NGOs and concerned individuals, on the platform of Alliance Against Domestic Violence & Abuse, AADVA, yesterday, stormed the office of Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, protesting the rising cases of sexual abuse of children, including babies, in Lagos.
Clad in black, the women gathered for hours at the entrance of Governor Ambode’s office, in spite of a downpour, carrying placards with inscriptions such as ‘Fathers, teach your sons consent,’ ‘Castration for all rapists,’ ‘Rapists are criminals,’ ‘Rapists are animals,’ ‘Say no to rape,’ ‘If you do not want to be a victim, stop rape,’ among others. Pressing home their demands in a statement by foremost rights activists, Laila St. Matthew-Daniel and Josephine Effah-Chukwuma, Executive Directors of ACTS Generation and Project Alert, respectively, the women said a day hardly passes without reports of defilement and rape, calling for the castration of rapists. The statement read in part: “The most recent one, which occurred just last week and gained wide public attention, is that of 14-year-old Obiamaka Orakwe, an SSS3 female student, who was raped and killed in her home in Lagos. “Also, a 13-year-old girl was raped by two older men; while yet another seven-year-old also fell victim. We are indeed dealing with an epidemic of frightening proportions.” They called on Governor Ambode to put in place, among others, “prompt professional response by the police, devoid of shaming and trivialising; diligent investigation and prosecution of offenders by both the Police and the Ministry of Justice; creation of sexual assault referral centres across the state and a fast court system for victims of rape so justice will not to be delayed.” Gov Ambode’s response Addressing the protestants shortly after receiving their statement of demand on behalf of the governor, Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Lola Akande, said the state government was doing everything possible to stem the tide through its security trust fund and ministries of Justice; Youths, Sports & Social Development; Education and Women Affairs.