A’Ibom: Deputy Gov, first lady to tackle rape, gender violence

Isaac Job, Uyo

Akwa Ibom State Deputy Governor, Mr Moses Ekpo and the wife of the State Governor, Mrs Martha Udom Emmanuel, have vowed to tackle rape against women as well as other gender-based violence in the state.

Speaking during the commissioning of the Trauma and Referral Centre for Victims of Rape and Gender Based Violence (GBV) at Ikot Ekpene General Hospital at the weekend, Ekpo frowned at the rampant cases of rape of women, including minors.

He declared that it was time for the government to adopt extra-punitive measures to stem the menace.

The Deputy Governor observed that gender-based violence has remained a dangerous problem facing women in recent times.

He said rape has become a malignant scourge impinging negatively on the status of women as mothers in society.

He said the government was aware of the increasing cases of gender-based violence in most homes, saying such untoward behaviours directed at the women folks have debased womanhood and exacerbated their emotions to uncontrollable levels, instigating the government to create a rehabilitation centre.

He explained that the referral centre was deliberately established by Governor Udom Emmanuel’s administration “to contain post-rape and GBV cases prevalent in the state to rehabilitate and give the victims some sense of belonging, accommodation and succour”

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According to Ekpo, “one out of every four women is a victim of rape, while one out of every 10 is a victim of GBV.”

Wife of Akwa Ibom State Governor, who doubles as the chairperson in charge of the Gender-Based Violence Committee in the state, assured that through FEYReP, her pet project for the empowerment of widows, the downtrodden and the vulnerable, said she would stop at nothing to fight to stem incidences of rape and GBV cases prevalent in Akwa Ibom.

Akwa Ibom
Akwa Ibom

She warned those in the habit of sexually harassing and molesting women, including the young ones and minors, to refrain as the committee would not hesitate to prosecute and secure a judgement against such culprits.

In the same vein, the Women Affairs Commissioner, Dr Adiakpan, decried the incessant cases of rape and GBV in rural areas and expressed worry concerning the difficulty in tracking those unreported cases and enjoined victims of the scourge against keeping mute to such crimes to avoid traumatic issues.

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