No fewer than 40 civil society groups, on Tuesday, converged on Otukpo, Benue State in an awareness rally to end the scourge of RAPE in the community.
The group, which staged a peaceful protest under the aegis of Benue Coalition Against Rape, (BeCare), lamented that the area had recorded 8 new rape cases in the last one week, describing the development as worrisome.
Convener of the coalition, Prince Yemi Itodo, while addressing the gathering said the match was to create awareness about the dangers of rape and the need to put an end to the menace.
“This rally is aimed at speaking to the conscience of those who take pleasure in raping our women and to tell them its time to turn a new leaf.
“In the last one week, about 8 helpless girls were raped across various local government areas in Benue South, with only 3 suspects in police net”, Itodo lamented.
He specifically mentioned the case of Ene and Dorcas in Otukpo; Maria and one other victim in Okpokwu and little girl that was raped inside the church in Orokam, Ogbadibo LGA, calling on the security agents to bring the suspects to book.
On her part, the Managing Director of Joy FM Otukpo Amb. Christabel Iyanya said the psychological trauma victims of rape go through should be enough reasons to end the menace.
“Just imagine the short and long term effect of the trauma, and trying to get them out of the trauma is always a big challenge.
“We want to appeal to mothers, please bring up your children in the fear of God and when they grow up they will not depart from it. That is the easiest way to permanently address the menace,” she said.
Founder of Restorer of Paths Care Foundation, and caregiver of a deceased rape victim, the late Ochanya Ogbanje, Evangelist Enuwa Soo decried the rising cases of rape in the Benue south district stressing that the protest would help create awareness about the dangers of rape in the district.
The protesters who bore placards with inscriptions such as, “we want strict law against rape”, “say no to rape”, “all rapists must face the law”, “justice for rape victims in Benue”, etc, were mainly women, girls and boys, representing various organizations, including People Living with Disabilities (PWDs).
One of the PWDs, Mary Ejeh, who spoke to journalists, said they were the worst hit of rape, adding that, herself and others have been sexually molested by some male in the society.
The group matched through the town to the Otukpo Area Police Command; the Och’Idoma Square; Otukpo local government council secretariat and the palace of the first class chief, Otukpo/Ohimini; where everyone condemned the act and invoked the spirit of ALEKWU (gods of Idoma land) on perpetrators of RAPE.