As part of the advocacy strategies to combat rape of minors and any form of sexual abuse of children, the wife of Ondo state governor, Mrs. Betty Anyanwu Akeredolu today led a ‘Walk Against Rape’ across the state.
This is coming barely a week when she convened a stakeholders’ meeting to kick-start war against the dastardly act upon being aware of recent pathetic cases of two girls, ages 6 and 7 who were defiled in Irele and Owo areas of the state.
Mrs. Akeredolu called for a stiffer penalty for the perpetrators of such act, saying it is high time an end is put to it in Ondo state.
The ‘Walk Against Rape’ which took off in the palace of the paramount ruler of Akure kingdom to Adegbemile junction Oke-Eda featured representatives of women associations and passionate individuals holding placards with several inscriptions to pass the message to the public.
According to the first lady who was represented by the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Titi Adeyemi, the Walk is being done across the 18 local government areas of the state simultaneously.
“The motive of this Walk Against Rape is to create awareness and call attention of the public to the level of rape in Nigeria, because it’s becoming prevalent and worrisome.
” Mrs. Akeredolu has been championing matters about girls and children for a long time and this issue of rape is of important interest to her. She is saying Enough is Enough, and that all hands must be on deck to combat the menace”, she said.
The Deji of Akure, Oba Ogunlade Aladetoyinbo who had earlier addressed the participants in his palace, assured of his readiness to complement the effort of the first lady in waging war against rapists by applying traditional method.
He noted that any suspected perpetrator should be brought to his palace to drink traditional oath water before being handed over to the security agents.
He however appreciated the steps taken by Mrs. Akeredolu towards protecting underage girls against sexual abuse in the state.
The only female lawmaker in the state House of Assembly, Mrs. Favour Tomomewo said that the time to enforce anti-rape law is now, saying there is no more mercy for rapists.
The Special Assistant to Mrs. Akeredolu on Media, Miss Tobi Fademi used the medium to call on journalists to use their professional tools in fighting the menace in the society, through enough publicity.
Personalities who coordinated the Walk included female Political officials, including the Special Assistants to the Governor on Special duties, Mr. Henry Akingbemile, on Gender, Research and Documentation, Mrs. Tope Daniyan , on online media, Mr. Rowland Ihedioghara, and the Personal Assistant to Mrs. Akeredolu, Mrs. Elizabeth Akpan.
Other participants included representatives of women groups, secondary school girls, female Chiefs, among others.