Vehicular movement was disrupted for several hours at the entrance to the Oyo State Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, on Monday, as some aggrieved young women, under the coalition of female non-governmental organisations, protested against the increasing rape and violence against women by hoodlums in the state.
Eighteen-year-old Barakat Bello and Azeezat Shomuyiwa, 29, were raped and killed in Ibadan last week by yet-to-be-identified assailants.
The young women, displaying placards with various inscriptions such as, ‘Stop the violation and killing of women, girls’; ‘Enough of rape of women’; and ‘We want justice for Barakat’, among others, converged on the entrance to the secretariat and called for decisiveness on the part of government at all levels.
The Chairman, Nigerian Youth Congress, Adebobola Agbeja, said the upsurge in rape cases and violence against women in the state was worrisome, adding that the life of every girl child was precious; hence the need for government at all levels to provide adequate security for the safety of women in the country.
“There is no excuse for rapists. We want full enforcement of laws. The laws are there but how many people have been apprehended? We want the leadership of the country to ensure that laws against rape are enforced. We believe in action,” she stated.
Miss Karimot Odebode, said, “We are at the state secretariat to let stakeholders know that we are tired of being raped. We are tired of women being killed. Uwa was killed in Benin. Tina was killed in Lagos. They killed Barakat in Ibadan. We did not come on our own volition; our mothers sent us. Our daughters sent us. Our sisters sent us.
“The law (punishment) has always been life imprisonment for rape and 14 years for attempted rape, but it is sad that in Oyo State, nobody has been convicted of rape and we keep hearing about rape cases. So, where are the rapists going to? Why have they not convicted rapists?
“We want the implementation of the laws. We want the police to do their job. The governor is to be blamed for the non-implementation of the laws. Why is it that when it comes to women, they are found wanting?”
The President, National Association of Nigerian Students, Daniel Akpan, also led student leaders on a peaceful rally against rape.
The state Coordinator, National Orientation Agency, Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu, said violence against women must be condemned in its entirety, describing the rise in rape cases, violence and abuse of women as unacceptable.
While receiving the student leaders on behalf of Governor Seyi Makinde, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Seun Fakorede, lauded the groups for rising against the raping and killing of their folks.
He said the state government would ensure that justice was served on the issue.
The Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Adebo Ogundoyin, said the House would ensure that stricter laws were made against rape and other forms of sexual abuse in the state.
Ogundoyin, while addressing the youths, said the law on violence against women would be worked on.
He said, “I will not support violence against anybody. We will come with stricter punishment for rapists.
“There are two aspects to the law. You can make the law. The law has to be implemented by the relevant agencies. I see now that there is a coalition of civil rights groups. I want the coalition not just to come out in this way, but to also come up with strategies to ensure that the law is implemented.
“I can guarantee that you have the full support of the Oyo State Government. We have to work hand in glove with the security agencies. The Oyo State House of Assembly is reviewing the law on violence against women.”