By Nafisat Arogundade, Osogbo
Perturbed by the increased cases of rape in Nigeria, the wife of Osun State Governor, Mrs Kafayat Oyetola, on Wednesday took the campaign against rape to the state House of Assembly, seeking the assistance of the state lawmakers to tackle stigmatization by encouraging victims to speak out.
Oyetola, who was at the Assembly to solicit support in stopping the escalating rape incidences in the state, highlighted the various laws in the state to tackle sex and sexual violence and said it was still unfortunate that sexual violence were still prevalence despite the laws.
She said many rape cases in the state were reported in communities known for great things, that the elements responsible for this dastardly acts are bringing disrepute to the image of the communities, towns and state in general.
“We should not allow the rape and sexual violence case to assume an uncontrollable situation especially in our state because we do not know who will be next and this is the reason behind my coming to the assembly today.
“I am aware that lawmakers hold regular meetings at their constituents, this is one avenue that you can help use to sensitise the people , that they should not continue to die in silence.
“Let us begin the help by taking awareness to our constituencies and speak clearly and unambiguously against rape and let us urge victims to promptly report.” She said
Oyetola said she has an NGO, ‘IleriOluwa Development Initiative’ where people can report rape cases to for prompt action, saying that the initiative phone lines are open 24 hours, urging people to report rape cases when they see it, hear it or are victims.
In his remarks, Mr Timothy Owoeye, the Speaker of the Assembly, commended the governor’s wife for her initiative and campaign against rape in the state
Owoeye said the assembly had already passed an anti-rape law since 2002 which stipulated 14 years imprisonment for attempted rape and life imprisonment for convicted rapists.
He however said all existing laws on rape, sexual violence and gender base violence would be reviewed by the lawmakers and that a law would soon be passed that would lead to the establishment of a special court to handle rape and sexual violence related cases in the state.
The lawmakers, before entertaining the governor’s wife, passed the Osun Public Procurement Amendment Bill 2020, pending before it, after it was read for the third time, with the Speaker saying it would become law as soon as it is assented to by the state governor .
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