Udora Orizu in Abuja and Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The House of Representatives, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and others have condemned the recent rape and killing of a student of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Miss Uwa Omozuwa, the rising cases of rape, abuse of civic rights, brutalisation, and killing of innocent Nigerians by trigger-happy police officers.
At the plenary yesterday, the House resolved to urge the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, to probe the cases of Omozuwa, and Tina Ezekwe, who was shot by policemen in Lagos, as well as all other reported cases of violence against women, with a bid to bring the criminals to justice.
It called on the federal government to launch a more effective campaign against rape and other violence against women and girls.
The House also mandated all members to dress in black, at the next sitting, to mourn Omozuwa, Ezekwe and other victims of rape and violence against women and girls in Nigeria.
They will also be mourning an African-American, Mr. George Floyd, killed by white police officers in Minneapolis, the United States, and all other victims of racial discrimination and police brutality in the world.
These resolutions were passed following the adoption of a motion, titled, ‘Need to condemn the rising cases of sexual violence and other social vices against women and police brutality: Justice for Uwa Omozuwa, Tina Ezekwe, and others’, sponsored by Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye.
Moving the motion, Agunsoye said women and the girl child were daily being exposed to gender-based violence in Nigeria with negligible statistics of convictions compared to the prevalence of the dastardly acts.
The lawmaker expressed concerns about the fact that Nigeria lacks a strong national response to support victims and survivors of violence against women and girls.
He added that a better government policy and legislative framework are required to stem the rising violence against women as well as improve support for women development.
Agunsoye explained that the House is determined to ensure safety, equality, inclusion, and protection of the rights of women and girls in Nigeria.
Adopting the motion, the lawmakers observed a minute silence in honour of Omozuwa, Ezekwe, and other girls and women who had died as a result of rape.
Meanwhile, the member representing Ovia Federal Constituency, in the House of Representatives, Hon. Dennis Idahosa, in company with students led by the President of NANS, Mr. Bamidele Akpan, yesterday protested the killing of Omozuwa and called on the authorities to investigate the matter.
Also in the procession was the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin, Professor Lillian Salami, and other members of the management staff of the school.
Idahosa condemned the incident, describing it as an assault on not just the girl-child but humanity.
He said: “Those perpetrators should be brought to justice. Enough is enough of this evil. I am happy the Inspector-General of Police has taken over the investigation because we want those behind it to be brought to book.
“It is sad to know that another student has been raped and killed in Ibadan and this evil cannot remain in our country because Nigerians are people of great values.”
The Edo State branch of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) also condemned the killing.
It advised parents and guardians to “watch over their children and wards with ceaseless vigilance as those involved in carrying out this heinous crime came from homes.”