NLC Calls for Decisive Actions against Rapists

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba
  • Muslim women in Bayelsa want rapists castrated

Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and Onungwe Obe in Yenagoa

Organised Labour in Nigeria has condemned the current epidemic of rape, sexual and other forms of violence especially against the female gender.

It also urged the National Assembly to quickly domesticate the International Labour Organisation newest Convention-‘Convention 190 on Violence and Harassment of Workers’.

In a statement signed by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) President, Ayuba Wabba, yesterday, the workers’ apex body demanded more effective measures by the law enforcement agencies and social institutions to tackle challenge.

“We call on the law enforcement agencies and social institutions to rise up to this challenge. It is our collective duty to protect our mothers, daughters, sisters and brothers from the deadly fangs of rapists. If we fail in this onerous duty, then we would have truly failed,” it said.

The statement added that it is alarming that “our age-long culture of respect for women is being torn into shreds by criminals who believe that the female body is theirs to seize, ravish and devour at will without consequences.”

The labour movement sited the recent rape and killing of Ms. Uwaila Omozuwa, 22, 100 level student of the University of Benin, Edo State, on May 27, 2020, describing it as a cruel addition to the long list of Nigerian women and girls who have had their body privacy and their lives desecrated and destroyed by rapists.

It said it is more horrifying that the perpetrators of this heinous crime no longer have respect for any physical, social and religious boundaries.

“On April 27, 2020, an 18-year old girl, Jennifer, was gang-raped by five men in Narayi, Kaduna State.

“As is norm in these parts, the family was threatened to keep hush over the case but for the intervention of human rights activists in Kaduna, who blew the lid on the matter. Not long ago, an eleven-year old girl and a 13-year old girl were gang-raped in Ilorin, Kwara State, also.

“The message rapists are transmitting is that our girls and women are not safe anywhere. What an impetus! Such audacity!

“As if the life of girls and women are the cheapest commodities in our part of the world, on May 28, 2020, a 17-year-old girl, Tina Ezekwe, was gruesomely felled by police bullets during a supposed enforcement of the lockdown order at Iyana Oworo part of Lagos metropolis, at a bus stop near her home,” the statement lamented.

Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State chapter of the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) has called for a stiffer penalty for rapists and other sexual offenders, which it said includes castration of the criminals.

During a street demonstration in Yenagoa, the state capital, yesterday, the federation lamented the recent upsurge in sexual violence against women and girls.

It said urgent counteraction was required to stop the increasing rate of rape and murder of females in the country.

The demonstration took them to the House of Assembly complex, where they were received by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Abraham Ingobere.

Ingobere said the assembly was also deeply concerned about the rape stories that were becoming commonplace along with forced sex against infants, adult female and the aged. Ingobere was represented by member Yenagoa Constituency 11, Hon. Koku Obiyai.

The FOMWAN delegation was led by the state Coordinator of FOMWAN Youth Wing, Alhaja Mutiat Bakare, who called on the state House of Assembly to come up with stiffer penalties to serve as deterrent to rapists.