… Urges victims to report to police
THE State Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), Anambra State, Charles Nwoji, said, the high increase in incidence of rape, incest, insecurity and violence against persons in the country is frightening and should be condemned by every right thinking Nigerian.
Nwoji stated this while addressing the participants in the ongoing community sensitisation programme of the agency tagged, “Building a People of Peace ” with the theme, “Working Together to Overcome COVID -19 Pandemic “, held at the Orsumoghu Town Hall, Orsumoghu in Ihiala Local Government Area, Anambra State.
Explaining that the programme was also focusing on health and security, the NOA Director noted that a lot of heinous crimes were allegedly reported to have occurred in the country when the lockdown exercise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic was eased, pointing out that a young man was recently matcheted by his relation while a young lady was drugged in a hotel room by her boy-friend who later cut off one of her breasts for ritual, at Eriza and Umunze communities respectively, in Orumba South Local Government Area of the state.
He emphatically urged victims of rape and other related assaults to report their ordeals to the nearest police station around them without hesitation, for immediate examination and prosecution.
Nwoji, who said that the issues of rape and incest were not only morally wrong but also taboo in Igbo land, advised parents to constantly educate their children and wards on the dangers inherent in rape and its consequences in society, stressing that “anybody who is found guilty of causing physical injury on another person with sharp object will face five years imprisonment or pay one N100, 000 fine as contained in Anambra State Violence Against Persons Prohibition Law 2017”.
Also speaking, the Deputy Director, Programmes, NOA, Awka, Sir Joseph Uchendu, said that the programme was strongly advocating the absolute maintenance of an enduring peace, health, and security in society, advising aged persons to form the habit of eating immune boasting foods for their healthy living amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his remarks, the Deputy Director, Planning, Research and Strategy also of the agency, Comrade Felix Agbu, who spoke on the preventive control measures against COVID-19, reminded the people that the governments’ fight and efforts against COVID-19 were neither scam nor a child play and warned them to stop handshaking and hugging for now, saying that the novel virus remains a source of worry to Nigerian Government in particular and the international community at large.
Responding, the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Anselm Mbanefo, thanked NOA, for the programme and asked for more of it in the community, adding that it was very educative and informative as it had exposed his people to some things they did not know that were legal punishments against rape in society.
Also, the President-General of the Community, Chief Dennis Muomaife, said that his administration had jailed three persons in the community, for committing rape, adding that the administration is strict on rape case in the area and would not hesitate to deal decisively with any person found guilty of committing the act, promising NOA that the messages of the event would be taking to all corners of the town since the participants were drawn from the various group leaders in the community including the Traditional Ruler of the Community and members of his cabinet.
In a vote of thanks, the NOA Sensitisation and Mobilisation Officer in Ihilala Local Government Area, Mr Ndubuisi Ilodigwe, appreciated Igwe Mbanefo, the President-General, Chief Muomaife and the entire people of the town, for making the programme a huge success.