We’ll deal ruthlessly with sexual violence offenders, Abiodun vows

The Governor of Ogun State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has vowed that his administration would deal ruthlessly with anyone found guilty of any act of sexual violence and allied offences.

He made this known, on Monday, when he received Anti-Sexual and Gender rally led by his wife, Mrs Bamidele Abiodun, at his Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Abiodun said all cases affecting the safety of women would receive urgent attention while culprits would be dealt with irrespective of status or class.

He said that his administration had also charged its public prosecution team to ensure that all cases relating to violence against women are fast-tracked and offenders brought to book.

Abiodun who also noted that his administration had emplaced a committee – the Violence against Persons Prohibition Committee – to ensure sensitisation on the issues surrounding the illegal acts would also educate victims on stigmatisation.

He noted that a law was passed in 2017 as regards sexual violence, but that nothing had happened in the state in protecting the victims.

“On May 13th, we set up a committee, the Violence against Persons Prohibition Committee. There is a law that was passed in 2017, but nothing happened.

“What we did was to sit down with our Attorney General and the rest of our team and this committee was charged to look into all the issues that have to do with the girl-child, women abuse, all forms of abuse against women. This we did before the incident of the girl in Edo state,” he said.

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He also disclosed that the walk against violence staged by high-profile women, on Monday, in the state was a profound one.

He added that violence against women in any sort, either domestic violence or rape cannot be accepted in the state.

“It is very profound that this walk to further emphasise our objection to violence against women in any sort – either domestic violence or rape – is not acceptable; it is not only acceptable, but it is also a crime,” he said.

The governor noted that his administration had taken up the case of a lady that was recently raped in the state.

He added that the lady in question had suffered spinal cord injuries as a result of multiple rape incidence.

“The girl in Edo State is just one case of rape too many because we had a similar case in Ogun State. It didn’t get the utmost attention. The young lady is Joy by name. She is currently in a hospital in Lagos where she is being treated. She suffered spinal cord injuries from these multiple rapes. We are undertaking medical expenses. We must appreciate and underscore that violence against a woman, is violence against someone’s sister, aunt, daughter or mother. Indeed, it could be any one of us,” he said.

Earlier in her remarks, Mrs Abiodun who was the convener of the anti-sexual and gender-based rally, said that the people of the state should not remain silent against violence against women.

She said there was an urgent need to speak up against such heinous crime in society.

She added that her office is working together with the Violence against Persons Prohibition Committee, recently set up by the state government to ensure an effective, comprehensive and coordinated response to cases of sexual and gender-based violence in the state.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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