Ekiti Politicians, others frustrating fight against rape, says Commissioner…

Rasaq Ibrahim Ado Ekiti

The Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Olawale Fapohunda, has accused some powerful individuals of working against the state government’s efforts to curb rape in the state.

Olawale alleged that some high profile politicians and traditional rulers are found pleading for sex offenders in the state, saying the interferences have slowed down the fight against Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in Ekiti.

He made the allegations in Ado-Ekiti on Wednesday while speaking during the Ekiti Gender-Based Violence Summit held at Adetiloye Hall in the state-owned Fountain Hotel.

The Commissioner lamented the rising incidences of gender-based violence, especially rape in the state, describing the menace as deadlier as a pandemic.

“No one or age is immune from rape. The minors, aged people are involved. Whoever is found guilty now goes to life imprisonment. The issue of rape now constitutes serious shame to all of us and the trend must change.

“Whoever that is sent to jail, we will get the picture and paste in his home, local government and town. Rape has been festering because people are tolerating it. The very day you apprehend rapists or take them to court, traditional rulers, politicians and other big people will be begging me to drop the case, this is wrong.

“Don’t leave the fight for the government alone, it has to be collective. No more pleading on behalf of offenders. We are feeling ashamed with the trends rape has assumed. There can be no justification for the issue of rape. Indecent dressing of ladies doesn’t justify rape.

“Three teachers are presently on trial in Ekiti. Some people would even take these minors to the hotel and had carnal knowledge of them. Some are reading politics to it and I always said if voting for us would make us drop a case against anyone, it is better not to vote for us”.

Speaking while inaugurating the Moremi GBV Referral Clinic built within the premises of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Governor Kayode Fayemi, said GBV has become a global pandemic that must be tackled, with violence against girls and children being the most disturbing.

“This Clinic will provide services for HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases patients, provide forensic evidence to support legal process for diligent prosecution of GBV offenders, refer cases that are connected with sexual abuses, provide care for victims of rape, and psychosocial support and counseling for families.

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“The governors’ forum had declared an emergency on GBV, because of its psychosocial and emotional effects on our citizens and society. I charge all the health workers in Ekiti to reciprocate this gesture by rendering quality services to Ekiti people, especially victims of GBV.”

In her remarks, the First Lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi appealed to the GVB ambassadors to expand the scope of advocacy and sensitisation against violence for the fight to be more virulent in Ekiti.

“Through the Office of the Attorney-General, the Sex Offenders Register of 2013 was reactivated in 2019. In addition, Ekiti State now has a ‘Name and Shame’ policy which publishes the names and photographs of convicted sex offenders in the State.

“A permanent site for the State Shelter, supported by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on SDGs at the Presidency, has been completed. The Transit Home for Women and Children and Life Skills Acquisition Center will be commissioned tomorrow November 26th, 2020.

“The GBV Law of 2019 makes provision for a Survivors’ Fund. Since December 2018, this Fund has been used to assist at least 213 survivors with rebuilding their lives. Examples of assistance include renting accommodation, starting businesses, school fees, and other needs as determined by survivors,” she said.

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