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A Needful War Against Rape: Dr. (Mrs.) Martha Emmanuel’s Example



Her countenance tells it all. Incidences of rape, incest and violence against
women, girl-child and even young boys have reared monstrously. Piqued by these ugly development, the wife of the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Martha Udom Emmanuel has taken up the gauntlet to confront it head on.

Accordingly, she is embarking on advocacy through her pet project, Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path-initiative (FEYReP), not only to raise massive public enlightenment against it, but to bring offenders to book.

As part of her weapon, she is securing the partnership of stakeholders in the society, cutting across civil society groups, lawyers, medical doctors, churches, schools, colleges and the tertiary institutions.

The latest and most strategic is the traditional institution in the state, through the Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs.

On Thursday, November 19, 2019, Dr. Emmanuel took the campaign to the palace of Oku Ibom Ibibio and Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Council of Chiefs, His Eminence, Nteyin (Dr.) Solomon Daniel Etuk, JP.

Point blank, she said stakeholders have to arise and join in the fight against the rising trend of domestic violence, sexual abuse, violence against women, rape and other gender related social vices against women in the state.

According to the First Lady of Akwa Ibom State, the advocacy would have recorded huge success if only government agencies such as the law enforcement agents, legal officers as well as civil society organizations, would adopt a common approach with the traditional institutions as a critical stakeholder and grassroots change agents to confront the incidents of rape and violence against women.

At the palace of the monarch, who is also the patriarch of the Ibibio people worldwide and President General of Ifim Ibom Ibibio, at Ikot Okubo Village, Nsit Ubium Local Government Area, the governor’s wife appealed to the traditional institutions through Nteyin Etuk, to team up with her office to stem the tide of the unfortunate and unpleasant practice in the state, by engaging in grassroots sensitization to help reduce the menace of violence against women and girl child to its barest minimum.

Agreeing to the synergy, Oku Ibom Ibibio said the challenge usually militating against such advocacy in the past was the lack of strong collaboration between some key stakeholders who are in positions to intervene and end the scourge against the women folks.

The high powered advocacy delegation led by the wife of the state governor, Mrs Martha Emmanuel could not hide their joy when the revered royal monarch proffered lasting solution to these recurring social vices in the state.

Nteyin Etuk, who was in company of other traditional ruler in the state, lamented the rising numbers in the cases of violence against women and girls as well as rape and the negative image this ugly incidents would portray the state to the outside world.

“It is very pathetic to have this rising number of gender based crime in the state. The rate is so alarming and we must join hands through synergy to make sure that the ugly trend is not only reduced positively but that the culprits are made to face the wrath of the law, Oku Ibom Ibibio bemoaned.

The monarch maintained that synergy must be created between FEYReP, law enforcement agencies, other related agencies of government and the traditional institutions across the state in the area of prosecuting the perpetrators of this heinous crime, stressing that as traditional rulers who are the custodians of the norms, culture and tradition of the people, they are not empowered by the law to prosecute the offenders.

“I ask that your office should appoint a liaison officer to work closely with the traditional rulers at the grassroots and security agents to ensure that all offenders of the heinous crime are prosecuted. If we are able to get the security agents to work in partnership with us, I have no doubt that the war against the scourge would have been half way solved,” the TRC boss insisted.

To serve as a deterrent to the perpetrators of this dastardly acts, the monarch warned the culprits henceforth to desist from the crime or would incur not only the full wrath of the law but an invocation of stringent traditional punitive measure without delay.

Speaking earlier, the wife of the State Governor and founder of FEYReP, Mrs Martha Emmanuel, said that she and her team were in the palace of Oku Ibom Ibibio to solicit collaborative effort and support with the traditional institutions and informed them that a robust intervention by all stakeholders were needed to urgently put to an end the scourge currently ravaging the state.

Mrs Emmanuel mentioned cases such as rape, defilement, incest and domestic violence as some of the troubling vices that are on the increase despite her modest efforts through FEYREP, her pet project, hence the need for the traditional institutions to intervene.

According to the Akwa Ibom First Lady, “for the war against gender based crime against women to be won, the custodians of the norms, tradition and culture of the people being the traditional rulers, would have to leverage on program and activities of FEYReP, in the areas of education of the girl child and outright prosecution of perpetrators of the crime by public display of the offenders at the community level.

“We have come to a point where the identity of perpetrators of these heinous crime must be shown to the whole world. We cannot continue to hide them from the public and the media.”

“Whenever they are caught in the acts and found to be guilty, we should publicise their identity for all to see and shame them to serve as a deterrent to others,” Mrs Martha pleaded.

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