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Fight Against Rape: A’Ibom HCS Calls For Collective Effort

Re-Strengthening Of Legal Framework

The head of Akwa Ibom State Civil Service, Elder Effiong Essien, has called for redoubling of efforts and collective involvement in creating awareness and re-strengthening of legal framework to curb the menace of rape and other forms of violence against women.

He made this call while speaking at the sensitization campaign against rape organized by the Association of Wives of Permanent Secretaries (ASWOPS), led by the president, Mrs. Ifunanya Uduak Iwoh, held at the Idongesit Nkanga Secretariat Complex, Uyo, on Monday.

The head of civil service who decried the rising cases of rape and violence against women in recent times despite the renewed effort of government and other stakeholders, advised parents and caregivers to be extra vigilant on female children even when in custody of close family members and neighbours.

Elder Essien commended the commitment of the state governor, Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel, and wife, Martha, for effective anti-rape advocacies, enactment and enforcement of enabling laws. He specifically thanked Governor Emmanuel for giving assent to the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Bill 2920.

The head of civil service also acknowledged the effort of all women groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs),Ministry of Agriculture and Women Affairs, Ministry of Justice, the Judiciary, and security agencies in fighting the scourge. He attributed the recorded convictions of rapists in the state to this teamwork approach.
Elder Essien commended the Association of Wives of Permanent Secretaries for complementing the effort of the governor’s wife describing the sensitization campaign as very timely. He charged all workers to join in the campaign and promised his continued support.

In her remark, the commissioner for agriculture and women affairs, Dr. Glory Edet, reiterated government commitment to tackling rape and all forms of violence and deprivations against women and children.

She reminded that the domestication and enforcement of the Child’s Rights Law in the state, involvement of the traditional institutions, advocacy visits, rescuing and rehabilitation of victims, among others, were aimed at curbing the ugly trend. She charged religious and traditional leaders to help sensitise their subjects and ensure timely report of cases to relevant authorities.

Dr. Edet appreciated the leadership and membership of ASWOPS for joining in the crusade against rape. She thanked the head of civil service, Essien; the dean and members of the College of Permanent Secretaries for their support to the sensitization outing. She stressed that the campaign will further take the fight to the public servants, their homes and beyond.

In her address, the president of ASWOPS, who is also the wife of the dean, College of Permanent Secretaries, Mrs. Ifunanya Uduak Iwoh, said the campaign was organized to complement government’s effort in curbing the rising cases of rape in the state. She decried the devastating effects of rape on the victims and their families and called for all hands to be on deck in fighting the menace.

She thanked the head of civil service, the commissioner for agriculture and women affairs, and all the permanent secretaries and other guests for their support and for honouring their invitation.

The dean, College of Permanent Secretaries, Mr. Uduak Iwoh, the wife of the head of civil service, Mrs. Uduakobong Effiong Essien, in their good will messages called for stiffer penalties for rapists and taking of responsibility against rape by all.

High point of the event was road walk around the secretariat complex and streets to create awareness.

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