Why We Opted For Capital Punishment Against Rape – Deputy Speaker

by Nelson Enyieting

The deputy speaker of  Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon (Princess) Felicia Bassey, is happy that the 7th State Assembly under the speakership of Rt. Hon Aniekan Bassey is united against rape by passing a bill for capital punishment which has been duly assented to by Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Princess Bassey called for more united action against cases of rape and other evil vices ongoing in the country, Akwa Ibom State inclusive, describing the perpetrators as barbaric and insane.

She said this while interacting with Assembly correspondents shortly after plenary which a motion against rape and other vices in the society was raised by Rt. Hon. (Barr) Aniefiok Dennis – deputy leader/member for Etinan State Constituency and Hon Otobong Bob – (member representing Nsit Ubium State Constituency.

The deputy speaker, who is the chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, lamented that women were the worst hit in the unwholesome act and pledged the Assembly’s commitment and readiness to deal decisively with culprits irrespective of status during their oversight functions.

“We have just risen from a sitting where a motion for the alarming rate of rape and other vices against women and children have been raised, the motion was sponsored by Rt Hon (Barr) Aniefiok Dennis and Hon Otobong Bob.

“I’m here to tell Akwa Ibom people that we feel what they feel, that is why if you look at our attires today, we came with black to show Akwa Ibom people and Nigeria as a whole that we are against rape and other vices ongoing in the society including Akwa Ibom, and we are mourning with the victims.

“The Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly has made a law that has been approved and assented to in the state and the 7th Assembly will collaborate and ensure that in our oversight functions, no rapist will go unpunished irrespective of status or class.

“Let me tell Akwa Ibom people that the 7th Assembly is ready to kick rape and other vices out of the society”.

“Let me commend Governor Udom Emmanuel for being a practical man by signing the Rape Bill into law”.

The deputy speaker also charged the law enforcement agencies to wake up to their responsibilities of arresting and prosecuting all culprits now that a law is in place.

She sounded a note of warning to all rapists, calling on them to desist from the unwholesome act as it will no longer be business as usual because stiffer penalty of life imprisonment with no option for bail awaits offenders, as the 7th Assembly will not close its eyes to see Akwa Ibom people wallow in fear, tears and helplessness.

Rt Hon Bassey also warned women and other accomplices who are fond of hiding rapists, especially women who hide their rapist husbands for fear of losing their matrimonial homes, and stated categorically that the law will take its course on any one who hides rapists.

She also charged parents and caregivers to take good care of their children of both sexes through moral upbringing so that they may grow up to be responsible citizens in future.

Bassey disclosed that messages against rape have been interpreted in all languages spoken in Akwa Ibom State for proper sensitization.

Present at the briefing were: Rt. Hon. (Barr) Aniefiok Dennis ,deputy leader/ member representing Etinan State Constituency;  Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekpenyong, chief whip/member representing Ini State Constituency; and Hon Otobong Bob, member representing Nsit Ubium State Constituency.

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