Anglican Bishop, Diocese of the Niger West, Rt. Rev. Johnson Ekwe has pleaded with Nigeria’s judiciary to expedite process of fast delivery of judgments in cases involving rape.
“The law must no longer be lenient with perpetrators of rape at all levels in the country; this will serve as deterrent to others with such evil intentions.”
He said this during first session of the 4th Synod of Province of the Niger, Diocese of Niger West, held at St. Peter’s Church, Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government Area (LGA).
The Synod with theme: “Enthroning The Majesty of God,” reminded Christians that they were created in God’s image and as such, should take dominion over His creation.
The Bishop who lamented the increase in cases of rape across the country, urging victims to speak up and report to appropriate authorities to enable the law to fish out perpetrators.
He noted that incessant rape cases were mainly perpetuated in tertiary institutions as well as with religious environments.
The Bishop called on the Federal Government to set up agencies in every institution of learning, where victims of rape could easily go to report such incidents.
“In a survey carried out on rape in Nigerian universities, we discovered that in one of the top Federal universities, 100 per cent of rape and sexually harassed victims were female students.
“Of that number, 67 per cent did nothing after they were raped, while 33 per cent made some kind of feeble reports to friends, course advisers and others made reports to their parents or guardians.
“We found out as well that some people kept quiet because they do not have confidence in the institutions that will champion their causes.
“This lack of confidence can make students and the larger societies begin to resort to self-help in the resolution of incidences of rape and sexual molestations in all strata of lives,” Ekwe said.
In the recent communal clash between the Omor and Umumbo communities in Ayamelum Local Government Area, the Bishop lamented loss of life and property in the crisis.
He noted that no fewer than 50 lives were lost, as well as a Church and hospital belonging to the Province of Niger.
While commending Governer Willie Obiano for efforts he had made to resolve the crisis, Bishop Ekwe urged the Government to deploy heavy security to the areas to restore peace.
Dignitaries and religious leaders across the State were present at the occasion.
BY SUNNY A. DAVID