Ochanya: Coalition appeals for early warning device to check rape in schools

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A Coalition of Plateau Women Advocates (COPWA) a non-governmental Organisation (NGO) has made an appeal for schools and the Ministry of Youth Affairs to install mechanisms for early warning detection to curb child rape menace.

The Coordinator of the Voice for the Girl Child, Mrs. Mildred Bako, made the appeal on Tuesday in Jos during a protest for Justice for Ochanya. Bako is the convener the protest.

The coalition made up of more than 20 organisations in Plateau is demanding justice for 13 year-old Elizabeth Ochanya who died of health complications from sexual abuse.

Ochanya died from complications of Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) from sexual abuse she suffered from 8 to 13 years.

VVF is an abnormal fistulous tract extending between the bladder or vesico and the vagina that allows the continuous involuntary discharge of urine into the vaginal vault.

 

Bako said that the early warning system would ensure that the Nigerian child had a safe haven to report sexual abuse.

“The early warning mechanism will ensure that perpetrators of such ungodly act were reported without prejudice or fear of retribution.

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“We plead with the Ministry of Justice and National Human Rights Commission to ensure justice for late Ochanya Ogbanje raped by her 52 years old cousin’s husband with his son,” she said.

The convener said that the protest was to encourage victims of child rape to report such incidence to forestall further upsurge of the menace.

According to government agencies responsible for the protection of the child rights should ensure effective sensitisation of all forms of vices against children.

“They should provide a feedback platform for children in all primary and secondary schools in sexual offences.

 

“Stiffer sanctions should be given to all rapists and child sex offenders,” she said.

The Chairperson, the Nigerian Association of Women Journalist (NAWOJ), Plateau chapter Mrs. Jennifer Yarima, said that the association was seeking justice for victims of rape across the country.

“We are following 20 rape cases across the country and they have been taken to court for appropriate justice. Also we have exposed child abuse in an orphanage.

“We urge organisations and parents to partner with us to expose these evil acts in the society and give our children a safe space to secure their future,” she said.

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Mrs. Mary Joseph, the Vice Chairman of International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) urged victims of rape, especially minors to speak up.

She said that the gesture was the only way to forestall the menace through exposing perpetrators.

The FIDA official appealed to parents, community and relevant government agencies to protect children who speak up against the crime, saying they were mostly threatened.

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