… Demands Justice for rape victim
By Mary Amodu and Bala Isah.
Kogi State born social reformer, and candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, in Kogi Central senatorial district, Barr Natasha Akpoti has called on National Assembly to consolidate on all existing Social Welfare policies into a comprehensive law to specifically create sections to address the welfare of the vulnerable in Nigeria.
Reacting to the rape incident of the 13year old, Ochanya Ogbanje, who at the age of 5, was sent by her mother to live with her aunt for educational opportunities only to be repetitively raped by her uncle and his son named Andrew and Victor respectively.
The senatorial candidate on Saturday joined other well-meaning Nigerians to demand justice for rape victim, Ochanya Ogbaje.
She reiterated that, “the Nigerian constitution must guarantee fair and ethical treatment of children (both male and female) by creating laws to protect them against all sexual, emotional, physical and emotional abuse, adding that Social Service Law should be created.”
The Kogi Central senatorial candidate added that specially equipped police units must be established to uphold Child Protection laws and interface with Social Services agencies & organizations, stressing that dedicated simple response lines such as 555 or 333 must be created for abused children to call for help.
She disclosed that she was devastated upon the death of 13 year old Ochanya Ogbaje who was allegedly raped from the age of 8 by her uncle named Andrew and Victor respectively.
While calling on the relevant authorities to rise up for the perpetrators of the heinous crime to face the wrath of the law, the Kogi born social reformer called for review of Nigerian constitution where fair and equal treatment for children is guaranteed.
Natasha said “We are all Ochanya until the offenders are severely punished and Laws specifically protecting children against sexual exploitation and abuse are passed”, Child abuse often breeds a damaged adult. Therefore, medical treatment and counseling is extremely important”.
She maintained that Public Health Services should be created for the abused children especially those on the streets, explaining that education, healthcare and shelter must be of necesssry service to the vulnerable children.
“The ministry of health must steps to ensure that all government owned hospitals offer every abused child access to free and effective medical help. This shouldn’t be left for NGOs alone”, she said.
According to her, Court’s Criminal Convictions is an essential way of preventing Child Abuse in Nigeria. “Nigerian Judicial system has a huge role to play in interpreting the laws and morality with regards to the protection of children.
“Teachers, neighbors & family members who fail to report a known or perceived sexual or emotional abuse towards a child should be punished as an accomplice to the offense against the child.
“The above legal and administrative reforms are extremely crucial in protecting the lives and rights of any child within the Nigerian territory.
“We must demand justice be done for little Ochanya because no child deserves to live and die in such mystery.”