By Samuel Oyadongha & Emem Idio, Yenegoa
The Nigeria Association Of Women Journalists, (NAWOJ) has expressed concern over the alleged increase in the rate of rape cases in Bayelsa State, declaring that there have been 3 cases involving 3 minors in Yenagoa over the ages of 8, 9 and 14 in the last one week.
According to NAWOJ, While the 8 and 9-year-old were defiled by their neighbours, the 14 years old girl was raped by armed robbers in the presence of her family before valuables were carted away.
The NAWOJ, Bayelsa State chapter, in a statement issued in Yenagoa and signed by the Chairperson, Comrade Maria Olodi-Osumah and Secretary, Grace Amaegbe-Koinyan, said It is very unfortunate and disturbing that at a time such as this when humanity is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic which has also given rise to other challenges, inhumane acts are meted on the defenceless and vulnerable in society.
According to NAWOJ, “We condemned these acts and called on government relevant agencies to take steps to stem the tide. For emphasis, NAWOJ will not hesitate to take appropriate actions against persons found wanting irrespective of political, religious affiliations, ethnic or social status..”
“While NAWOJ is aware of the numerous hurdles in prosecuting perpetrators of crimes such as rape, parents, caregivers and guardians of children should take extra measures to monitor, protect their wards”.
“It is also important not to hesitate in reporting such to relevant authorities and agencies to ensure proper medical examination and support apart from preventing sexually transmitted diseases so the law can take its cause and ensure that justice is served.”
“While we call on security operatives to double efforts at surveillance, apprehending and prosecution of criminals, citizens must take responsibility always as safeguarding lives and property is a collective task.”