By Emmanuel Imawiyisi Eghaghe
As parts of efforts to say ‘no to rape’ and rapists in Nigeria, a black procession organised by the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, and the Student Union Government of the University of Benin, recently took place in Benin City.
The procession, which took off from the main gate of the University of Benin, and went through major streets of Benin-City, had students chanting songs of mourning as they took over Ugbowo – Lagos road and other major roads, carrying placards with different inscription.
To lend support to the ‘aluta continu’ procession was the member representing Ovia North East federal constituency at the House of Representatives; Hon. Dennis IdahosaVice, the Chancellor of the university, Prof Lillian Salami, several Deans of Faculties, heads of departments and men of the Nigerian Police, who all showed solidarity to the advocacy against rapist in Nigeria.
Speaking at the procession, Hon Idahosa condemned rape, describing it as evil and likened the rising trend of rape to terrorism, because the perpetuators are as heartless as the bomb carrying terrorist.
He said, “Enough is enough to this rising pandemic of rape in our nation. I am here to support the peaceful protest against rapists and justice for late Miss Uwa’s death. Those perpetuators would be brought to justice, enough is enough of this pandemic which is even worse than COVID-19.”
Hon. Idahosa further promised to sponsor a bill in the House of Representatives to help eradicate the pandemic that is gradually becoming a trend; adding, “It is sad to know that while we are still pressing for the needful as regards Uwa’s case, reports have it in the dailies this morning that another student has been raped and killed in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
“This evil cannot remain in our country, because Nigerians are a people of moral values and disciplined.”
He further challenged parents to dedicate more time to their children’s upbringing if we must have a valuable society.
Also, President of NANS, Hon Danielson Akpan, while demanding justice for not just Uwa, but every rape victim, said that perpetrators of rape should be properly punished to serve as lessons to others.
He said, “Although the Police are working as regards USA’s case, I am begging that the right persons are made to suffer the punishments of their actions and the case shouldn’t die a sudden death.”
Similarly, the President of University of Benin Student Union’s Government, Comrade Egwu Benjamin, and other past and present exco members all frowned against the act of rape in their addresses at different points.
NANS Woman Leader, Comrade Oruche Precious said, “Virgins should be celebrated and not raped and murdered. Rapists must be well punished and well brought up ladies should be well recognised and celebrated in our society, rather than being vulnerable to sexual predators.
“We are all out for every young lady and not just Uwa. We say no to rape.”