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KWSG Wades Into Alleged Rape Case In Ojoku

...Solicits Supports of NGOs to Curb Menace 

The days of Marufu Alujo, a 45 year old rape suspect at Ojoku in Oyun local government of kwara state may have been numbered, following the resolve of the state Ministry of Social Development to pursue the case to a logical conclusion.

The news about the alleged rape of one Omotosho Tope (15) by Maruf had dominated the air space recently with several individuals calling for his prosecution.

Officials of the Ministry have therefore waded in with their serial visits to the palace of Olojoku of Ojoku, Oba AbdulRazaq' Afolabi to enquire into the incident, believing that the royal father knows more about conducts of his subjects.

The team leader, Hajia Mariam Joke Yusuf, Director of Child Development in the Ministry said they took such an action to further expose rapists, seek legal redress and curb the menace in our society, adding that that was part of routine functions of the office.

She admonished all parents to be watchful of which kind of associates their daughters keep, and also advised the teenage girls to face their study and do away with acts that can expose them to sexual harassment.

Hajia Yusuf, who represented the Commissioner, Mrs. Deborah Bosede Aremu in the palace, noted that it has become obvious that because of a lack of parenting lives of children are being put at risk, wondering why parents could not give their kids the best care they deserve.

She then reiterated the government's commitment to tackle all sorts of social threats coming the way of children and women in the state with a view to promoting social justice.

Responding, Oba AbdulRazaq Afolabi thanked the visitors and by extension the state government for being committed to minimize if not abolish the incidences of sexual molestation in kwara. He assured them of continuous cooperation in the ongoing bid to get to the root of the matter. Information received from the victim's mother revealed that Tope was, on that faithful day, hocking snacks when Maruf Alujo bought from her good and asked her to follow him inside to collect money only to rape her.

Some of the teenage girls that were present at the scene gave different accounts of rape cases in their domain, appealing to government and relevant NGOs to rise up for their rescue.

The case which is already being handled at Ilemona Police outpost, is currently being considered for transfer to the Police headquarters in Ilorin for proper management.

In the same vein, the Ministry held a stakeholders' meeting with some NGOs, brainstorming on possible ways to address the challenging rate of rape in the society.

The Commissioner, Mrs. Deborah Bosede Aremu, while contributing, suggested the need to hold seminars and community-based sensitization where community heads and parents will be invited to get acquainted with the penalty reserved for rape culprits. She noted that such a step might help caution anybody that is or will engage in the act.

Also, Hajia Afusat Nike Ibrahim, who is the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, buttressed that sexual harassment of the minors has come to stay because of lacking responsibilities on the part of parents in most cases. She said that public enlightenment needs to be intensified to achieve the much needed abstention and a socio-moral rebirth.

The NGOs - Human Right Activists, Global Hope for Women and Children Foundation, and Children Mobile Right were all of the view that the rampancy of rape case could be attributed to its poor handling by the affected communities and the Police. They complained of how many of such cases were metted with injustice and also identified the fear of stigmatization as a major reason many cases are not brought to the public knowledge, arguing that unless people imbibe the practice of reporting it the menace may subsist in our midst.

They also viewed that rape is no longer a family case but falls under the social obligations of a state government.

Other participants were representatives from the Federal Ministry of Information, and the State Ministry of Justice among others.

Abdulkadir Muinat
Press Secretary.

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