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Barrister Kingsley Otuaro, Delta State Deputy Governor.
A preponderance of opinions today, Monday, December 2, 2019, rose against the harm that sexual violence against women cause to victims, with a call on “men to zip up” and “women to close up.”
Parents were also called upon to show responsibility by taking good care of their children and stop living the life of absentee parents from their homes.
This was the focus of speeches made at a one-day stakeholders meeting on sexual and gender based violence in Delta State, organized by the Delta State Sexual and Gender-based Violence Response Team and supported by 05 Initiative.
The event which had as its theme: “ Generation Equality: Stands against Rape and other forms of SGBV was held at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba and attended by dignitaries that included representative of the Governor, who is also the Deputy Governor of Delta state, Barrister Kingsley Otuaro, wife of the Governor, Dame Edith Okowa, the Chief Judge, Justice Marshall Umukoro, commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Mrs. Flora Alanta, non-governmental organizations and women advocacy groups.
Otuaro described the rape and other forms of sexual and gender based violence against women as a disturbing phenomenon, even as he called on all to imbibe the word of God so as to transform their lives and destroy the demons that influence the vices. “Rape and violence against the female is a disturbing phenomenon. It is very worrisome,” the Deputy Governor said.
In her keynote speech, Mrs. Okowa described the stakeholders’ conference as very apt, called attention bible references including 2nd Timothy 3: 1-4, Job 31: 1 and then put the question, saying: “What would attract a 70 years-old man to a baby of two years? Could it be for ritual? This is what we cannot explain; a father turning his daughters into wives.”
The Delta first lady blamed some parents for not showing care and spending adequate time with their children. She said: “No driver drove my children to school. I did myself; for all of them.”
She criticised parents who abandon their responsibility to children at home in preference to attend weddings, saying “must you go to every wedding? Must you go to every ceremony? If you go to everywhere, you lose your value.”
Mrs. Okowa disagreed with suggestion that the provocative way that some women dress is not enough one of the causes that assault the sensibilities of men, saying: “I stand to disagree. Who told you that it is when you expose your body that you are more beautiful?”
She agreed with the prescription of Mrs. Alanta that men should zip up and women should close up.
For the way forward, she proposed that parents should return to their original love, and that they should realize that the children they have are not their own but God’s and that when they will be face to face with Him they will have to account for them before Him.
Men, she continued, should properly zip up and women close up. “When you get to heaven you will give account of how you died, whether you did as a result of misdeeds or it was God who called you,” she said.
Justice Umukoro who disclosed that there are 101 rape cases pending in courts in the state, said that the challenge is that victims of rape are not prepared to come and give evidence. “There are 3,500 inmates in the prisons in the state, and their ages range from 17 to 25 years. They are all from broken homes.
“Absentee fathers and absentee mothers who take the children to school at 7.30 a.m. and go to take them from school at 5p.m. and 6p.m,” Justice Umukoro said.