The International Federation of Women Lawyers, FEDA, has been tasked to step up sensitization on societal values as well as undertake indepth research into the psychology of the culprits if the fight against rape must be won.
Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini Ememobong, gave the charge Friday while playing host to the Executive members of the State branch of FEDA, during a courtesy call on him in the Conference room of the Ministry.
Comrade Ini Ememobong said, the fundamental causes of rape must be traced and thrashed while the negative moral values which ginger criminality such as rape must be reversed if the society is to be free of the ravaging rape menace.
He decried the declining moral, cultural and societal values which encourage criminal activities and urged the women organization to heighten Advocacy on misplaced values for quick and easy money rather than integrity and merit, parental pressure on children and wards for early marriage, inhibiting societal norms against freedom of expression by women and mental conditioning against inferiority complex amongst men.
The State Spokesman who abhored the breakdown in the moral values of the society decried the new trend where every male visitor or guest in a home is addressed as “Uncle”, reiterating that, the practice has exposed the vulnerable girl-child to untold abuses, including rape, and called on mothers to take significant interest in the moulding of their daughters and wards, towards curtailing the menace of rape cases in the society.
Acknowledging the cumbersome task involved in the reorientation of criminal minds, such as rapists, the Information helmsman implored FEDA to partner the Department of Psychology in the task of reorientating the society against rape, and also collaborate with the Department of Linguistic for the translation of messages against rape into local dialects for the benefit of all residents of the state.
On the proposed plan for the construction of a Shelter by FEDA in the Capital City, Uyo, for the accommodation of victims of rape and other forms of abuse, Comrade Ememobong advised the group not to embark on a huge capital intensive project at the moment as the Post COVID-19 economy will not be too favorable and pledged to partner the organization in the publicity of its programmes which he said are human interest oriented.
Earlier, the Chairperson of the state branch of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, Emem Ette Esq has said, the women lawyers were in the Ministry to congratulate their associate, a husband to one of theirs, Comrade Ini Ememobong on his appointment as the Commissioner for Information and Strategy.
The Chairperson who said the appointment was long overdue based on the pedigree of Comrade Ememobong and his trail blazing records of achievements during his days as the PDP Publicity Secretary, expressed with optimism that the Commissioner will deliver on his Mandate.
Emem Ette Esq who enlisted the achievements of FEDA so far, as an organization championing the cause of advancement of women and children’s rights, intimated the Commissioner that, the organization under her leadership was considering the construction of a shelter for the victims of rape and other abuses in the state.
Maintaining that, their shelter in Ikot Ekpene was too far and not large enough to accommodate all victims, the FEDA chairperson said, rape cases had been on the increase with 400 culprits presently held as inmates at the Nigerian Police State Command, Ikot Akpan Abia with 13 victims at the shelter in Ikot Ekpene, including a 13 year old girl who was impregnated through rape.
The event witnessed by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Inyang Jameson and Directors, was attended by a former State Solicitor-General, Lady Gloria Umoren, the Vice Chairman, Mrs. Iquo Abia, the immediate past Chairperson of FEDA, Mrs. Mfon Edemekong and the wife of the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, who is the Treasurer of FEDA, Mrs. Chinoyerem Ini Ememobong, among others.