ABEOKUTA: Disturbed by the alarming rate of rape and other sexual and gender-based crimes in the country, a foundation and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Oyenola Oluwole Foundation (OOF), in partnership with some stakeholders, has intensified its efforts through outdoor exercise and awareness campaign against rape and other gender crimes.
The outdoor exercise tagged “Walk Against Rape and Female Genital Mutilation”, also known as Female Circumcision, was aimed at campaigning against rape, which has tripled in number since Covid-19 lockdown, held at Abeokuta, the State capital.
Convener of the exercise and founder of the organization, Asiwaju Oyenola Oluwole (Wole Papa) appealed to the Nigerian government to exercise its political will and legislative powers to eradicate rape and other gender crimes, especially Female Genital Mutilation which has become embarassing cultural practice in the country.
While narrating his personal ordeals with his family, he said “apart from the denigration of human dignity and existence, the stigma that follows this despicable act is always a lasting scar, difficult to erase or wipe away, because of the continual psychological trauma.”
Oluwole said that according to the Nigeria Police, between January and May this year, there were 717 reported cases of rape, as UNICEF statistics confirmed that one in four girls experienced sexual violence before the age of 18, adding that sometimes this despicable acts involved murder of the victims in the process.
He said that they were unable to do much at this time than to campaign against rape and other sexual crimes, through means that they would be safe and also accessible to everyone to hear their voices at this time, noting that they decided to hike with few people under strict observation of the social distancing rules for outdoor events.
“Indeed, rape is a crime, it is traumatizing and we called on the Federal Government for stricter measures against rapists in Nigeria,” Oluwole said
He said that women were more vulnerable to sexual crimes than men, noting that sexual violence reflects and reinforces existing gender inequalities.
It would be recalled that Oyenola Oluwole Foundation was established with the objective of campaigning against Female Genital Mutilation, Rape, Domestic Violence and every form of Social Vices that devalues human dignity.