By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
A lady, identified as Mma Obu has lamented her ordeals in the hands of a group of boys suspected to be cultists who sexually harassed her in broad day light while on her way to her classmate’s burial in a community near Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
Mma Obu which means a lady who deals in crayfish, took to her verified twitter handle to narrate how she was harassed by the boys who mounted a road block near the venue of the burial.
According to her, she was not provocatively dressed neither was she wearing a skirt or a gown as she was putting on jeans trousers with long sleeves and neck high blouse.
“I was wearing jeans trousers with long sleeves and neck high blouse when I was groped by a bunch of village touts while going for a classmate’s burial.
“I was on top of a bike and we got to this point where they had mounted a roadblock.
One felt my thighs up to my regions, the other kept slapping my ass and grabbing it trying to fill his hands.
“In all these, I could not say a word, they were about seven of them on a village road.
“I was literally shaking and powerless till their leader came and ordered them to allow us pass,
“Apparently the bike man is a regular user of that road who gives him money.
“Luckily for me, I hitched a ride back to Uyo, couldn’t talk to anyone about it rather drowned in alcohol and slept off.
“I wasn’t dressed provocatively, I wasn’t naked. If I was wearing a skirt or gown, what would have stopped those guys from fingering me?
“What if their leader didn’t come on time? Women are an endangered species.
There have been many reported cases of sexual harassment and abuses in the state with the state police command saying the number of unreported cases far outnumbers those that are reported.
Several Non Governmental Organisations have spoken against Gender Based Violence in the state with the pet project of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s wife, Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Programme , launching a relentless campaign. Similarly, Journalists Against Sexual and Gender Based Violence, a community based NGO has joined in the campaign against sexual harassment in the state.
Early this year, the State House of Assembly had passed the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) bill and was promptly signed into law by the Governor.
The VAPP law can be used by all persons to seek and secure justice for acts of violence meted out to them including women , children and persons with disabilities, according to the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State branch.
Under the law, rape carries a life imprisonment and the court is expected to award compensation to the victim as the court considers necessary.
The law also provides for the name of of the rapist to be included in a register where names of all convicted sex offenders are written and the information made open to the public.
According to findings, the Akwa Ibom State government has yet to open sex offenders register.
VAPP provides that the office if the Attorneys General of the state is responsible for monitoring the implementation of this law in partnership with other organisations.