NO fewer than seven fathers are currently awaiting trial for alleged rape and defilement of their daughters in Akwa Ibom State.
The wife of the state governor, Dr Martha Udom Emmanuel who made this known weekend during an interaction with newsmen in Uyo, said her pet project, the Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path-initiative FEYReP facilitated the arrest of the suspects.
Dr Emmanuel also disclosed that a total of ten people have been convicted for rape and for sexually abusing young children in the state in the last six months.
She expressed worry over the disturbing instances of sodomy in the State said FEYReP shall ensure that the perpetrators were convicted in no distant time.
Her words, “As I speak we have about seven fathers in a police cell awaiting trial for defiling their daughters. These issues trouble my heart a lot and I can assure you that Justice must be done. FEYReP is in Partnership with the Judiciary, Police, FIDA, so perpetrators cannot go scot-free.
.”Anytime the cases that involved us would be tried in court, we must be present. That is to tell you how serious it is. The judge will also know that we are very serious about these.
, “I can say authoritatively that in the last six months, and with the help of all involved (Judiciary, Police and FIDA), we have secured the conviction often culprits of rape and other gender-based violence in the state.”
On what spurred her into the campaign against Gender-Based Violence, she said, “Most of the victims are vulnerable children, poor women, who do not have a voice. I am happy to lend my voice, to be their voice. To speak for them any day and anytime.
“What would a 60-year-old man be looking for in a two or three-year-old infant? Is that not devilish? We can’t condone such abnormal behaviour in our society.”
The First Lady remarked that she has in the last six years in office as the governor’s wife, placed a premium on the family component of the society, stating that it remains the bedrock of a functional society.
“We believe that if we get it right at the foundational level, the society would have been better off. This is why we have invested so much in many Akwa Ibom families. All the programmes at FEYReP are towards projecting a successful family Unit.”, She stressed
Responding to a question on funding of her projects and the sustainability of FEYReP after office in 2023, she noted “We get our funding from good spirited individuals and organisations. They see what we do and trust in us to always deliver.
“I’ve always said that FEYReP will outlive this administration. We have a structure and if you take a walk down to the office at Ewet Housing Estate, you would see how busy that place is.”