Activists, youths and concerned individuals in Ondo State on Friday took to the streets to protest the rising spate of sexual assault against women and young girls in Nigeria.
The protesters, who marched through the popular Oba Adesida Road through NEPA Market in Akure, the state capital, called on government at all levels to enact laws that could see to the drastic reduction of rape in the country.
The protesters were clad in black clothes and carrying placards bearing different inscriptions while also chanting solidarity songs.
Speaking with SaharaReporters during the protest in Akure, Comrade Obina Ezechukwu, a member of the TakeItBack Movement, said everyone should condemn sexual assault against females, noting that there was no justification for rape anywhere in the country.
He added that the youth would continue to "Say no" and stand against all forms of sexual abuses, intimidation, violence against women and girls.
He said, "The purpose of marching on the street is to show our concern and grievances by calling on the security agencies to take drastic action against rapists in our society.
"We can't just keep protesting and leave behind the foundational causes of rape. So, we are going to begin the sensitisation of our people.
"Already, we have a mission of moving down to schools, police stations, to get them aware of this menace and get it out of our society.”
Miss Akinferesoye Tolulope, a female gender activist in the state, said the rising spate of rape cases in the society must be addressed urgently.
According to her, parents needed to also participate in lending their voices against rape, stressing that the community should do better by training male children to be better in their dealings with their female counterparts.
Ayanfe Adeyemi, one of the leaders of the protest, said there have been reported cases of violence and rape cases against women and young girls that led to the death of victims.
Adeyemi explained that beyond mere condemnation of the evil act from the comfort of people’s homes and offices, there was the need to put pressure on the government to establish concrete laws to jail rapists in order to serve as a deterrent.
The rape and gruesome killings of Vera Uwaila Omozuwa and Bello Barakat, two young female students in Edo and Oyo states, have shifted focus on this despicable act in the country and pushed many Nigerians to demand stiffer punishments for rapists.