By Jethro lbileke
The Network of Reproductive Health Journalists of Nigeria, (NRHJN), Edo State chapter, has expressed shock and disbelief on the news of the alleged rape and murder of Miss Uwaila Omozuwa, an undergraduate student of the University of Benin.
Their feeling was contained in a statement endorses by the State Coordinator of NRHJN, Olabisi Akpaida.
“As concerned reproductive health journalists, we consider the act of rape as a gender-based violence and violation against humanity and the womanhood of late Miss Omozuwa.
“As advocates against SGBV, we affirm that no woman, girl or anyone should suffer sexual violence or have their dignity violated by another, without facing the legal implications and consequences, as stipulated by laws and acts of Nigeria,” Akpaida said.
She noted that until her untimely death, the late Omozuwa was a promising young girl and an ideal role model in the Nigerian educational system who, despite the federal government’s restriction order placed on schools and the tertiary education, occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic, she kept on studying in preparation for the ease of lockdown on schools.
“Late Miss Osazuwa had reportedly left home to the church hall to study, when unknown assailant attacked, raped and killed her,” she noted.
According to Akpaida, Edo State in 2019, domesticated the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act 2015, and thus, has the appropriate machinery to prosecute the culprit of the dastardly act against the deceased.
“The NRHJN therefore seeks appropriate justice for the deceased. We join our voices with those of other stakeholders and call on the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, the State Police Command, the State Ministry of Justice and all relevant bodies, to immediately fish out the killers of Miss Osazuwa, and bring them to book under the full implementation of the VAPP Act.
“Members of the state branch of the Network commend the various public outcry for justice and support rendered to the Omozuwa’s family at their moment of grief.
“We pray that God gives the family the fortitude to bear this huge loss and pray that the soul of Uwaila Omozuwa finds rest in her maker,” she said.
NRHJN is a cluster of health reporters, editors and producers with passion for reporting and working on issues related to sexual, reproductive health and rights, set up in April 2010 through partnership with Ipas Nigeria, to be the bridge between the Nigerian society and reproductive health partners/stakeholders working in Nigeria.