KOWA Party has condoled with the family of 13- year-old Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje, who battled Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) and other health complications at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital and died at the Ultimate Care Hospital, following alleged rape by her aunt’s husband and his son, identified as Andrew Ogbuja and Victor Inalegwu Ogbuja.
The alleged rape was said to have started when the deceased was 8 years old.
In a statement on Saturday by Olakunle Olawole, the National Youth Leader, the party disclosed that it had petitioned to the Presidency, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Youth and sports, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Education, and the Nigeria Police, on matter.
Already, labour unions have asked the federal government to treat the Ochanya’s case with seriousness.
KOWA is demanding that the perpetrators be held accountable and that punishment to be meted out must be firm and effective enough to serve as a deterrent to others in society.
The statement said Ochanya’s unfortunate circumstances is one of the realities of government’s failure to safeguard Nigeria’s children and the lackadaisical approach to impunity associated with sexual violence and child abuse in Nigeria.
It read: “The need for state oversight on children has been totally neglected, whereas the fate of a child is undetermined especially with the denial of the fundamental human rights of citizens.
“It is alarming to note that although Nigeria subscribed to the Child’s Right act, the government does not concern itself with the welfare of children, especially the girl child and does not give regards to whether they go to school, are denied essential medicine, subjected to slavery, trafficked, or sexually violated.
“We demand that asides from issuing birth certificates, (and sometimes when they die – death certificates), government should take complete oversight over the Nigerian child with an established minimum standard of care that caregivers must provide.
“We wish to reiterate that there as been an astronomical increase in the number of children suffering from sexual violence, without plans to provide rehabilitation for them while bringing perpetrators to justice.
“The government’s carrot and stick approach has gotten us to this level as a nation,and at such we demand that the Ochanya’s incidence be giving concrete attention and perpetrators brought to justice.”
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