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Group marches against rape, GBV in Bayelsa

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Gender Response Initiative Team (GRIT) has raised the alarm over increasing cases rape and other gender-based violence (GBV), disclosing that over 58 cases were reported in two months of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown.

Speaking after a protest march through the streets of Yenagoa to Bayelsa State House of Assembly yesterday, convener of the gender-based human rights group, Maria Olodi, said the state needed a proactive measure to curb the menace.

Olodi, who spoke at the House of Assembly premises, noted that three girls aged between 13 and 14 years were raped in the state recently, while many unreported cases still abound.

She called on the house to domesticate the Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) law passed by the National Assembly since 2015.

“We are here this morning to present our case before the House of Assembly. Also, there has been an upsurge in GBV in the country, and Bayelsa is not an exception. It got to its peak during the lockdown when over 58 cases were reported in Bayelsa.

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“GBV is taking another turn in the country; hence the need to mitigate the trend.”

Speaker of the house, Abraham Ngobere, said the lawmakers had already set in motion modalities to domesticate the law.

Represented by Mrs. Koko Obiyai, representing Yenagoa 2 constituency, the speaker said the fight against GBV was a collective responsibility of the society and urged parents to always guide their wards.

Wife of the governor, Gloria Diri, who supported the group, said the fight against the sexual abuse, rape and violence must be fought vigorously.

Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom State Police Command has told those who cannot control their libido to leave the state or be ready to face the law.

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), CSP N-Nudam Fredrick, explained yesterday that most of the victims were mainly lured by gratification.

He stated, “Following a distress call on Monday, June 8, 2020 about 4.30p.m., police operatives at Abak swung into action and arrested a 38-year-old confessed cultist, one Ekemini Asuquo Aya.”

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