Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Enugu State Ministry of Gender Affairs, says it will ensure the prosecution of youths who stripped a widow, Mrs Anthonia Okonkwo of Nmaku Community in Awgu Local Government Area of the state.
The Commissioner, Mrs Peace Nnaji, said this in Enugu, while briefing Journalists on steps taken so far by the government on the matter.
She said that the government was totally against the act as it violates the rights of the citizen.
“I was flabbergasted when I saw the video of a woman stripped naked and paraded the whole community by youths for picking snail in the forest.
“It is abominable; wicked and condemnable, it violates the rights of, not only the victim, but the rights of women generally,” she said.
Nnaji said that the rights of every citizen is contained under the Law, adding that the action of the youths was an infringement on the rights of the woman.
“The ministry of gender affairs will make sure that those responsible for that dastardly act will be punished according to the Law,” she said.
The Commissioner said the wife of the state governor, Mrs Monica Ugwuanyi, was also angry with the irresponsible act as she had always spoken against gender violence in the state.
She further promised that the ministry would rehabilitate the victim while working to ensure that she gets justice.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Awgu Local Government Council, Mr Pedro Nwankwo, said the council was in a state of shock following the incident.
“It was on October 28, that I received a video from a member of my Legislative Council showing a woman stripped naked by youths of Mmaku Community.
“It is a shameful act; it is barbaric; it is a crime; such a thing is not acceptable in my local government,” he said.
The chairman said that so far, six youths are in police net, adding that all those involved will be brought to book.
He thanked the State Government; the Igwe-in-Council and the security agents for their interventions.
In the same vein, Chairman of Awgu Traditional Rulers Council, HRH Cyprain Maduabuchi, said the action of the youths was sacrilegious.
Maduabuchi, who is also the Traditional Ruler of Nmaku Community, said the incident was the worst he had witnessed in his 21 years on the throne.
“They took laws into their hands without consulting any of the custodians of our culture.
“They did not consult me; they did not consult the Onowu; and no elder of the village was consulted.
“It is an abomination, since my 21 years on the throne, I have never seen such,” he said.
He said that the community had procedures for treating such cases which would have just attracted some sacrifices.
“Anyone involved in the case must go the jail to serve as a deterrent to others,” he said.
It would be recalled that some youths of the community stripped the woman naked and paraded her round the community for picking snail in the forest which they alleged was forbidden.