*Says over 20 rape culprits jailed
By Chioma Onuegbu – Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Government has approved the establishment of Gender-Based Violence, GBV, Referral Centres in each of the three Senatorial do as part of measures to checkmate rape and other violations against women.
The Commissioner for Agriculture and Women Affairs, Dr. Glory Edet, announced this, Friday, June 12 while fielding questions from newsmen after the State Executive Council meeting presided by Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Edet who decried the spate of rape cases across the country explained that Akwa Ibom State has recorded increased incidences of rape as well as other forms of violence against the female gender in recent times.
She advised that such crimes should be reported to the law enforcement agents and other relevant government agencies in order to reduce the scourge, noting that following reported cases the state government has prosecuted and jailed over twenty-three culprits.
Her words, “One of the decisions reached at the State Executive Council meeting today is the approval of Gender-Based Violence Referral Centres, especially for rape victims”.
“The referral centres are to be established in each of the three Senatorial Districts of the state with Methodist General Hospital, Ituk Mbang serving Uyo Senatorial District, General Hospital Ikot Ekpene for Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District and the Agape Centre in Eket for Eket Senatorial District.
“We’ve received reports of rape cases in the country and Akwa Ibom State is not left out, even though in Akwa Ibom State the law is being implemented and God has helped us to jail over twenty-three convicted rapists”
According to Edet, the referral centres will have Medical doctors to examine and treat rape cases, social welfare officers to take care of the psychological needs of victims as well as legal practitioners to handle the legal processes required to ensure that culprits faced the wrath of the law.
On his part, the Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Udoh, disclosed that the 20 per cent pay cut of political appointees earlier announced by the state government, was deliberated upon at the state Executive Council meeting and a decision reached that the implementation would commence from this month of June.
“Today the state Executive Council ratified the decision that from June 2020, salaries of all political appointees in the state would witness a 20 per cent reduction. This is part of measures to reduce the burden of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the state finances.
“However, it is important to note that this is a temporary measure, and as soon as normalcy returns in the finances and economic outlook of the state, the reduction would be revisited”, Udoh explained.