…No better time than now, says Mirabel Centre
By Ebunoluwa Sessou
Wife of Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, scores of male activists today staged a walk against incessant rape across the federation urging all 36 states and federal governments to take a stand against perpetrators of rape in the country.
In a 5-kilometre Walk which was organized by the Partnership for Justice and Mirabel Centre in conjunction with the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, DSVRT, Lagos State Command and UNICEF kicked off from the premises of the Lagos Television, LTV 8 at exactly 7.25 am was rounded up at the Lagos State Government Secretariat, Alausa.
The men who came out in their numbers under the auspices of “Men Against Rape” were carrying placards inscribed with different messages including “Real Men, Don’t Rape”. “I stand against Rape”. “Men against Rape”. “No means No”. “2017, it was Obiamaka, 2018, it was Ochanya, Uwa 2020, who’s next?”.
“Boys will be held accountable”. “Rape is not Sex”. “I am a Real Man”. “I don’t condone Rape or Sexual harassment. I am a real Man”. “I’m creating a safe society for Women and Girls”. “My strength is not for hurting”. “Men can stop Rape”. “Consent is simple. If it’s not Yes, it’s No”.
“Real men hold each other accountable. Are you that guy?” “Don’t tell your Daughters not to go out, tell your Sons to behave properly”. “Real Men zip up”. “We cannot work against our daughters and we have agreed that real men don’t rape”. “We must continue to zip up”. “A real man sees no value in seeing his daughter die in pain”.
Speaking at the event, the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu commended the men for coming out to campaign against rape and other gender-based violence.
She said: “We thank God that your intentions have moved from intentions to goal-oriented actions”.
“Rape is a condemnable act and if we dream of having A Greater Lagos, we must collectively and openly condemn it. We must not allow rape to become a culture in Lagos or Nigeria or in any part of the world”, she added.
Also, the coordinator, of the Mirable Centre, Mrs Itoro Eze-Anaba, urged Nigerians especially men to stand against rape. She said: “We all need to stand up and get involved in the campaign. More importantly, we are asking men to stand up and do something. It is not about women, it is about the community, the society and men have a role to play.
“There is always the right time to do something. Everybody is talking about what has been going on in the country. Young girls were raped to death. There is public outrage and therefore, there is no better time than now.
“It is not about telling the government to do this and that, it is about asking ourselves, what we can do, what have we done and what are we going to do? That is what the campaign is all about. It is about individuality, we all have a responsibility to end violence against women and men have a greater responsibility because the majorities as the perpetrators are men and they have friends and they men talk to men.
“It is obvious that we have an untapped resource among men that are committed, concerned about violence against women. There is a need to call for more of them to come together with an action plan that will be implemented in the communities with men taking the lead”.