Says sister died from domestic violence

By Ebunoluwa Sessou & Elizabeth Ushie

The youth convener of ‘No To Rape’, Offong Umoh also known as Mentor C, is a voice against domestic violence, especially rape. He runs a nongovernmental organization geared towards preventing the girl-child and women from being raped.  He was in Vanguard Head Office in Lagos to speak on his new project, challenges as well as his readiness to prevent rape from occurring.

Tell us what informed this initiative?

It is a dream that I had some years ago and so many factors drove me to start this project, one of which is the government’s inability to be proactive enough and if we must add value to society we need not wait for the government.  Secondly, my love for the female folk propelled me to become a voice for women. Right now, I am championing a project on factors affecting women all over the world. Thirdly, the loss of my sister whose death resulted from domestic violence also motivated me. I felt bad that I could not stop it, although I had not started this project then. I believe if we must end this issue called rape, then we need to make people understand the ills associated with it because one of the greatest crimes in the world is human violation so, we need to end rape around the world

READ ALSO: KADUNA: ‘Rape a girl below 14, face death or castration’

What is your campaign doing differently from others?

Although there are many advocates championing for justice, my focus is to stop it from happening. The campaign will not be done in the office, it is not only online.  I have taken the campaign to the streets using every possible platform, materials including flags, stickers on public vehicles. We are also involving stakeholders including commercial drivers, passengers as well as the garage touts among others. We have notebooks that we branded saying ‘Say No To Rape and be a better you by respecting peoples choices and decisions’. The goal is to tell every student that he or she has choices to make. We have signboards to remind them of their environment. We are ready for massive awareness, to educate the people, give orientations and we will be championing one of the biggest events in different states, called ‘No To Rape’ Global Show.

When you talk about rape, is your focus on only the Girl child?

Not only the girl child. We are concerned about everyone. From my research, 80 percent of people that died as a result of rape are the girl children and if you want to resolve a problem, you need to tackle the cause to at least 60-70 percent and 30 percent of the cause will take care of itself naturally. Our focus is the men because they are mostly the culprits.

How achievable are these laudable strategies?

It will be achieved. The question to ask is, do you have an understanding of what you are doing? Are you passionate about it? Do you have clear vision? The answer to these questions is yes. I was not motivated by someone to do it or start this project. We have a team of young people who are willing and ready. All we just need is the support of the public.

Don’t you think it is rather better to go into politics especially with the Not Too Young To Run Bill?

Definitely, we all cannot do politics. I have a passion for leadership but I have to start from somewhere and I need to champion this course. I have a passion to change the political system and also be part of the system but I have to start from somewhere and also build myself because you cannot be a change agent if you do not have a voice so I am building my voice and that of other young people with this project.

16 Days Activism, what have you done as an organization?

We have been involved in campaigns, outreaches at markets and we will be having a traffic campaign, this December. It is a strong message against rape.

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