By Ameer Obansa, Lokoja
Following the arraignment of a Lecturer at the Benue State Polytechnic, Mr Andrew Ogboja, 51, for allegedly raping to death, a thirteen year old girl, Miss Ochanya Elizabeth Ogbanje,the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) on Saturday urged the Federal Government to ensure justice for the late girl.
Dr. Godwin Tijani, Chairman, National Adhoc Committee on Gender Violence and other Related Issues of NMA, said in a statement in Lokoja that justice to Ochanya would be justice to millions of women across the world who were victims of gender violence.
According to Tijani, the NMA takes the issue of rape as a crime against humanity, insisting that the government and other stakeholders should do the needful and bring the alleged perpetraitors and his son to justice.
He reiterated that there was an urgent need for Nigerians to rise against all forms of gender-based violence in the country.
“We have received with a deep shock the news of the death of Miss Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje, a 13-year-old pupil of Federal Government Girls College (FGGC), Gboko, Benue State.
“We feel more saddened that her death was caused by a medical condition called “Vesicovaginal Fistula” and other related complications that arose from the alleged serial sexual abuses by a father and his son.
“The Nigerian medial association totally condemned this heineous act and advise the police and the judiciary to ensure that justice is served on the culprits for all Nigerians to see,”
Tijani, however commended all the women groups and NGOs who had come out publicly to protest and condemned the act in its entirety, while soliciting for support towards its campaign against gender based violence in the country.
Tijani said: “The Gender violence committee of NMA is ready to partner with women affairs’ ministry both in federal and state levels, groups, organisations and NGOs to enlighten the public on the danger of rape and any gender violence related issues to reduce the menace”.
He further called for intensive public enlightenment in schools, social clubs, churches, mosques and the media to demystify the myths about gender violence.
Tijani recalled that Ochanya was allegedly raped serially by one Mr Andrew Ogboja, 51, a lecturer in the Department of Catering and Hotel Management, Benue State Polytechnic, Ugbokolo, and his son, Victor Inalegwu Ogboja, a final year student at Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi.
He said that Ochanya later died following a complication from vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) and other health complications at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi.
“The deceased was living with them and for many years they defiled her through vagina and anal sex,” he said.