By Josephine Obute
Worried by the incessant cases of rape, the 22-year-old current Miss Nigeria, Chioma Obiadi, has advised the Federal Government to enact a law that will sentence anybody found to have committed rape life imprisonment to reduce the menace.
Obiadi, the 40th Nigerian beauty queen, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos during a visit by the Miss Nigeria Organisation that, “Cases of rape are on the increase now in the country.
“In fact it is become so alarming.
“I feel that we are recording increased cases because the perpetrators know that they will be imprisoned for few years.
“This, I feel, is not stringent enough.
“When these rapists know that they will be sentenced to life imprisonment or death, the crime will definitely decline,’’ she said.
According to her, people convicted of rape by constituted court of law were usually sent to life imprisonment with no option of fine in the United Kingdom and other developed countries.
This had scared intending criminals from committing the offence, she said.
Obiadi called on security agencies to always apprehend culprits instead of the victims suffering in disgrace as the issue was all about the dignity of womanhood.
The beauty queen said that the identities of the culprits in rape cases should be made public, while the identities of the victims are protected so that the society would not stigmatise them.
“Media houses should project the rapists rather than the victims, it is the rapist that should be stigmatised and not the poor girl or lady who had the misfortune of being raped,” she said.
She, however, blamed some parents, especially the mothers, who would not pay adequate attention to the needs of their daughters, noting that mothers should be vigilant in monitoring their children’s dress code and how they relate with the public.
“Some parents are accomplice in this menace; they should be concerned about their daughters’ movements and body languages from time to time.
“We should return to our cultural and traditional values that promote decent dressing,” she said.
Obiadi also appealed to Nigerians to always integrate victims of rape into the society rather than stigmatizing them for a crime they knew nothing about.
She added that those who sexually assault minors and aged women should be sent to psychiatric hospitals where their brains would be examined.
Miss Nigeria also said that child labour and trafficking were caused by parents who wanted to get rich quickly by enslaving their children.
“Better-life syndrome is a major gateway that makes the parents to lure their children into trafficking and abuse.
“Such parents should be exposed and jailed.
“The media in conjunction with National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) should put more pressures on them, so that they can be arrested for prosecution.
“Any father or mother caught in the act, locally or internationally, should not be spared, they should be given stringent penalties,” she said.