Uyo — The paramount ruler of Eket Local Government Area, Edet Abia, has suggested the ostracisation of rapists and gender-based violence (GBV) perpetrators in Akwa Ibom State.
Abia said the traditional rulers' council would ensure that the tradition invoking the ostracisation of anyone found guilty of rape and gender based violence was enforced.
Speaking on Wednesday with Eket women stakeholders in his palace, the royal father explained that the ostracisation would mean the offender is not visited, allowed to visit anyone or has dealings with anyone.
He decried the increasing number of rape in the society, saying there should be no hiding place for rapists in Eket and its environs.
The monarch said any village head found guilty of rape would be dethroned.
He stated that no rapists would be spared, adding that the traditional rulers council would not hide anybody who committed the offence.
"As the traditional rulers' council, we will make sure that we invoke the tradition of ostracising whoever is found guilty of rape and GBV in Eket Local Government Area.
"Anybody found guilty of rape and other offences will be reported to the law enforcement agency.
"We will support long-term imprisonment so that the person will be put away from the society as soon as possible and it will serve as a deterrent to others.
"Rape in any form, whether it is from family members or outsiders is unacceptable. We will not hide anybody who commits rape in Eket, the person will be reported to security agencies for severe punishment.
"We will support the women and law enforcement agencies to ensure that rapists are put away for a long time," he stated.
In her response, wife of the Chairman, Eket Local Government Area, Mrs Bright Archibong, said women were aggrieved as a result of the alarming rate of rape in the society.
She appealed to the traditional rulers' council to prevail on men to stop raping women, adding that the act should be discouraged in the society.
Archibong called for life imprisonment for rapists to serve as deterrent to others, and urged security agencies to stop the practice of releasing rape perpetrators on bail from police stations.
"We are mandated to go about the local government areas and scream that rapists should leave our children alone. Rapists are ruining the lives of our children. It is barbaric, it is unheard of, we cannot keep quiet again, our daughters and our women are in danger.
"It can be three minutes for rapists but for the victims it is a whole life time of torture physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically and otherwise," she said.