With chants of ‘Say no to Rape’ and ‘Justice for Uwa’, protesters, including students of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), activists and concerned individuals yesterday stormed the headquarters of the state police command in Edo State demanding justice for Vera Uwaila Omozuwa.
Clad in all black and carrying several placards amid the singing of solidarity songs, the protesters said the increasing cases of rape and violence against the female gender with some lukewarm attitude of security agencies to nip it in the bud, call for serious protest beyond mere condemnation from the comfort of people’s homes and offices.
Uwaila, a 100-level student of the Department of Microbiology in UNIBEN was reported to have been raped and killed by some hoodlums inside a church where she went to read at the Ikpoba Hill area of Benin City, the Edo State Capital. This had sparked outrage with #JusticeForUwa dominating social media trend since Sunday.
The protesters wearing black outfits and bearing placards decrying rape staged a walk from the Kings Square area of Benin City and eventually took their message to the state police command headquarters.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police, Operations, Ayoola Ajala, who received the protesters, assured them that investigations have commenced and arrests have already been made in connection to Uwa’s murder. He also debunked allegations that the police station where the matter was reported to refused to look into the incident for lack of funding.
Uwa’s siblings, who were also part of the protest, joined in demanding that justice be served promptly.
The Niger Delta Students’ Union Government (NDSUG) has condemned the brutal rape and murder of its female member, Miss Vera Uwaila Omozuwa. The Senate President of NDSUG, Jimmy Success, in a statement in Port Harcourt, called on the school management and the security agencies to swiftly investigate the tragedy and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“On behalf of the leadership of the union and the student community, I wish to extend my condolences to the family of the deceased and also crave the indulgence of the Students’ Union Government in the University of Benin and the school management to implore better means of reducing and curtailing these violent occurrences against the girl child and students in general.
“We also want to appeal to the conscience of our youths to abstain from any form of aggression against their fellow youths especially the tender females. I hope that the perpetrators will be brought to book. We demand justice for this innocent girl and hope that the perpetrator will be brought to book. I call on the State government and all security outfit to swiftly investigate this issue and bring to book the perpetrator of this wicked act.”