Clerics calls for stiffer penalty for rapists

•Nigerian women protesting against rape

•Nigerian women protesting against rape

•Nigerian women protesting against rape

Some clerics on Wednesday called for a stiffer penalty for rape offenders to serve as deterrent and in order to curb increased number of rape cases.

The clerics who spoke separately with a correspondent with newsmen in Abuja stressed that rape laws should be reviewed in order to discourage the criminal act.

Monsignor Gabriel Osu, Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, said there was the need for the government to review the law to arrest the situation.

“The mind of people is so corrupt, that is why the law should take its cause in such matters when offenders are punished it will serve as deterrent to others.

“So when people are apprehended and they are tried and nothing comes out of it, it will encourage other people to misbehave.

“The purpose of the law is to ensure that potential trouble makers will know that the law will catch up with them if they misbehave,’’ he noted.

The President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) Rev. Felix Omobude, said that when rapists were sanctioned appropriately, it would serve as deterrent to others.

“The church will continue to propagate our values, but where there are no sanctions, abuses are imminent, a man has no excuse for defiling a minor.

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“That a 60-year-old person can defile a six- year-old girl, that’s sacrilege, it’s terrible.

“The issue of having a decent society is a responsibility for all, you, the church, the families, we all have a stake, we should do our work very well, we must go back to our values.’’

Mr Luckmon Abdulraheem, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Entrepreneurship Development (CED), Yaba College of Technology, urged religious leaders to always preach morality in both the churches and mosques to check the menace.

“Religious community, the church and the mosque should preach morality and spiritualism; they should not put emphasis on materialism.

“All these things can lead people towards wayward behaviour.”

Also, Prof Ishaq Akintola, Director, Muslims Right Concern (MURIT) urged leaders at all levels to pay attention to reviving and teaching of societal norms.

“In the past, you hardly hear of under-aged children being raped, but these days we hear of three years old, four years old child raped.

“If the leaders pay attention to teaching and reviving the societal norms, all these vices and immoral attitude will not surface, he said.

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