By Itoro Bassey
Akwa Ibom First Lady, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel, has threatened to champion the arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of any man caught beating his wife anywhere in the state.
Mrs. Emmanuel handed down the warning recently at the inauguration of the ONNA Chapter of Eket Senatorial District Women Forum and empowerment scheme sponsored by her pet project, the Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path-initiative (FEYReP) in collaboration with the forum.
Speaking to the women on issues about gender-based violence, the governor’s wife said that violence against women in the state would not be tackled with kid gloves. She said, “We are against violence against women in Akwa Ibom. If you do it and I have evidence against you, you will go to prison. There are many women who have been beaten to death by their husbands. If you die, who will take care of your children?
Although the governor’s wife acknowledged that some women would, at one time or the other, provoke their husbands to anger, she maintained that such provocation should not be an excuse for wife battering.
Speaking further, Mrs Emmanuel, who noted that innocent and vulnerable children are many times violated sexually by neighbours or relatives, cautioned mothers not to unnecessarily hand over their female children to the care of untrusted relatives or neighbors. She also warned that any woman found to be covering up for a husband who sexually molested a child would be arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned.
According to the First Lady, any woman who would be comfortable with her husband who sexually molested a child must be a wicked person and a witch. She explained that no fewer than seven fathers are currently awaiting trial for alleged rape and defilement of their daughters in Akwa Ibom State.