Anambra State Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare has rescued a 9-year old girl allegedly raped by an elderly man above 60 years and two other younger boys at Amakpulu village, Ihite Community in Orumba South Council Area of the state.
The victim was rescued following an SOS message to the Ministry from a hospital where the father of the child took her for medical care after the elderly man had carnal knowledge of her at a farm.
The Ministry had also arrested the two boys aged 14 and 17, while the elderly man is still at large.
The girl, whose mother is down with sickness, when questioned, revealed how the two boys, drugged her and consistently abused her sexually.
TNC Correspondent gathered from the father of the girl, Mr Joseph Udogu, that after the Ministry rescued the victim and arrested the two boys, the families who are well-to-do, had arranged thugs and beaten him up, threatening him not to return to the community with her daughter.
According to him, the damage the sustained sexual exploitation has caused her daughter has made her traumatized and she no longer behaves normal.
“When I spoke to my girl after the 70 -year old father of four raped her, she told me of the other boys, who usually force her to drink Coke that they had drugged.
“She said that once she takes the drink, she will become unconscious and the boys will have their way with her.
“I then realized they have been sexually abusing my daughter and then borrowed money to take her to the hospital.
“It was at the hospital that they explained that my daughter has been messed up and asked me who I had reported to.
“I told them I had reported to the local vigilante in our community but they became mad at me, saying that the matter has gone beyond what the vigilante can handle,” Udogu narrated.
Udogu revealed how the families of the arrested suspects had beaten him up and threatened him not to return to the community with her daughter, for daring to report the incident to the government.
“Because they are rich and well-to-do, they have been oppressing me and my family, accusing us of reporting the matter to the government.
“The truth is that I never reported the matter to government.
“They also accused me of sharing the thing on social media but of a truth, I don’t even have a phone and don’t know how to use the internet.
“I wish to appeal to the government to rescue us from our oppressors as we do not have money or any other place to run to.
“All I want is for my daughter to return to normal and for us to be allowed to go home in peace,” he appealed.
When contacted, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Welfare, Mrs Ify Obinabo said the Ministry has taken the girl to a rehabilitation centre where she is being taken care of medically and psychologically.
Noting that the Ministry has received appeals from the suspects’ families, calling for settlement, the Commissioner insisted that they are not taking the matter lightly and will ensure that all involved are made to face the law.
“I really do not understand how any sane human being will agree to covering up the matter.
“This is a grave evil and we will pursue the matter till justice is secured for the dehumanized young girl.
“The suspects will be charged to court, to face the consequences of their action.
“This will also serve as a deterrent to others who may be planning this kind of evil,” she warned.
According to the Commissioner, the wife of the governor is committed to securing the future of the girl child in the state and has given her Ministry every necessary support to continue the war against such evil.