Chief Ndueso Essien, a former Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, has said that abandonment of societal values contributed much to incessant rape cases.
Essien made the attribution on Friday when some women protested rape and domestic violence in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom.
He said that many Nigerians had abandoned their ways of life, adding that some families no longer cared for their children, especially the girls.
He advised parents to give more attention to their children, saying that they needed care, encouragement and education.
The former minister said that there was the need for parents to educate their children on the dangers of rape.
“Parents have been so occupied, some are even leaving their homes early in search of money at the expense of taking care of their homes, and the children are not properly taken care of,” he said.
He condemned rape and sexual violence against women, describing the increased rate as embarrassing to the country.
The former minister urged that rapists should be adequately punished.
Essien expressed the hope that public sensitisation on the dangers of rape would reduce the crime.
He commended the protesters for their peaceful conduct.
Mrs Frank Archibong, the Wife of the Chairman of Eket Local Government Council, who led the protest against rape and gender-based violence, called for stiffer punishment for rape and sexual violence against women.
“There is no excuse for rape, every rapist and gender-based violence must be punished, there is no room for rapist in Eket Local Government Area, this act can ruin women and we must all desist from it,” she said.
According to her, there is no justification for sexual harassment.
Newsmen report that the protest, which started at 10a.m., ended at at 2p.m.
The women carried placards with inscriptions such as “We say no to rape”, “Rapists must be punished”, “I stand against rape”, “No hiding place for rapists”, “Rapist is a killer”, and “The punishment for rape is life imprisonment”.
Others include, “No mercy for rapists”, “We condemn rape”, “Let’s protect our girl-child”, “Stop molesting women”, “Stop rape and violence against women”.
NAN reports that the protest disrupted vehicular movement in Eket Local Government Area and its environs.