Tony John, Port Harcourt

Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has advised girls and women facing any form of abuse, especially Sexual abuse, to speak out in order to be protected.

The Deputy Governor stated this yesterday, following the successful rescue of an 18-year-old girl from the hands of her guardian, Chief Promise Sydney, whom, she alleged, has been sexually abusing her for the past nine years.

Dr.  Banigo, who spoke through her Senior Special Assistant, Mrs. Inegogo Fubara, expressed delight that the ‘Sex and Sex Abuse Mentorship Exercise’ organized by the ‘Protect the Girl Child Initiative’, Office of the Deputy Governor, at the Federal Government Girls College, Abuloma,  Port Harcourt,  has yielded dividends.

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According to her, a few days after the event, an SS 3 student (name withheld), confessed to the school authorities that her guardian has been abusing her sexually since she was nine years old.

She said the Protect the Girl Child Initiative team  contacted the International Federation of Female Lawyers (FIDA) and the man was arrested and charged to court, while the girl has been taken to a safe haven for protection, further counselling and rehabilitation.

Dr. Banigo commended FIDA for responding swiftly to the distress call,  insisting that girls and women must speak out when abused to mitigate the ugly scourge.