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Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State

Gov. Emmanuel assures Youth Corps members of safety …flays reports of rape

Gov. Emmanuel’s representatives and others at the Lodge
Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State

Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom state has reiterated the determination of his administration to ensure the safety of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members serving in the State even as he flayed false reports of female Corps members being raped during an armed attack on their lodge by hoodlums, which had gone viral.

Governor Emmanuel made the remarks during a visit to the attacked Corpers’ Lodge in Uyo, to provide succor to the traumatised Corp members.

Representing Governor Emmanuel was the Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Sir Monday Ebong Uko, who was at the Lodge in the company of Elder Aniefiok Isaac Nkom, Commissioner for Labour and Manpower Planning, the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC State Coordinator, Mrs. Nkiruka Ekwe, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sports, Elder Paul Bassey and the Director of Sports in the Ministry of Youths and Sports, Mr. Duff.

Governor Emmanuel commiserated with the Corp members and shared in their pain and losses while reiterating the State Government’s commitment to ensuring their safety throughout their stay in Akwa Ibom State.

The Governor said his administration is doing her best to ensure safety of lives and property of all citizens and residents of Akwa Ibom State and cares much more about the comfort of the Corp members who are rendering services to their fatherland.

While condemning in very strong terms the criminal attack on the Corps members which he described as callous, unfortunate and unacceptable, Governor Emmanuel assured that the security agencies are investigating the matter and that the perpetrators will be brought to book.

He expressed satisfaction with and commended the State Commissioner of Police and security agencies who, he observed, are doing their jobs well and helping to make Akwa Ibom State one of the safest states in the country despite the deteriorating security situation nationwide.

He assured the NYSC members that the State Government is with them and will do all it can to ensure that their stay in Akwa Ibom is enjoyable even as he thanked God that nobody was injured or abused, and no life was lost.

On the reports that some female corps members were raped, erroneously spread by some news media, Governor Emmanuel berated the newsmen responsible for such unverified reports which, he noted, caused trauma to the society. He tasked journalists on professionalism and factual reporting, maintaining that they should strive to verify their stories before going to press.

Governor Emmanuel also disclosed that the State Government will take steps to help the corps members recover their lost property and gadgets and announced a grant to help ameliorate their suffering.

Earlier, the State Coordinator, NYSC, Mrs. Ekwe, who conducted the Governor’s representative, Sir Uko and his team to the Lodge briefed them exhaustively and dismissed the report of the rape as unfounded. Mrs. Ekwe thanked God for sparing the lives of the Corps members and thanked Governor Emmanuel for the quick response and visit to the traumatised Corps members.

She, however, again appealed to the affected newspaper and other social media platforms which reported the news of rape to always exercise restraint and confirm their stories before going public. She said sensational reports could only damage society and cause unnecessary tension with severe consequences on the psychology of parents and guardians of Corps members.

Earlier, some of the affected Corps members who spoke with the Commissioner gave full accounts of how the incident occurred. Richard Igbokwe and Miss Akilachi Charles, who spoke on behalf of the Corps members said the incident which happened around 1:30am was an operation that lasted for about 30 minutes and that their laptops, phones and other valuables were carted away.

They, however, debunked reports of rape, insisting that none of the female Corps members was sexually abused and that no one was molested or injured. Another Corps member, Mr. Uzoma Udeh thanked Governor Emmanuel for coming to their rescue and lauded the Sports Commissioner, NYSC State Coordinator and the State Commissioner for Police for their support and timely response to their distress call and for every action taken to give them succour.

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