* Incident has consequences on mental health of students, parents
By John Odunjo
A coalition of civil society organisations has condemned the killing of a female student of Federal University Oye Ekiti, Modupe Deborah Atanda, and burying her body in a shallow grave on the campus by some evil individuals.
The coalition, which called for justice in the gruesome murder of the teenager, said, “This horrifying event has far-reaching consequences, particularly on the mental health of our students and their parents”.
The CSOs in the coalition are Gender Mobile Initiative (GMI),
Balm in Gilead Foundation for Sustainable Development (BIGIF),
International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), National Council of Women Societies (NCWS), Gender Relevance Promotion Initiative (GRIP) and Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ).
The coalition spoke in an open letter to the Governor of Ekiti State, Biodun Oyebanji and the Commissioner of Police, Ekiti State Command, Dare Ogundare, titled, “Condemnation of the Heinous Crime Against a Female Student of FUOYE and the Urgent Need to Set the Wheel of Justice in Motion”.
While imploring necessary authorities to do the needful, the CSOs charged the governor and the police commissioner “to spare no effort in ensuring that the perpetrators are brought to book and face the full force of the law”.
They lauded the swift action taken by the police in arresting suspects linked to the crime, saying commitment of the law enforcement agents “to ensuring justice for the victim is a step in the right direction”.
They stated, “We write to you today as a coalition of CSOs deeply committed to addressing gender issues and advocating for the rights and safety of women and students across our state. It is with profound grief and outrage that we address you regarding the recent tragic incident that has sent shockwaves through our community.
“The murder and mutilation of a 200-level female student – Atanda Modupe Deborah of FUOYE in Ekiti State is an abhorrent act that not only shatters the lives of the victim and her family, but also shakes the very foundations of our society. Such a gruesome incident strikes fear into the hearts of students, especially women and girls, who should feel safe pursuing their education.
“This horrifying event has far-reaching consequences, particularly on the mental health of our students and their parents. The trauma and anxiety that this act has instilled in the minds of young women and the entire students at FUOYE and their parents are immeasurable. The fear of violence should never be an impediment to one’s education or personal growth. Violence should not be the cost of our education as girls and women. Violence is not the cost.
“Furthermore, we call for comprehensive measures to be implemented to enhance the safety and security of all students, particularly female students, within and around educational institutions. It is our collective responsibility to create an environment where students can pursue their dreams without fear of violence.
“The responsibility to engender an environment in which students can pursue their dreams unburdened by the specter of violence or harm falls upon our collective shoulders. This obligation encompasses the provision of essential infrastructural facilities that ensure a well-lit and secured environment for all students.
“We extend our deepest condolences to the grieving family of the victim and stand in unwavering solidarity with the entire student body of FUOYE while urging the management of FUOYE to cooperate with the relevant authorities in bringing the perpetrator(s) to book.
“It is only by uniting as a community that we can labour ceaselessly to ensure that this abominable act never finds a place in our community, and that justice is vigorously served”, the CSOs stated.