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‘My sexual harassment experience’

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‘My sexual harassment experience’

By John Akubo

Founder of Wanda Adu Foundation (WAF), 37-year-old Wanda Ebe, at the launch of the Men Against Rape movement in Abuja recently, recounts how she was sexually abused at home by a nanny in her childhood and a medical doctor when she needed medical attention, as well as in the university by lecturers and cultists. She spoke on how she was able to recover from the traumatic experiences at 32, adding that the non-governmental organisation aims to give marginalised and vulnerable young women and girls a voice.
She spoke with JOHN AKUBO.


Nasty experience with a nanny

It is strange when people say that a woman cannot sexually abuse a child. I was a victim and I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I gave a nanny oral sex for as many years as I can remember.

Even when she was on her period, she still compelled me to give her oral sex. My parents were not around, I was not the only child, but we were all very young. My mum was in schooling. So anytime she was in school, my father would go to work and we were left in the care of this nanny and when she wanted to do that to me, she would send my two younger ones out to play and forced me to give her oral sex.

No child likes sexual abuse and I also could not report her. At a point when I was six years old, I remembered that morning, she called me to engage in the same thing, she was in her period and I revolted. I was so bold because my mum was on holiday and she only stepped out to make her hair. The nanny just felt she had a little opportunity to bully me and sexually assault me again.

I actually told her I wasn’t going to do it because my mum was around and I was going to report to my mother when she came back from where she went to plait her hair. She threatened me again, saying she was going to kill me and I told her I was ready to die.

She went ahead and poured hot water on me. I still have the scars on my face. It is black, looks like a mark, but the one on my body was so bad. I did not go to school for one year when that happened and I was six years old. I cannot forget it.

After that, she had to cook up a story, because she didn’t want me to say what exactly happened and how I ended up getting burnt with hot water.

I also couldn’t say anything again, as the pain from the burns was enough for me to keep mute about what happened. So, I lived with the hurt, I lived with that experience and it really affected me for a long time.

Sexual harassment at the university

Even when I got into the university, I was still sexually harassed many times by lecturers, fellow students, and cultists. I had a gunpoint encounter with a very notorious cultist in my university then. I was so frustrated at that point that I was ready to give up everything.

He put a gun on my head about 7 pm that day just outside the gate of the campus and dragged me to his car and asked that I should take off my clothes, that he wanted to have me. At that time, I had never had any penetration, because I was a virgin. I was frustrated already because my lecturers were harassing me.

So, I told him to shoot me if you need to shoot me, to help me die because I am frustrated. ‘I have bottled up so much and can even tell anybody everything that I have been through. So, I would be happy if you help me die.’ And I meant my words.

My Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) had dropped because of sexual harassment experiences from several lecturers that I did not give what they wanted. So, they just recorded that I was absent from lectures, and that really affected me and also made me depressed.

He (the cultist) was shocked at what I wanted him to do, ‘kill me and rape my corpse. That is the only time I will let you have your way.’ So, he said, ‘I will let you go tonight’ and a few weeks after that incident, I reported quietly and preferred to go anonymous, because he was going to go after me. And he was expelled from school.

Another sexual harassment experience from a medical doctor

After the encounter with the student, I thought I was free. At 300-level, I had to go to an appendectomy. One of the doctors I met in the hospital was particularly interested in my case, he followed me all the way to school. You know, he acted like he was going to follow up after I was discharged from surgery.

I kind of trusted him. As a young person, I was also naive and thought that a doctor will not harass me sexually. I also trusted him because his elder brother was a friend to my father, so I thought he meant well to me.

When I was supposed to go back for my final check-up, he actually told me not to border going to the hospital, because it was a general hospital in Makurdi at that time and it was always very busy and crowded, really very rowdy. So, I was happy that I didn’t have to spend the whole day just for a checkup.

He came to school, picked me up, and then I thought he was heading to the hospital and I was going to have the express service, but he drove to town. I questioned why he wasn’t going to the hospital and he said, ‘relax, I am on call today and the hospital is really full and so if I go to the hospital, I am very sure there are several emergency cases waiting for me. I will take care of you quickly at my house and bring you back to school.’

I trusted him, we got to his house and he locked the door. I was afraid and asked why he locked the door, but he said he lived alone and didn’t want anybody to just barge in when I take off my dress for him to see the incision. So, I felt relaxed.

He went inside his bedroom and he actually put on a condom and he called me into his room. I didn’t know he was ready for me, so I went into his room and once I entered his room, the bathroom door was just inside his room, he just came out and he locked his room door and took out the key.

I panicked because I already had several ordeals, so I went to the door and tried to force it open in my own little way, but he really beat me up and manhandled me that day. I was not really having strength, as I was just recovering from surgery and after we struggled, he pushed me down and he had his way.

My dress was stained with blood and I was crying and he left me there and went back to the hospital. It wasn’t at night, so he knew that I would not be able to walk back to school with my dress stained because boys will always shame girls when they are in their period and they are stained.

So, I had to stay there until it was a bit dark and I went back to school. I didn’t talk to anybody about it. I was very miserable and had several sexual abuse experiences like that.

How I got the healing from sexual abuses
I managed to open up about all my experiences when I was 32. A motivational speaker broke me down when I talked about it. I did not know I was helping to come off from all of those nasty experiences and so when I talked to him about it, I cried, but I felt lighter.

Then I talked to several other people, which helped me. That was how the journey of my healing process started. I got to a point when I talk about it I wouldn’t be so emotional again. I will cry, so I knew that, okay, I have some strength, and that motivated me to fight for several other victims of sexual abuse.

That is what pushed me to launch Wada Adu Foundation and I am excited to work with some very wonderful people and I am very happy about this movement- ‘Men Against Rape-’ because many times, men have let women and children down and in the course of my work, we have recorded even cases of incest, family sexual abuse, fathers abusing infants, toddlers, and children

If your father cannot protect you, then we have a problem. But if we have a movement like ‘Men Against Rape,’ that means every child is a child and that also means that every woman is your wife or your sister. However, you see them and you feel that they are worthy of protection.

This is like a dream come true and I am very happy to work with these people and everyone that is involved.

Culled from the Guardian

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Personality

Tributes as Arochukwu indigenes, bid Eze Aro farewell

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Tributes as Arochukwu indigenes, bid Eze Aro farewell

Friends and well-wishers of Arochukwu and the entire kingdom have bid farewell to late Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro popularly known as Eze Aro.
At the final burial rites on Monday, April 5, 2021, both the young and old were at their best in display as the remains of Eze Aro were eventually interred.
The indigenes of Arochukwu in Arochukwu local government area of Abia state one after the other took turns to eulogise the lives and times of the departed first class Traditional Ruler.

The Chairman, Aro National Rites of Passage Committee, Prof. Okoro Ijeoma, described the deceased king as highly talented, educated, relaxed and very respectful.He said the late traditional ruler sacrificed a lot for the peace of his community.
Prof. Okoro used the occasion to draw the attention of the federal government on the deplorable state of Arochukwu/Ohafia highway.He said the completion of the road would be the best way to immortalise the highly respected late Monarch. 
“We have had a road which is in despair and it was one of those agonies that faced him when he was alive and we want a lasting legacy for the road to be fixed to honour him, because that is how we can grow economically and socially,” he said.
Also speaking, a two-time governorship candidate of All Progressives Grand Alliance now one of the top APC leaders in Abia state Dr Alex Otti who chaired the burial event commended the chairman of the National Committee on the burial rites of passage and committees for working so hard to organise a befitting burial for the Aro monarch. He also thanked Aro sons and daughters both at home and in the diaspora for their huge financial contributions to the burial and encouraged them to maintain the spirit of unity engendered by the event.”He remarked that the entire Aro people are consoled by the legacies the late Eze Aro left behind. Dr. Otti then prayed to God to show him mercy and grant his soul eternal rest, while calling on the immediate family of the deceased and the entire Aro kingdom to bear the loss with fortitude
Convener of the New Nigeria Group, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa, said the late Eze Aro loved his community and Nigeria at large.
He said, “Late Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, preached peace and collective responsibility towards the development of his community while on the throne. Each time we visited him, he  will tell us that  the crown he was wearing was also on our heads, therefore we must work hard to protect it.
“He wanted all of us to be involved in seeking the peace, progress and development of the Arochukwu Kingdom.
“He never demanded anything from anyone, he was content with what he had. He was an extraordinary king, one would have expected him to be more demanding but he wasn’t.
Born on Monday, March 6, 1932, Mazi Ogbonnaya Okoro, he ascended the famous Eze Aro throne in 1995 and his reign witnessed tremendous transformation of the kingdom and growth in inter-communal relations. 
Among other positions, Eze Ogbonnaya Okoro, was a first-class traditional ruler and occupied one of the ancient traditional stools in Nigeria and was the custodian of the Aro heritage worldwide.
He passed on after a protracted illness.

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Buhari mourns close ally, Dr Mahmud Tukur

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Buhari mourns close ally, Dr Mahmud Tukur

President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with  the family of Dr Mahmud Tukur, over his demise  describing him as a true patriot and a nationalist.

In a message to the family, friends and associates of the founding Vice Chancellor of the Bayero University, Kano, President Buhari said “Dr Mahmud Tukur’s service to the nation will be remembered by generations yet unborn.
The condolence was contained n a statement by by his Senior Special assistant Garba Shehu .
The statement said he had a passion for a prosperous, economically strong and united Nigeria. “He was a proud nationalist.”

The President, in his tribute, recalled that as Minister of Trade in his first coming as Military Head of State, Dr Tukur introduced a lot of schemes that revived the local industry, boosted exports and gave real meaning and effect to import substitution in regenerating the indigenous manufacturing sector of the economy.

He prayed to Almighty Allah to accept him in Aljannah Firdaus and give the family, friends, the Adamawa Emirate Council and the people of the state the strength to bear this grievous loss.

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Buhari mourns Afenifere spokesperson, Odumakin

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Buhari mourns Afenifere spokesperson, Odumakin

President Muhammadu Buhari had condoled with the family, friends and acquaintances of Yinka Odumakin, spokesman of Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere.
Odumakin was also spokesman to the then Gen Buhari in 2011, when he ran for President on the platform of Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), now defunct.

The President recalled that Odumakin as dutiful, and a person of conviction
He expressed sorrow at his demise, when he had a lot more to contribute to society and the nation at large.

President Buhari prayed God to grant repose to the soul of the departed activist, and comfort all those who mourn him.

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