LOUD WHISPERS : Justice For Gift Alonge

It is hard to find a young person more resolute, dedicated and passionate than Priscilla Ubaifo. Priscilla is an amazing young woman who spends every moment she is awake advocating tirelessly for the rights of women and girls. She is the Executive Director of Braveheart Initiative for Youth and Women (BHI) based in Igarra, Edo State. I have known Priscilla for many years and she never ceases to amaze me with the intensity of her passion and commitment. She never takes no for an answer, and thanks to her, many young women have found a voice, received justice and can believe in themselves due to the many ways in which Priscilla has touched their lives. Priscilla and her organisation are working in a very difficult environment with extremely limited resources. BHI handles many cases of rape and sexual abuse, and they spend their time and resources looking after survivors as well trying to wade through the criminal justice system on their behalf. Most times Priscilla puts up information on her latest project on Facebook, calling on her friends to support her work.While she does get some donor support for her work, she is not a recipient of vast sums of money in donor grants that go to the larger NGOs in the big cities, yet she manages to create a significant impact with whatever she has.

Recently, Priscilla and her organisation took on the case of one Gift Alonge from the Ososo community in Akoko Edo. Gift’s father Jacob Alonge, was accused of raping his daughter on a consistent basis. Jacob allegedly impregnated his daughter in 2017 and administered a concoction on her to induce an abortion. Not done with that, he continued to molest her till she got pregnant again in 2018. By this time, the community was aware of the abominable relationship Jacob had with his daughter, and the matter was taken to the traditional ruler. Jacob confessed his crime to the people in the community and he was promptly handed over to the police. BHI got involved in the case on December 18th 2018, by this time, Gift Alonge was twenty one weeks pregnant. The organisation arranged for counselling and ante-natal care. At the Ososo Police station, Jacob Alonge made a statement confessing to the crime of incest and the case was transferred to the family unit of the State CID in Benin City. He was arraigned before the court and he pled guilty to the charges. Judgement was fixed for January 16th 2019. During this period, Gift was offered shelter by her maternal uncle, Mr. Ukere Adagbogu, who took a keen interest in his niece’s case and was also determined to get justice for her. BHI assigned two young women to accompany Gift to court for the final ruling, the women were Rhoda Braimoh and Promise Ezekiel.

On January 16th, Gift Alonge, her Uncle Ukere Adagbogu, Rhoda Braimoh, Promise Ezekiel and the driver of their vehicle, all perished in a terrible car accident on their way from Igarra to the court sitting in Benin City. Priscilla was of course absolutely shattered. Rhoda Braimoh did not die on the spot like all the others, so people kept sending in prayers and good wishes for her survival. Sadly she passed away too. The case was adjourned till January 23rd 2019. When he got to court, the accused person who was supposed to be in court for sentencing after pleading guilty, changed his guilty plea to not guilty. All the witnesses were dead. The dead do not testify, bear witness or argue.

There is talk in the Ososo community that Jacob Alonge is a powerful native doctor who might have engineered the death of his daughter, her unborn baby, her uncle, the brave young women who were trying to help, as well as the poor driver who was simply doing his job. According to BHI, they do not believe in this, since it might have all have been a coincidence. I agree with them, even though it is hard to believe otherwise since the deaths were so convenient for the person on trial. Jacob Alonge has a case to answer. I hope the courts will insist on justice for Gift Alonge. She is no longer here to speak for herself but the law can speak on her behalf. Even if Jacob manages to escape judgement from the courts, he most certainly will not escape the judgement of God.

I salute the community members in Ososo and their traditional ruler who took action on behalf of Gift and tried to get justice for her. May the soul of poor Gift’s Uncle rest in perfect peace for being there when his niece needed a champion in the family. I appreciate all the brave women of Braveheart Initiative for standing up for women and girls in their community. As they mourn their colleagues and clients, may they be comforted in every way. Since the tragic events of January 16th, I have been thinking a lot about Priscilla and what she does. There are so many young people like her toiling away night and day, uninterested in a lot of pursuits other people of their generation occupy themselves with. I hope we can all try and do more for young people like that whenever I can. For more details on how you can support BHI, they can be reached at braveheartinitiative@yahoo.com, @BHInigeria, +234 7061910869 or 07033733538. Please reach out to them and offer whatever support you can.

For Priscilla, I leave these words:

Cry little sister, cry if you want

Then wipe your tears

Yell at the universe, you have earned the right to be angry

Then be resolute and firm

Be afraid or unsure

Then be brave and sure

It is okay to feel the darkness right now

Trust that the light will come

Don’t listen to the voices of regret or blame

Listen to your heart and hear what it tells you

I hope you hear faith

I hope you hear courage

I hope you hear pride in giving joy to others

Cry little sister

Then wipe your tears

Your heart is saying many more need you.

 

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com

Source: Above Whispers

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17 Responses to LOUD WHISPERS : Justice For Gift Alonge

  1. Femi Diipo January 30, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    When I hear or read about this kind of horrific act by a father to his own daughter, it fills me with such rage. This kind of men are animals and really don’t deserve to live in the society of humans.

    I don’t know Priscilla, but I know we need more people like her in our society with such brave, kind and determined heart. We will get justice at last

    Reply
  2. Eric Onuoha January 30, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    What a sad incident. I strongly believe that justice will be served concerning Gloria Alonge.
    To Madam Priscilla, I say you are a brave woman. We need people like you in our society

    Reply
  3. Olakunle Olajide January 31, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    Oh my gosh!!! This is so sad and terrible.. Ha!! All these innocent people dead because of one man. Ha! God I pray, let your judgement be swift. My condolences to the bereaved, this is just too sad.

    Reply
  4. Richard Olori January 31, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    Indeed Priscilla has through BHI, made the voice of the rural women heard.

    Justice had been secured for numerous sexually abused teenagers in our rural communities and this will not be an exception.

    Reply
  5. Bisi Alawode February 1, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    such a pathetic story. I will definitely get in touch with BraveHeart Initiative. Thank you for always supporting a sister ma.

    Reply
  6. Adeoye Adeoye February 1, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    The things that happen around us, the pathetic stories of inhumane treatment. How can a man do that to his daughter and then kill other people. I believe that man did that thing and that’s why I always advise bodies like this to pray well when handling cases like this. some people are just naturally wicked and only God will judge them. Also, may God console Priscilla and madam Priscilla you are an inspiration.

    Reply
  7. Veronica Imaseun February 1, 2019 at 4:08 pm

    I hope to get in touch with Brave Heart and also God bless you for speaking about this ma. This is what we should be doing, supporting a sister when we can. I hope that man is served justice and he should be killed not life imprisonment. I be edo babe I sabi say the man don do something. i sabi am well.

    Reply
  8. Lisa James February 1, 2019 at 4:10 pm

    How would he do such a thing ? how? but sincerely with the things I have heard and seen in this world, there is no how anymore. People should just be treated the way they have acted and this man shouldn’t go Scott-free. He shouldn’t. To the champion of Brave Heart, well done. We love you.

    Reply
  9. Jumai Ahmed February 1, 2019 at 4:22 pm

    I wonder when we would stop reading stories of incest like this, I wonder when justice will be served to those who are guilty. I wonder! God bless Priscilla and the people of that community for standing for Gift. It’s such a painful end but there is a greater glory. Priscilla, don’t lose hope. Don’t let this break you. You are a strong woman.

    Reply
  10. Victor Udoh February 1, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    Strong women, may we know them and yes, we have met one her name is Priscilla, the woman who fought for Gift with the entire community. we are proud of you ma and we know that, that man will face the music.

    Reply
  11. Chika February 1, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    What a story. This is a clarion call for us all of us to support this movement. The movement of fighting for justice. We really don’t have to have a foundation, we can always support people like Brave Heart and let them know that they are not alone.

    Reply
  12. Olabode Olasunkanmi February 1, 2019 at 4:25 pm

    I really hope that man will be killed and not jailed.

    Reply
  13. Sheila Luke February 1, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    Please dearest Priscilla, you are an amazon. Don’t beat yourself up over this. You fought well and thousands of girls like Gift need you.

    Reply
  14. Sandra Mathews February 1, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Priscilla, you are voice and nothing can take that away from you. This is a step forward not backward.

    Reply
  15. Adeshola Babalola February 1, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    They should stone that man to death. He jazzed them because he knew he would have to face the consequences of his annoying actions. Stupid man. God bless Priscilla and BHI.

    Reply
  16. Matilda February 1, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Gift suffered and died but Justice will prevail. Priscilla, don’t be devastated. You are a champion.

    Reply
  17. Onyinyechi February 1, 2019 at 7:34 pm

    Men like this should thrown into the den of lions. They don’t deserve to live. God bless Priscilla and please don’t get worked up.

    Reply

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