The Order of the knights of St. Mulumba Nigeria has reacted to the death of a 13-year-old Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje as a result of sexual abuse.
A press release issued by the order on Wednesday, October 31 and signed by the Supreme Knight, Bro. Diamond Ovueraye reads:
“The Knights of Saint Mulumba Nigeria is a religious organization guided by the cherished values of working towards a high sense of order and discipline in the society, with justice, fairness and equity as the under-pinning bedrock for peace and strong nationhood.
The shocking death of thirteen year old Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje, who had battled vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) and other health complications as a result of mindless abuse and rape has come to our notice with great sadness. Her unfortunate death has united humanity nationwide, in condemning the perpetrators of this rather despicable act. We applaud the spontaneity of the condemnation and align ourselves with all men and women of goodwill everywhere, in demanding justice for Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje.
“We are sadly aware that a member of our order, Andrew Ogbuja, has been charged to court alongside his son, as the perpetrators of the crime. We note also that as the case is subjudice, we are limited to the comments we can make as a responsible organisation.
However, we have placed Andrew Ogbuja on suspension from our order, pending the determination of his case in court. We agree with Alexander Solzhenitsyn that ”justice is conscience, not a personal conscience, but the conscience of the whole of humanity.”
“The death of Miss Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje at such a young age and in such a traumatic manner is regrettable. We thank all Nigerians, the Church, the NGOs and indeed, all who by their commitment brought this rather unsettling death, in her prime, of a young Nigerian, to the public space. May we all, going forward, collaborate as partners in fighting against rape, domestic violence and other issues in the Pro-life charter, so that at the end, Citizen Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje would not have died in vain.
“We would like to re-affirm that as an order we have faithfully committed our talent, treasure and time, to work for God, the Church and the society at large. In these past years, we have also devoted great energy and time to our Pro-life program, which we have faithfully carried out, with lectures in public schools, outdoor campaigns and public enlightenment, with dignity and sanctity of life as major advocacy thrusts. To this end, we have established in schools Pro-life Ambassadors, as champions and role models for their colleagues to aspire to and at the same time, ingrain in them the very ideals of chaste lives. Our message, shared by members of our order has always been; no to abortion, no to euthanasia, no to rape, no to same sex marriage, no to domestic violence, upholding the sanctity of life in all its ramifications.
“We pray to God to grant the family of Elizabeth Ochanya Ogbanje the fortitude to bear her loss and may her soul and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace, Amen.