By Eric Elezuo
It is high time stringent measures such as death penalty or cutting of penis were introduced as punishment for rape of any kind. This is because the rate at which immature children’s lives are being cut short, has become unacceptably alarming.
Caroline had lived with her parents all through her 16years of existence. She knew that her parents were not the best of friends, but they were managing to co-exist. One day, she was called out of school by her father, not knowing that her mother has left her father.
On arrival, Caroline was told that her mother went on a trip, and would soon return. Her father added that her mother prepared a certain concoction for her which must take every night before going to bed. She did that religiously without fail every night.
However, one night, she reasoned within herself, and asked why would her mother prepare concoction for her even when she had not complained about any illness, and refused to take any more of it. But her father prevailed on her to continue, and not disobey her mother, and she did.
As fate would have, a close relative visited one day, and was surprised to see at home. The relative told her what has transpired between her parents, adding that her mother is not even aware that she was home. Shocked! She decided never to take the concoction again.
That night, her father insisted like before that she took the drink. Cunningly, she managed to pour the content down the sink in the dining room, without her father’s knowledge who believed she drank it.
In the night, like before, her father appeared in her room stark naked, with penis fully erect and dangling. He was there to rape her…again. Surprised, she muffled scream, and a fierce struggle began.
As fate would have, she escaped her father’s clutches, and took refuge in a neighbour’s house till the next morning when a report was lodged with the Police.
At his arrest, the man confessed to ritual reasons for sleeping with his daughter repeated, stressing that the night the whole thing backfired was actually the last for the ritual to be completed. He added that for years, he had suffered poverty, and what he was doing was part of the prerequisite given by the native doctor to bring riches his way. This happened in Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The story of Caroline is one out of a million others happening in today’s Nigeria where fathers blatantly sleep with their daughters, and elders, as old as 50 years rape toddlers and infants, some times to death.
Again, 12-year-old girl, Miss Ijeoma Mbiaka, narrated how the pastor of her church, Rhema Ministries in Oyeagu Abagana in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, Rev Sampson Otisi, allegedly lured her to a hotel, under the guise of conducting deliverance on her but ended up raping her all through the night.
In the world of fiction, the rapists have always been known as that evil looking, nasty, scruffy looking fellow posing with a knife in the bushes, road side or even in the dark, in one’s bed room, commanding quietness else they would kill their victim, and of course taking off the victims clothes themselves.
However today, men do not rape young children with knives in their hands neither are they scruffy looking as the case maybe. Presently, even the men in suits and agbada rape young children with so many tactics they have improvised for themselves. A lot of them lay friendly relationships with the five to twelve year old child, offering them gifts like biscuits, sweets, ice creams and many more, luring them into their apartments while others do not even bother about laying a relationship with the child, they go ahead to send the child on an effortless errand, asking the child to come into the house to drop that which he has asked her to get for him.
Few other men make use of tactics like asking the child to come and play with them in their house, come and seat on my lap, let me take you out and many more.
During the week, recent rape cases were reported of a fifty year old man who mindlessly raped a less than one year old child, just learning to walk. The child reportedly died, and who wouldn’t.
Again, another father was arrested for raping her own daughter repeatedly for three years; the child is 15 now.
Many has wondered why a father would rape her own daughter or why a full grown adult will rape a toddler who hardly has any noticeable feminine features.
Hear Omoneni Josephine: “Most of these issues of rape have everything to do with supernatural tendencies. Some of these people are under supernatural influences directing their affairs. This things no be for clear eye. Some of them have been told that the action is a necessity for wealth acquisition, and they careless who is involve. If somebody can kill his own mother or child for money ritual, then sleeping with a daughter is child’s play. They see it as doing the child a favour since it is not killing her.”
But a health counselor has argued that raping a girl, especially your own daughter is equivalent to killing her since the very essence of her life has been tampered with, especially by somebody who has no reason to.
“The psychological effect is killing, and worst that actual murder,” she said.
But one cannot rule out parents’ culpability in most rape cases that befall their children. The question of where the parent of the child was, especially the mother, is pertinent when talking about rape cases involving toddlers, even teenagers.
So, how well a parent is able to maintain good communication with their children, as well as how well they advise them on a daily basis, not forgetting how well they try to know their children’s friends goes a long way to determine how well they could actually put an eye on them. These and so many other things have the parents failed to do on a regular basis, thereby creating room for the evils that befell the underage girls.
Many a times, people fail to realize that rape does not only occur at night or in the dark. Rape can occur anytime and anywhere. Records have it that rape occurs in churches, mosques, schools, offices, and even victims’ own residence and even in marriages. It is worthy of note that married men tend to rape their wives when they deny their husbands of sex.
One Me Ra Koh, shared the ugly incident of how her boyfriend raped her. She said: “Few weeks into my relationship with Jack, he started acting strange and always complained about every little thing I do. One evening, he called and invited me out for dinner—‘as friends’, he said. Our time in the restaurant was awful. He was loud and obnoxious to the waiters and to me. Suddenly, he asked to drive me back to my dorm after dinner, I didn’t object, I was more than ready for the evening to end. Unfortunately he didn’t intend to drive me home. He took me to a deserted parking lot and raped me.
“I remembered very few things about the actual rape—the car windshield covered with fog, the struggle, and the moment I felt too overpowered to resist any longer. In that instant I realized there was nothing I could do to stop what was happening. He was simply too strong.
When it was over, Jack took me back to my dorm, told me he would give me a call, and simply left. I was in shock. All I remembered about those following hours is standing in the shower with all my clothes on, sobbing uncontrollably, desperately wanting the water to wash away the evening’s events.”
The case of Me Ra Koh is far from the usual minor’s rape which pitches underaged girls against the adult predators.
Sometime, the Police in Kano announced that it had arrested a serving policeman, Cpl. Sani Salisu, for allegedly raping a minor, in a bid to ‘flush out the bad eggs from the force’.
“He was arrested for luring and taking advantage of a seven-year-old girl inside a kiosk located at Mangoron Mahauta Brigade Qtrs. Kano,” a Police statement read.
In another development, a teacher at a private school, Adeniran Adebayo, was accused for molesting a 10-year-old form four pupil inside the school toilet.
The victim and the suspect, according to a source, are pupil and teacher at a private school on Olateju Ilesanmi Street, Baruwa, Ipaja, area of Lagos.
Again, a 28-year-old man, Modiu Diallo, was arraigned in a Surulere Magistrates’ Court, Lagos for allegedly raping a 7-year-old girl in a mosque. The accused, who it was revealed, had no fixed address, is facing a three-count charge of rape.
Speaking to TheBoss, a Psychologist, Daniel Dada, said that “the perpetrator of the rape crime could be called a pedophile that is they have the certain desire to prey on the weak, especially very underaged persons.”
He added that there is no excuse for rape neither should there be an excuse based on how the child is dressed to warrant a full grown man to rape a seven year old girl or anybody, citing an example of a thief stealing from a store because the goods in the store are attractive.
Joseph Elezuo, a pastor with Savior’s Chapel, Enugu in an interview with the Boss quoted James 1 vs 13 and 14, saying “Let no man say when he is tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempted he any man but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed.”
He pointed out that the perpetrator of the crime let himself to be drawn away by lust from what he must have seen from the child’s innocence.
If female children above age eighteen are been raped giving the excuse that they are well developed and matured enough to mind the places they go into, what then should be the excuse of raping a child ranging from age five to sixteen when their body is not fully developed or matured? Pastor Joseph Elezuo however, said “These men are not normal for they only let themselves to be drawn away by lust.”
A cross section of those who spoke to TheBoss agreed that the National Assembly in conjunction with state assemblies should put on their thinking caps and do something because no one knows who the next victim will be. This is not forgetting that there are millions of rape victims who are dying in silence.
Time to act is now!