By Annabelle Atangakak
In the world of fiction, rapists are said to be evil, nasty, scruffy looking fellows 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 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, mufflers 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 leg, let me take you out and many more.
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. Again, parents are expected to invite their children’s friends over or even try to find out where and with who their children are going out with. 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 and continually occur anytime and anywhere. Records have it that rape occurs in churches, mosques, schools, offices, 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.
According to www.Christianitytoday, one rape victim, 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 their adult predators.
In May, the Police in Kano announced that it had arrested a serving policeman, Cpl. Sani Salisu, for allegedly raping a minor.
The statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, ASP Magaji Majiya, said, “The command wishes to inform the public that, in its effort to flush out the bad eggs from the force, it has arrested a serving member of the force, Cpl. Sani Salisu.
“He was arrested for luring and taking advantage of a seven-year-old girl inside a kiosk located at Mangoron Mahauta Brigade Qtrs. Kano.”
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.
Recently, 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.
The prosecuting officer, Sgt. Anthonia Osayande, told the court that the accused committed the offence at about 6:00am, on July 13, at Iponri Central Mosque, Surulere, Lagos.
“It is a shameful act, and that should not be condoled,” she said.
The offence contravened Sections 135 (2) and 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
When the charges were read to him, the accused pleaded not guilty.
The Magistrate, Mrs. Ekpaye Nwachukwu, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N500, 000, with one surety in like sum and adjourned the case till Sept. 20 for mention.
However, in an interview with a psychologist, Daniel Dada, he said that “the perpetrator of the crime could be called a pedophile that is they have the certain desire to prey on the weak, especially theunderage 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 added 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 sociologist, Michael Owolana, who runs a co-education institution at the Agbara area of Lagos believes that anyone who gets himself into the crime of rape should be condemned, adding that the act on itself is malicious.
“Rape is condemnable and malicious irrespective of the age but being the fact that a full grown man raped an underage, it is highly condemnable,” he said.
He stressed that the perpetrator of the crime should be made to face the full wrath of the law.
The thought that comes to mind when the word “Rape” is heard of, is the thought of a full grown man having forceful sexual intercourse with an adult like himself but in the case of an adult having forceful sexual intercourse with an underaged is absurd. It is hard to imagine what the rapist tends to enjoy about an underaged whose sexual potentials are far from developing.
Owolana said: “The man could be under the influence of alcohol, frustration or it may even be that raping underage children is the man’s nature, and in few cases, it could be the man is going through certain difficulties which however, should not be a reason for a man to rape an underage girl.”
There are so many other ways to satisfy ones sexual urge but doing it forcefully to and underage child that does not even have the ability of making choices for herself is highly condemnable.
Another report has it that the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps in Borno arrested a 40-year-old man for allegedly raping an Internally Displaced Person. The NSCDC Commandant in the state, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, told the News Agency of Nigeria in Maiduguri that the 13-year-old victim from Chibok, was staying with her aunt at the Colori Camp, when the suspect lured the victim with some money and took her to a house in Colori ward behind the NNPC quarters, where he raped her.
The NSCDC commandant however, condemned the increasing rate of domestic abuses, ranging from defilement to rape in the state, appealing to all good citizens of Borno State to always report any suspicious activities that can cause havoc in the society.
Respondents to the Boss enquiries unanimously agreed that the immense love for money also is one of the ways children are lured by their would-be assailants. Consequently, parents should teach their children to be satisfied with what they have as these sexual predators usually take advantage of the poor living condition of their victims to abuse them.
The appalling and disheartening nature of how girls, especially the underage are defiled by sexual attackers in the society has become so pungent. Basically, underage rape is at a high level, majorly being the fault of parents because they do not keep an eye on their children. While blaming the action on economy, Pastor Joseph said:
“Agreed, the economy is bad, and one has to struggle to keep the family satisfied and comfortable. On the other hand, children’s growth is also of utmost importance, therefore parents are obliged to monitor their children no matter the age range in other to reduce rape in the country for a start.”
However, Mr. Dada while making a case for the underage girl, noted that the underage girl should not be blamed for being a victim of rape but the parents and the rapist. He reasoned that the parents failed to keep an eye on the children. He added that the perpetrator should not just be blamed, but be made to face the full wrath of the law for taking advantage of the underage’s innocence.
Studies have revealed that the underage suffers emotionally, physically and physiologically after being defiled, and the stigma forever remain with the child, making her scared and despise men in general.
The act of rape could be curtailed if the offenders are made to bear heavily the burden of their crimes. This burden, Mr. Dada added include total quarantine. Some traditions also recommend severance of the genitals of the perpetrator to keep him totally away from committing further atrocity.
But for Pastor Joseph, perpetrators should have the good news preached to them and follow them up gradually until genuine repentance will come.
Being a national issue, the government should give underage rape utmost attention; stakeholders should as well address this issue by educating these children on daily basis in other to reduce the stigma the child would grow with. The government at all levels should help to secure the future of Nigerian girls and to help protect their integrity, and parents should as well endeavour not to expose their teenage daughters to predators.