By Samuel Oluwole Ogundele
Rape is a barbaric/stone age behavioural trait that continues to rule our current world, regardless of the quite a few refined technological achievements of recent humanity. It’s a menace that’s neither Jap nor Western when it comes to ontology amongst different issues. This age-old downside, have to be confronted with appreciable energies to be able to engender wholesome humanity in any respect prices. Rape is a brutal, ugly type of violation of the elemental human rights of individuals particularly the feminine gender. This can be vaginal, oral or anal penetration or a mixture of all of them, involving the usage of bodily pressure or different illegal strategies. Subsequently, rape is a devastating blow to the sufferer who typically turns into suicidal from despair.
South Africa with about 500,000 rape circumstances yearly, has the best price on this planet. This quantities to roughly 132.four incidents per 100,000 individuals. United Kingdom has a mean of 85,000 rape circumstances per 12 months. In 2016, Lagos State had about 589 reported circumstances of rape and little one abuse. In 2014, the United Nations Youngsters Schooling Fund (UNICEF) reported that about 120 million females (principally younger ladies) have been raped throughout the globe. This determine was simply the minimal, understandably as a result of most circumstances have been by no means reported even within the developed nations like America and UK. Nonetheless, the scenario is far worse in Nigeria, the place rape is mostly thought-about to be a taboo. Rape victims are additionally usually blamed for indecent modes of dressing, preserving late nights or consumption of extra alcohol. Such a situation additional devalues the sufferer. That is double tragedy!
Even these victims who’re brave sufficient to report have a variety of challenges to grapple with. Thus, for instance, in contrast to within the US the place there are a number of Rape Disaster Centres and improved Legal Justice System to guard or defend the rights of victims, Nigeria has very restricted amenities and/or constructions to confront rape. Many of the hospitals within the nation (Nigeria) don’t have any rape kits that might support victims throughout investigation and prosecution processes. Certainly, till not too long ago, the part of the nation’s structure coping with rape circumstances was situated within the felony code. Consequently, circumstances needed to be tried inside two months. Instances not concluded inside this quick interval have been thought-about ineligible for additional listening to. By this token, rapists usually went away unpunished. Right this moment, the scenario has improved though, Nigeria continues to be mild years away. The FCT Abuja operates below the Violence Towards Individuals Prohibition Act. This embraces gender neutrality. That’s to say, that rape will not be gender-bound. For instance, Wanda Ebe, a 36-year outdated woman advised some BBC reporters a while in the past, that she was sexually abused on the age of six years by her nanny. The nanny pressured her to repeatedly carry out oral intercourse on her. Wanda was additionally raped by a medical physician when she was 21 years of age.
Fairly frankly, the Nigerian authorities has not been doing sufficient to carefully monitor the actions of our regulation enforcement brokers. In line with experiences from Amnesty Worldwide, a variety of cops use their privileged positions to scuttle justice. These officers normally take rape victims to non-public hospitals for checks at enormous prices to be paid by the latter. Authorities hospitals needs to be doing that. Police extortion coupled with a gross lack of belief within the judicial system are among the explanation why rape circumstances are astronomically excessive. A rapist who’s influential or associated to some influential individuals could by no means be delivered to justice in Nigeria. It’s thumbs up for a few of Civil Society Teams who are actually talking for the unvoiced. The shoddy dealing with of rape circumstances in Nigeria, is at variance with what obtains within the developed world. In Nigeria, the regulation is a respecter of individuals and this makes a monumental mockery of the rules of pure justice. Not unexpectedly, rape circumstances are actually reaching epidemic proportions. The minors and septuagenarians should not spared. Evidently demons from throughout West Africa have relocated to Nigeria whereas our ‘great’ leaders look the opposite method. Our time-honoured values are disappearing at an alarming price.
Current circumstances of rape embrace that of a 22-year outdated Uwavera Omozuwa. Uwavera was raped and murdered by a gang of criminals inside the premises of the church she used to attend. In line with newspaper experiences, Uwa, an undergraduate was there to review earlier than she was wasted by these rapists. A suspect was stated to have been arrested. However are we certain that each investigations and prosecution can be thorough and truthful? Everyone knows that in as we speak’s Nigeria, three individuals may be standing up in twos. What a rustic! In Jigawa State, a minor (12-year outdated woman) was raped about two months or thereabouts in the past. Abdullateef allegedly raped a 10-year outdated woman in Okinni, Osun State on Might 28. Barakat Bello was allegedly gang-raped and murdered not too long ago in Ibadan, Oyo State. The identical factor applies to Ekiti State, the place a 17-year outdated woman was raped not too long ago. Certainly, on June 9, a tailor known as Taiwo Odetunde in Ado-Ekiti allegedly raped two under-aged ladies in his home. Additionally in Might, one Musa Anifowose allegedly defiled an eight-year outdated woman in Ijebu- Ode. Police detectives are nonetheless investigating an alleged rape case involving Dapo Oyebanjo (a musician), popularly often called D’banj and a younger lady, Seyitan Babatayo in Lagos. Investigations began in 2018. The listing is getting longer day by day. Once more, some fathers are actually raping or defiling their daughters. For instance, a 43-year outdated father, Ikechukwu Ekenta was arrested a couple of weeks in the past for allegedly defiling his four-year outdated daughter in Onitsha. Devil is at all times accountable. Though a couple of Nigerians see the scenario as a ritualistic act, this, in my very own opinion, could also be a manifestation of psychological and psychiatric issues. Sadly, our political class lacks the desire energy to deal with the difficulty with all of the seriousness it deserves.
There’s want for the federal government to declare a state of emergency following this upsurge of rape circumstances. Management embedded within the reciprocal centrality/significance of “otherness”, is the defining commonality of all civilised societies. Sadly, this excessive stage of patriotism and integrity wanted to drive justice, peace and progress are nearly fully absent in as we speak’s Nigeria. Rape Disaster Centres need to be established in several components of the nation. Related governmental companies need to craft acceptable fashions and methods to fight the menace of rape in Nigeria. On this respect, public enlightenment campaigns are sacrosanct. Victims of rape want ethical and/or monetary help, in order that they will get out of the trauma. Easy strategies of self-defence are additionally good for Nigerians particularly the females. The Nigerian judicial system and police authorities have to work more durable to enhance upon their picture. The judiciary is the bedrock of sturdy democracy. Consequently, it’s most fascinating for its members to take a brave first step in a brand new course of integrity, honour and fact. Nigerians are interesting to them to work for values that final perpetually as a substitute of becoming a member of the gluttonous political class to rock the boat.
- Prof Ogundele writes from Dept. of Archaeology and Anthropology, College of Ibadan.