The menace called rape

Nigeria is fast degenerating into the state where life is short, brutish and nasty, given the alarming rise in the cases of rape, with most culminating in the callous murder of the victims. It appears as if rapists are in a rat race in recent times across the country.

Nowhere is safe from their dastardly attack: the church, the mosque, the street, and even homes. They strike and zoom away, leaving their victims hapless, and sometimes lifeless. By the same token, they shatter hopes, truncate dreams and throw people into a life-long anguish, sorrow and psychological trauma.

Though rape is not new in Nigeria, the wave of its occurrence is assuming a disturbing dimension. A female colleague of mine once asked if it was a crime to be a female. More worrisome is that these incidents are happening in the face of the outbreak of the coronavirus which the world is yet to get a solution for. No reflections, no thoughts!  We are yet to recover from the shock of Uwa’s rape and eventual death in Benin, when some men of the underworld pounced on Barakat, also s student in the South West.

We must go beyond the social media frenzy, face the reality and hold the bull by the horns to stop this disturbing menace. Some have been calling for a review of the law prescribing the penalty for rape. For me, that may not be the big issue. The big issue is in the implementation.

Many perpetrators go scot free on the basis of legal technicalities, unprofessionalism on the part of the police and a defective prison system. They return to the society to continue their untoward acts. It is not the law that is problematic, but the criminal justice system that involves the police, court and correction facilities.

The police are not often thorough and diligent with their investigations. In fact, some of them connive in absolving the offenders for pittance. If cases on rape are not knocked out on legal technicalities, they are made to endure to the point where the victim loses hope. Our correctional system is also very shambolic. There is no way an offender can become reformed in such an arrangement. So, where is the deterrence?

We should not also forget the negative culture in art, music, philosophy that we have embraced. All manner of obscene music, movies and works of art abound in our society. This is obviously one of the results. There is failure in parenting. Education is a ruse. Nudity has become normalised, and pornography a pastime for many.


Abdullah Abdulganiy, Sokoto





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