The day had ended as usual for this beautiful and richly endowed middle level female banker who resides in the fast developing Lekki axis of
As she waited apprehensively for a taxi and with the rain threatening, she quickly hailed an unmarked cab popularly called ‘kabukabu’ by Lagosians and soon after, her ordeal began. As the car headed towards the Lekki-Ajah Expressway, the driver waited to pick another male passenger and so the journey that marked a turning point in her life was about unfold. In ten minutes, the unmarked cab had reached the Ajah bus top and the lady banker announced her intention to alight from the cab but instead of the driver to ease up on the accelerator her pressed down hard at it and soon they were headed to the Epe end of the Expressway. The loud protestations of the lady was drowned in the continuous droning of the rain and with the windows wound up, her hope of being heard and saved by passers-by became dimmed. Soon the car veered of into a dirt path off the Expressway. As the cab grounded to halt, she was quickly bounded into a makeshift wooden shack where she was severely ganged raped by a group of men two of them already lying in waiting in their hideout. She was forced against her will to spend the entire night with them while they took turns to have her and only dropped her off the Expressway the next morning. How sad!
But this is no fiction. Everyday we are inundated with bizarre tales of the absurd from newspaper reports of the abuse of women in our society. Even though we are not in a state of war, Nigerian women, girls and babies are daily subjected to one form of bestiality or the other by deranged and psychopathic men who do not have a place in a civilized world. Worst still, the Nigerian society through the inactiveness of the justice system seems to be in support of this crudeness against our future mothers. As long as our justice system fails to bring to book perpetuators of this evil acts against the women folk for as much will they continue to get away with their evil deeds.
What sort of society will tolerate this level of injustice against women? There will always will be criminals in any society no matter how advanced. But what distinguishes a country with a functioning law and other against the
In one of the incident reported recently in a national daily and to be honest I have lost count of reports of fifty ‘something’ years old men defiling three months old babies. In this particular report, a five year old girl was defiled by a fifty six year old man somewhere in Niger State haven cajoled the unfortunate girl with a biscuit! In
On a daily basis we are confronted with gory details of rape, criminal defilement and cases of deranged husbands either beheading their wives or slashing their wives’ throat. For what offence will a wife commit to warrant being sent to the great beyond? Some of the offences range from the bizarre to absurd. You will be surprised to hear of cases of unsubstantiated adultery, failure to serve food on time and the mundane. What is our society turning into? Why can’t we protect our babies, daughters, nieces, sisters, aunts and our future mothers?
The numbers of cases of crimes against women are daily increasing. It will be hard to pick a newspaper these days without a case of rape and forceful sexual engagement with a girl or a woman. Why are we keeping quite? The sad irony is that it can happen to anybody. It is not a class thing any more and it depends on luck and illuck. If a woman, no matter her class, is unfortunate to be caught in the wrong side of town or situation, only God can save her.
During the height of the political crises than rocked
What is our society turning into? Raping of women has become the order of the day. It is now fashionable for bands of men to walk or drive round this city looking for women to rape. It has become a vocation and soon turning into a full time profession. You bet no one is safe from their clutches. Our society through our law enforcement agent must set up the mechanism for nipping these ugly incidents in the bud.
This piece cannot detail some of the worst crimes being committed against women in our society for these have been duly recorded and are being reported by newspapers, television and radios. Sometime ago, a man coming home and meeting no food on his table was reported to have beaten her wife into a state of coma! My God! She later lost her life in a private hospital. How can a man be so wicked to kill a human being how much less his own blood? Is your wife not your own blood and your better half? Are these men mad? Fathers should watch the kind of men they give their daughters hand in marriage. Proper investigation should be conducted before you allow your daughter to marry. Fathers should check if would-be suitors have a history of mental or psychiatric problems in their family. Because how would you explain a situation in which a man would beat his wife to death because his food was not ready on time? In the report, neighbours attested to the virtuousness of the woman in question and that the man ignored the pleading of his wife that she was held up in traffic to which her daughter corroborated. The incidence of wife battering has been with us and is on the increase. Wife battering cuts across social divides-from the captains of industry, top level managers and the lowly labourers; it is one of the many crimes against the women folks.
But we as a people must at once begin to find an enduring solution to this malaise that is threatening the future of our nation. Our women and mothers represent this future. A society that cannot protect her women is a dangerous one. A society where women and girls cannot move freely without being stalked by serial rapists disguised as area boys, and street urchins is indeed an unsafe society. A society where law enforcement agent cannot protect women, what kind of society is that? We are not in a state of war. Or are we in state of war? The cases of criminal crimes against our women are on the increase and this is indeed sad.
I propose a revisiting of the existing laws on rape, criminal defilement of minors, women battering and worst of all the domestic killing of women and daughters. We cannot continue like this? The lives of our future mothers are at risk. On daily basis when they are defiled or raped, the risk of being infected with the deadly HIV/AIDS and STDs is real. And as a matter of fact, these women victim do get infected by their rapists. How about the physical trauma that haunts the victim for the rest of her life? Women and young girls gets defiled and raped by their biological fathers, uncles and drivers. They in turn get disillusioned and hate the society in which they live. They are scarred for life.
The greatest hindrance to prosecution of offenders is that victims do not often come up to report the incidence of rape. Many women are too ashamed to do so for fear being stigmatized. So the criminal walks away freely and goes to commit more heinous crimes. Women groups should double their effort by using advocacy and creating awareness to drum up support for the prevention of this crime against humanity. Our law enforcement agencies should bring all cases of rape to prosecution and the existing laws should be revisited to punish offenders with maximum sentence. The full weight of the law should be brought to bear on all offenders.
We must all speak up against the crime of rape and defilement. Keeping silent is dangerous because it can happen to anybody. Next time, it may be your sister, niece, daughter or mother that may be an unlucky victim. For this writer, the violence that heralded the April elections was a harrowing one. For the whole months that the violence lasted, I had had to keep a daily vigil at the Ajah bustop in Lekki area of Lagos to welcome my wife home from work everyday to prevent anything untoward from happening to her from the rapists hiding under the guise of street urchins and area boys that wrecked havoc on women and property in the area. For some women, their stories remain their best kept secrets.