By Uche Onwuchekwa
Following the outrage that trailed the weighty allegation of rape levelled against the Senior Pastor and Founder of Common Wealth of Zion (COZA), Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo by Busola Dakolo, I had resolve not to join in the vexatious issue because it was almost an over kill.
I say this because we have had cases of rape worse than this before now. Could it be that Nigerians are just waking up to the realities of this strange tradition of violence against humanity? I say humanity because in the present day society, men are also victims of rape.
Just few days back, it was reported that an Indonesian zoo keeper severally raped Orang-utan and ended up impregnating the primate. In the Nigerian cyber space, what has been flying here and there are sexual assaults against even the cows, donkeys and all that. No one is safe, including the state and the collective will of the people
Agreeing to wear the toga of a religious bigot, my Bible says that God created man in his own image and God felt that man should not be alone, thereby eliciting need for a helpmate. Then he caused him to sleep and from one of his ribs he made woman. The All-knowing God knew that man would surely seek to assuage sexual desires someday. Why did God not allow man to satisfy sexual urges with the animals he kept under his care. Bestiality is creeping into our socio-economic lives. Again, why did God not allow man to exist only for himself and reproduce himself. I have often heard some fools argue that it is a natural occurrence to have homosexuals amid us. It is nothing but a creation of evil minds who have become defeatists and in their bid to find an excuse they seek to make up with the dirty habit. I wonder why God did not create a fellow man for man.
Today, we have continued to descend even lower than lower animals. Dogs understand that it is inappropriate to have sex with its puppies. The same thing applicable to other animals. In the pride of the lions, it is unpardonable for the younger lion to seek to have affair with the mother. The herd of the pride will ensure that a commensurate punishment is meted out to him if not death.
Interestingly, it has become doubtful if the same human who has been adjudged the most intelligent still remains so in its relationship with fellow human. We hear all manner of appalling and irritating stories of how grown up men of 40, 50 and even 70 years and above defy 9 year-olds and what have you. The casualties of rape are uncountable. From children to adult and from adult ladies to adult men and worse still, cows, goats, dogs and even fowls are not free.
Interestingly, we have had such religious rape bazar thrive over time not just in Nigeria but all over the world. It is possible we may not have struck the right cord to reduce the menace. In Christian denominations, some of the self-acclaimed clerics called by one god or the other have all been found to be jokes. The rape blues in some religious establishment is only pronounced because of its liberal orientation. What of other religious sects where victims are instilled with fear of being harmed by voodoo or a charm. They are cowed to live as mere sex slaves. Some other doctrines like in Islam would rather not have women make public appearance let alone speaking about their experiences. Many of such casualties have died and buried with the trauma and pains of the illicit violations. This form sexual assault is nothing but slavery by dogma. I also know of some sect where a man who only makes wishes of marrying a woman is given a blank cheque to have the carnal knowledge of their sex preys as much as they can. Most often such women are left to nurse their trauma after the obvious would have happened. Such sexual violence happens every minute that passes by, every day and at every moment.
I had an opportunity of interviewing a certain lady (name withheld) who revealed a very painful experience she had with her Father’s best friend. The two families were so close that a stranger would hardly know that the two families are not related in any way. To cut the story short, that family friend who happened to be a Medical Doctor drugged that little girl who was much younger than his own daughter and had a carnal knowledge of her. One can infer that some medical Doctors may have been sexually assaulting their patients in the guise of administering tranquilizer to reduce pains during treatment. Where else shall we run to? Rape has no bounds; the perpetrators are not limited to the street urchins or hoodlums and drug addicts; we have these rapists as professionals, clerics of diverse religious backgrounds, opinion moulders, security agents, including the anti-rape crusaders.
Having raised concerns over the vanity of trusting anyone at all, it now behoves parents and every potential prey to conduct and school himself in such a manner she would not easily fall into the predators’ snare. Do you love to drink yourself to stupor? Do you usually entrust the safety of your kids to the comfort of the homes of your acquaintances or friends? No one is born with a facial mark of a rapist. Everyone is a suspect. Not even those foolish uncles can be trusted.
Parents must guard their loins and ensure that they do not only adopt a routine check of their kids’ behaviours and begin to tutor them how to conduct themselves in a such a manner that should not give themselves away as vulnerable preys to these deviants. They must ensure that the children are not confined to too secluded a place where such nefarious crime may be comfortably committed. Trust no one however close and how they may pretend to care for your family.
While the public outcry over the reported case of rape by a man on the pulpit many years ago is commendable, it is more encouraging that Nigerians have sustained the condemnation of the acts. It is also noteworthy to mention that mere loud noise with lots of media spices does not make the suspect guilty. Far from that! Even if we conduct a DNA or any molecular tests, I doubt if there will be such traces. I therefore presume that what would have caused the lady as old into making her allegation at the moment is more than meet the eye.
Interestingly, the worst rape cases where prima facie have been established have always ended in puzzle without the perpetrators getting punished. We have all been raped. Our freedom and rights have been raped. What could be worse than a justice system that does not give assurances of getting justice? What crime could be worse than stealing people’s patrimony and yet some conscienceless souls applaud? If all laws have been considered dead by corrupt judges, then, the rape is already committed. When you turn a blind eye to evil, you are encouraging rape and your silence makes you an accomplice. When you steal from pension of those who have served the state meritoriously, you have callously assaulted them because you have stripped them bare and naked, making them vulnerable to all manner of dangers. Their young children become vulnerable to all manner of violations. Have we wondered how once vibrant and outspoken persons for an undisclosed reason turn deaf and dumb? This is so because the basic requirement needed for self-reproduction is amiss when the wicked tyrant would have selfishly appropriated these resources to himself and family.
Statistically, in 2017, a non-governmental organisation, ‘Women At Risk International Foundation (WARIF)’, condemned the high incidence of sexual assault, rape and human trafficking amongst young girls and women across Nigeria, disclosing that the country records 10,000 of the menace daily. It went ahead to reveal that 1 out of every 4 girls below 18 years has gone through one sexual assault or the other. Worse still are violations against over 70% of about 200 million Nigerians who are violated each day that passes by
Pray, Imo example remains one of the bad references where allegations of beastly rape against the state and the people are incredibly monumental. Individual and governments land were said to have been dubiously converted with government fiat. Pensions were allegedly squandered by the head of the government in collusion with other government agents. Rather than use their expertise to advice and better the lots of the people, they employ the know-how to rape the state. We have a situation where people’s salaries were unjustly reduced in the guise of development while it was a mere deceit. We have unfortunately heard an allegation of unexplained withdrawal of over N37 billion from Owerri Capital Development Authority (OCDA) accounts with the help of some legislators in the 8th Imo Assembly, fund stacked for the purposes of managing emergency situations in the State. That is rape. A situation where the citizens are put in a very dangerous situation, more frightening is where the supposed back up fund to manage such emergences has been balkanised and fleeced with no reason as to what it was used for.
With momentous irritating revelations of high level sleaze that took place in the immediate past administration of Chief Ethelbert Okorocha, which I served under, I am of the view that proper and meticulous investigations be carried out to shame the devil. Those who were unjustly treated and punished for refusing to thread on the path of impunity must be rewarded. It was under such draconian rule that people were hounded and humiliated with the use of urchins and hardened criminals. The most humiliating aspect of that regime was the waste of human resources. The civil service was relegated to background as the technocrat were confined to temporary retirement. One can imagine the trauma experience of the victims of the present day tyrant in a democracy. These are acts of violations. The young ones are bound to lose their security and their sanity as their assailants become emboldened to savage on them. And this the highest level of rape.
We are all casualties of rape and violations. When we are not directly affected, our relations may be affected; how about other violations by some mistaken leaders who by chance occupied political office only to deal ruthlessly to the people. They leave a bleak future for the populace by committing socio-economic rape against the rest of us, then frustrations, disenchantment beget deviants of all kinds. Those who manage to succeed become leaders who lack integrity and of course, morality would have been adulterated.
Uche Onwuchekwa, Media & Public Relations Consultant writes from Owerri, Imo State and can be reached via an e-mail address: email@example.com