By Safiyanu Ladan
The rape and subsequent murder of two female university students in 2020, one in Benin inside the church, and the other in Ogun at her father’s house, has generated tension and condemnation from Nigerians. Even President Muhammadu Buhari followed the story, condemned the brutal acts, and commiserated with the victims’ families.
In addition, the Inspector General of Police directed an investigation into the matter through the AIG in charge of the zone. He gave him a clear mandate of apprehending and prosecuting the culprits. It was later reported that the police made some arrests related to the incidents.
Given the current happenings and the rate at which such cases are being reported almost daily in our society and the lack of provision of a coherent and vibrant system that will deal ruthlessly with perpetrators to serve as a deterrent to others has aided its escalation. In a nutshell, it seems blatant criminal acts such as this have come to stay with us due to fragile security conditions.
The unprecedented rate of sexual molestation among males and females of low and high profiles, always targeting vulnerable children, is alarming. Unfortunately, the situation in Nigeria has been more problematic because numerous cases of incest have been reported recently. The majority of the victims are minors, mainly between a few months and 12 years old.
Recently, Kaduna State High Court sitting at Dogorawa Sabon Gari, Zaria, has convicted one Usman Shehu Bashir of Dogarawa area to death by hanging for raping two years, nine-months-old girl to death. Moreover, In Jigawa, 15 people have been arrested by the police for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl for months.
Several cases of a father raping his daughter, uncle raping his niece, aunt raping her nephew, cousin raping his cousin and so on have been underreported out of the fear of stigma. However, the present reality is that children, most especially girls, are no longer safe around male folks no matter the relationship. The earlier we know this, the better.
It is time for parents/guardians to be more vigilant and watchful over their wards. However, if the father cannot be trusted, I don’t think anybody is left.
Safiyanu Ladan wrote from Zaria via email@example.com.