Rape: We Are Tired!

The sudden surge in rape and violence against women in Nigeria has become alarming and is now drawing wider condemnation.


The Presidency and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum have separately and publicly issued statements of late expressing their disgust and deep concern at the rising cases.


Last week, President Muhammadu Buhari said he was particularly upset at the recent incidents of rape while the 36 state governors have called for a national emergency to be declared on rape and associated crimes.


Before now and in the past, rape was treated as an isolated issue. But recent events have brought it to the front burner. In years past a casual attention was given to the cases of rape and violence against women. They were mostly only being championed by suffragists and rights activists.


However, Nigerians’ lukewarm perception about the matter has changed of recent following the gruesome rape and killing of two women in Edo and Kaduna states.


What happened to the University of Benin undergraduate, Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, who was gang-raped and killed in a church premises in Benin City where she had gone to read in the evening brought matters to a head as Nigerians rose in one voice to say ‘we are tired’ and cannot take it anymore.


Also on the heels of raping Omosuwa came similar incidents in Kaduna and Benue which galvanized Nigerians to beam their searchlight on the issue. It has been a rude awakening to an issue that has finally festered to a national shame.


They have now come to the bitter realisation that rape is becoming endemic in the Nigerian society.
This year alone, the police disclosed that they recorded 717 rape cases in the first five months which means an incidence of rape occurs every five hours. Already, 799 suspects have been arrested and 631 cases pending in court according to the police.


With the revelation of how rampant the issue has become in the country, Nigerians can no longer pay cursory and casual attention to it anymore.


Nigeria as a nation seemed too slow to have come to terms with the reality of rape. But we have to thank the activists who tirelessly tried all along to bring it to national consciousness.


It is noteworthy to mention that few prominent women such as the wife of the Akwa Ibom governor, Dr Martha Udom Emmanuel, have been in the forefront of campaign against rape. She saw the problem ahead of many and has been passionate in trying to create national awareness on it.


Although the Nigerian society seems to have been in self-denial of the growing existence of rape and allied crimes, the Akwa Ibom First Lady was persistent and consistent in her campaign which she takes to all nooks and crannies of the state.


Today, she stands fully justified that she has all along tried courageously to muster our energies in nibbling the menace in the bud.


Psychologists, sociologists and all social scientists should get down to unraveling why rape, which is an anathema to the Nigerian culture and way of life, has suddenly assumed such a frightening and growing dimension today.


It is beyond our comprehension to see the escalating cases of parents defiling their own very daughters and why such depravity is increasing by the day. Social scientists will do the nation a world of good if they come up with answers to this abominable traits appearing among Nigerian men which was never a way of life in this part of the world.


A lot of questions are begging for answers. Could it be that the current economic hardship is causing some men to become demented? There is therefore the need to get to the root causes of this shameful matter that is turning Nigerian men into rapists.


We are tired of such incidents happening in Nigeria.

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