Friday, 8 November 2013

RAPE CONVICTS DESERVE DEATH PENALTY - Joshua Oyeniyi (Published by THE NATION and DAILY INDEPENDENT Newspapers on 6th November, 2013)


I had just alighted from the bus, on a return from a trip, and proceeded to the vendor stand to get a copy of my favourite national daily. I flipped through the first four pages, in an apparent rush to catch the interesting headlines before settling down for proper reading, and staring me in the face were stories that sank my spirit into deep sullenness. Sitting on the third and four pages were horrible, appalling accounts of acts of rape in different dimensions, with one causing the premature death of its nine year old victim, a primary three pupil. A few weeks before this, I had also read of varying reports of the incidences of rape and in a bid to have a break from these distressing news, I logged on to the internet for some ‘better’ news. But no sooner had I started surfing the internet than I saw a video of another rape case. In this video, the young woman was tied by the hands, stuffed in the mouth with a napkin, apparently to stop her from shouting for help, raped and then buried alive. This happened on Bonny Island, Rivers State, Nigeria. The military, however, got wind of the nefarious act, apprehended the perpetrators and forced them to exhume the corpse before the lens of video cameras. It was no less a morbid scene!
Fast forward to the day I bought this newspaper. The story was told of a 14 year old boy, Onyi Adimabua, who allegedly raped a nine year old pupil. Worse still, he committed the act five times with the threat to kill her if she opened up to anybody. However, the poor victim started complaining of pains below her abdomen and when questioned, she exposed to her parents how she had been defiled by her proprietor’s son. Sadly enough, the primary three student died of complications arising from vaginal injuries and forced sexual intercourse. I almost sobbed! Still seething with anger from the story, I proceeded to the opposite page to see yet another rape story. In this case, a vigilance group chief, Liasu Oyedele, had accosted a female student of the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta, and forcefully had carnal knowledge of her. Even after discovering that the victim was menstruating, Oyedele continued, allegedly for close to two hours, before passers-by came to the rescue of the already exhausted lady.
Rape isn’t just an offence; it is a crime against humanity with sore consequences on its unfortunate victims. It derobes its victims of their human dignity, body sanctity and innocence with its transcendent consequences of exposure to self-absorption, acute depression, resort to prostitution and or outright death. As much as no reason is justifiable for rape crimes, the underlying causes must be pin-pointed. In the case of 14 years Onyi, he had confessed to being obsessed with pornographic films. It is no longer seen as a misnomer when these sellers of movie CDs and DVDs openly display adult movies to the eagle sharp eyes of children and minors. Our house is on fire and we sleep, seemingly unperturbed. A large number of movies churned out by Nollywood shamelessly glamorise sex scenes and our unwary wards get ‘hypnotized’ and excited to try out ‘evil stunts’ by carrying out forced sex on the little girl next door.
Our society is no more a safe haven for our women and female children. Demons, in human flesh, now prowl our streets, abducting women and ripping them of their self-pride. Moreover, the ever-increasing hustle and bustle of city life have made our parents to shift the care of their female wards to ‘caretakers’, ‘tenants’ and ‘big brothers/uncles’. Resultantly, these undisciplined men take advantage of the female kids. For the umpteenth time, I ask that we cease attributing the rise in acts of sexual acts and rape to poor fashion culture of our female folks. It is a lame excuse! As much as I concur that our women ‘show too much flesh’ in the name of fashion, an evil in itself, it will take a demented man to let loose his libidinous urges because of a woman’s sense of dress. This craziness has to stop and this evil monster, tagged rape, quickly brought to a halt.
I propose a capital punishment for convicts of rape crime as it would serve as deterrent to those contemplating it. This, I believe, will help, in no small way, to drastically reduce the high incidences of rape of different dimensions – and no more will the act be seen as a cheap means of sexual gratification while desecrating the bodies of its victims. It is high time the legislative arm of government enact a capital punishment against rape as quickly as they want their bogus salaries paid. Otherwise, apart from losing our sisters and female friends to harsh deaths, decent men, like me, may never get a virgin for wife.
Parents must regularly check up on their female wards. Mothers must take out time to be alone with them and know what transpired during their day at school. It is, however, sad to note that even fathers now lead the pack of rapists, with some producing children through their daughters – an abomination indeed! Our mothers should be most concerned and discerning.

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