Law is a necessary guidance to ward off the menacing infliction of rape in human society. Especially, in our nation at this time when the syndrome is gaining unwholesome spread like another epidemic.
Femi Akintunde Johnson, an erudite writer and scholar in its recent publication in Thisday newspaper of Saturday, 6th June 2020 was right in his warning signal on rape “…as the next epidemic.” His in-depth analysis of the rising abuse sweeping across the country absolutely opens the path to re-examine the evil clearly in an error-proof manner to resolve the ever becoming attitude that is fast unbecoming.
The National Assembly’s conscience was drawn recently to the untold consequences that a dastardly act like rape imposed on the nation, society and the family front when some marauders bereft of any iota of godliness trespassed into a sanctuary, named The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Edo State and raped to death, a promising young lady studying in the University of Benin. The departed soul cuts short in her prime is the late Uwaila Omozuwa. Her typical case from reported incidence within two weeks grown national with serial cases of gang rape and untimely deaths of more victims. This attrocity has deprived the nation and many pitiable families of their future pride, now resting in their early graves. May God rest their souls continually in peace, amen.
For how long would the country continue to mourn from this saddening news? The nation now stands still with those in power, influentials and commoners calling for justice to nip the whirlwind in the bud. All hopes seem to lie on the instrumentality of law by providing a stiffer penalty as a deterrent and enforcement by the law machinery.
Giving a thorough enquiry on the obligative role of law in society, can law and its proposed “stiffer penalty” dissuade the despicable act? Can it ensures natural justice by preventing the unsuspecting victims from the danger, if it shows no concern for the impulsive minds to inhibit self-restraint? Can the law being proposed be a sufficient guide against the commission of this heinous crime? When the girl-child and innocent women whose cases are steadily rising fall victim to indecent rape, how does the law ensure natural justice to victims in their death or compensate the scars of the mind and physical bruise of the body, if the victims are lucky to survive? Hope the states and federal government would pay attention to these questions as fundamental to approaching the invincible threat.
To have a corrective law that can reverse the preponderance of rape in the nation, the law can only be justified, if law makers can clinical unearth some peculiar serious human conditions that may be a harbinger for rape in the country because there are facts of their existence, and the law should address those critical conditions of the would-be rapists in our larger public. This is the bar to adjudge the proposed rape law as positive and constructive. We should take a rigorous exercise as a nation in the twilight to be more concerned with the all-important question: Why do men rape?
Amending both the criminal and penal codes to incorporate stiffer punishment only, would amount to a nullity of the legislative process. If such amendment lacks equity that can effectively address the remote and immediate cause of rape against our opposite sex. Therefore, the making of a new law to prohibit this infidelity would be an error in totality, if the focus is punitive without concern for cause and prevention. The inability to dig down to unravel the source to improve the gap of the present extant laws would cripple the remedy that should be the ultimate justification for a new enactment.
According to the verified statistics, the frightening figure of one out of ten girls sexually violated before the age of eighteen years is worrisome. Also, the ratio of sexual abuse against women is getting too rampant. To say that the rising number of sexually abused cases are unabated is regrettable as national eyesore. According to the report of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice released on 14th May 2019 for criminal cases between January -March, child defilement constitutes sixty-eight percent of the crime cases within the period.
Doing an X-ray of the remote cause of the assault, medical evidence has confirmed the act to somewhat illness of the mind which torment the perpetrators until they are left off the hook, after they must have engaged in unproductive sex with innocent victims. So, how can law in observed case of psychopath guaranteed equitable justice for the sick of this type?
On the other hand, the ignoble act is a product of another illness known as a sociopath that has developed to a normal lifestyle for some idiotic, sex mongers to perpetuate the act of indecency. Because, the mind for too long lacks the value of moral discipline in adulthood to sustain the carriage of a good and humane personality. A typical instance is the challenge of the adolescents, some of whose minds are tormented by the sexual urge and they begin to crave to have it indiscriminately. The obsession pampered for too long results in the insanity of the minds, pushing men to commit their morbid desire against women. That is why a low self-esteem young man at twenty-five will have the effrontery to rape a seventy years old woman in her sleep. What about risualists who rape in anticipation of inordinate wealth in our culture?
Some youths till now pay money at cafes simply to watch porn. Also, with the increase in the use of the mobile phones, the microchips have become floodgate staggering unscrupulous desire for the unisex-younger folks to induces rape apart from nudity, half nakedness, wearing of crazy tattered jeans trousers or jeans shorts, to adornment of other puritanically offensive clothes, have been attributable to girls and ladies as influencing the attitude. With the growing revolution in tech and proportionate increase in the number of tech-savvy teens and adolescents, and the decline of values in our society, a gulf so destructive to sustaining a peaceful coexistence is becoming so noticeable and a denial of this truth means no respite in sight.
To say that evil appearances are bad is better acknowledged if one has ever witnessed a monkey sighting a charming woman and it begins to play funny like a real human. So, when a female dressed indecently and walks before monkeys, he can be raped and the law may find it difficult absolutely to absolve her of total innocence. This is food for thought! Another home truth well known in rural areas is that, when a gorilla approach a vicinity and ambush, women and girls are given precautions to avoid going to the stream or road leading to their farmlands where the ape representative is discovered until men are able to dislodge it from taking a stronghold of their vicinity.
The foregoing is another pointer showing that the proposed law must not be an arm-chair exercise. The exhibition of the animalistic tendency by some nefarious guys which results in frequent rape in society nowadays, tenaciously proves the human circumstances of some men are in need of more medical, moral and spiritual supports than a punitive law. Advocacy and social enlightenment across different strata of society in a sustainable manner can be the surest preventable medicine that would have to come with the proposed law to heal the offensive hearts.
Little wonder! In Mariam Aba’s “So long A Letter”, men are described as “a beast” because of his bestial nature. This is an overwhelming human conditions begging for societal recognition and support for constant improvement of their minds. So, people habouring such illicit motives irrespective of their age can be observed in their manner or pathetic human conditions and would need to be identified, tracked and embraced for proper observance.
A few years back during the re-registration of sims by subscribers of the global system mobile telecommunications, a young man at one of the MTN experience centres in Lagos filed behind a woman among several other subscribers and waiting to be called in to re-register his sim. The man after some time was found having an erection and dropping on the ground behind the woman. This scenario is a hazard that may induce addicts in some men.
As follow-up questions, how can one explain the increase in the sinful act of an aged, old man of over sixty, defiling five-year-old girls and teenagers? By extension, why do some criminal elements gang-rape? On the other hand, how can society help this human difficulty and purge itself of the menace of old men raping minors? Also, would the law not conceive some reasonable care about the home front in every neighbourhood of our society where the wickedness is inflicted? The wind blowing from all sides call for public vigilance from the home, governments and other relevant stakeholders to abate the wilful incidence. Because true sense of community is dying too fast. That some men have the audacity to break into a private residence of other people, invade their homes and gang-rape the females is a clear act of recklessness and criminality of the highest order that must be given severe sanctions. The law needs to be fair in understanding all issues concerning rape before contemplating a verdict.
Advocacy is where leaders, both spiritual and temporal have failed the nation. True Love is fading and the ethics of traditional society is crumbling to excessive globalization. Whereas, the globalist society have no experience of such social vice except commercial sex.
Rape is indeed condemnable act and the surge must be reversed now at this imminent period of social distancing due to covid-19 pandemic. It is therefore expedient at this moment to rework a meaningful law that can subdue the shameful assault rasing heads like monsters to safeguard a better society where the opposite sex will not suffer the ill-fated violence anymore. The law should be more contemplative of all the human conditions that can lead to rape and mute redress in advance before thinking of apprehension of suspects. Rape in Nigeria is seeking urgently for solution and the way out is to have an open mind to digest concrete solution. The hallowed chambers, governments, and relevant stakeholders need to do more to enhance justice for rape from two sides of the premises as misnomer syndrome as an act.