Rape cases have been on a steady increase in Kebbi state and the rising incidents have become very alarming and worrying.
All over the country, there is a new kind of unheralded harvest of rapes and rapists. The prevalent upsurge of rape and sexual abuse in the northern states is unfathomable, especially now that children are not exempted.
People who have been raped can be severely traumatized and may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition to psychological harm resulting from the act, rape may cause physical injury.
However, findings reveal that the main reason rape cases are hardly reported to the appropriate authorities in Nigeria is that the victims fear being ostracized and most victims of rape have lost faith in the judiciary’s securing justice for them. Rapists walk the streets free while their victims remain traumatized for life.
Some weeks ago, I speak to a brave 5-year-old girl in Birnin Kebbi. As she and her mother walked into my office building, where she was standing with her Mother, she became startled at the sight of what she must have identified to be a stranger and quickly grabbed her mother’s wrapper to hide behind. I welcome them, took out a bag of sweets from my bag and I offered them to the frightened little girl.
With my hands full of sweets outstretched, the little girl failed to recognize my gesture as an act of goodwill. After some encouragement from her mother and after my numerous failed impressions of Disney characters, the little girl eventually came out from hiding behind her mother’s wrapper and accepted one of the sweets from me.
After some time, and after some more impressions by me, she slowly relaxed and finally looked at me. As she raised her head to look at me, just as quickly as I smiled at her, my smile became a frown; because within those beautiful eyes, I saw sadness; I saw pain; I saw agony. Within her eyes, I saw a girl that had been through torture, because standing before me was a Five-year-old little Monsura who had just been brutally raped by a 32years old man called Umar in Argungu local government area of Kebbi state.
When asking the mother why she didn’t report the case to the security agency, she claimed to have reported the case but she was denied justice. By some so-called politicians who influenced the matter at the police station and stop the matter from going to court that was why she came to report the matter to the pressmen for her to get justice for her child. And these perpetrators should be exposed and be brought to book, she lamented.
Within the same week in Kebbi, another baby girl, Umuh 4 years old was brutally defiled by one Faruq Abubakar from Anguwan Zoromawa in Gwandu local government area of Kebbi state by a shop owner popularly called Mai Sha Go in Hausa. Her father lamented to The Nation that he sent his daughter to buy something from his nearby shop that day and he Faruk griped her and defiled her.
“All of a sudden I had the girl was crying I asked what happened she continued to cry pointing at Faruk shop” (pointing at her private part saying faruku ne yasa mun abu a nan)” meaning Faruk put something in my private part” and her clothes were up even the hijab she put on was not on her body again they discover that the baby was hurt. Meanwhile, Medical reports indicated that the baby was raped.
Right now, another call was put to me by the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps (NSCDS) command in Birnin Kebbi drawing my attention to another fresh case reported of a 3 year old minor who was brutally raped by her school teacher in a private School name (withheld) GRA NEPA area of Birnin Kebbi the state capital. The investigation is still going on. but a medical report shows that the baby was brutally raped too. This is a teacher who parents trust to teach their girl child in school. With this and many more of such incidents are happing in Kebbi state schools.
As so many disquieting issues in our social and political life dominate the front burner and the covers of our national dailies, the various corruption scandals, kidnappings, elections saga, and drug abuse, most people tend to forget or ignore this horrendous issue that has and is still ruining many lives and devastating many families in Kebbi state.
While, in this particular Cases, the Nigerian Association of Women Journalists NAWOJ, North West Zone in collaboration with Federation of international women Lawyers FIDA have taken an interest in making sure that this abused little girls get justice, the reality is that the crime of rape in the state, especially of minors, is on the increase at an alarming rate. Most especially here in Kebbi State.”
Hence, this salient question needs to be asked; why is rape on the increase and what is the government of the day doing to curb this social anomaly?