The gentle rapist – Tribune Online | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

SOMETHING must be fundamentally wrong with the Nigerian society that relentlessly keeps throwing up different shades of outlaws that are wreaking havoc on the society and standing civilization on its head. Barely four months ago, a 37-year-old man, Chiemela Ekeke, was sentenced to life in prison in Umuahia, Abia State, for raping a four-year-old girl. And in what would tend to suggest that deterrence has become less efficacious and incapable of swaying some felons from breaching the law, another sexual predator,  a 35-Year-old man simply identified as “Yellow,” has been apprehended in Igbere, Abia State, for allegedly raping a five-year-old girl!  He reportedly lured the impressionable child with groundnut  seeds, took her into a room, and defiled her. It was unbelievable. And to add insult to injury,  ‘Yellow’, who comes across as  someone who has lost control of his mind, said he was gentle with the five-year-old  girl while defiling her, and he blamed the horrendous incident on the devil and the chilling weather after the rains that had aroused his ignoble and senseless sexual desire!

The dysfunctionality of the society manifesting in various dangerous shapes and forms of criminality calls for serious concern. Today, there is virtually no type of acts of criminality that has not assumed a dangerous dimension in the country. Is it banditry, insurgency, kidnapping, fraud, official corruption, or money ritual? They have all become seemingly insurmountable challenges for the country.  Though no condition or circumstances would make acts of criminality excusable, there seems to be a nexus between the escalation of some crimes and the economic hardship in the land, such that there is a unidirectional  flow between the aforementioned criminal acts and the parlous state of the economy. On the other hand, it is difficult to associate crimes verging on sexual assault, which have become rampant in the society,  with poverty, and this absence of clear and reasonable motivation makes these variants of crime even more worrisome. Or how will the sadistic pleasure the outlaws derive from raping and defiling their victims alleviate their socioeconomic inadequacies?

In other words, it would appear that sexual assault as a crime is propelled by infantile motivations and usually committed by individuals who have lost their scruples. They hardly engage in the crime for any material or pecuniary gain. Rather, they commit the heinous violation of their victims based on impulse that thrives on their undisciplined mind. Or why would a full grown man of 35 years nurse and execute the horrible idea of defiling a five-year-old child?  What sexual pleasure would a man of 35 possibly derive from coitus with a child of five?  Was  this patently shameless man aware of the enormity of the crime he has committed and the dire consequences that could attend it? And could “Yellow” possibly be of sound mind?

This incident, like many before it, would appear to border on insanity. However, the question could also be asked as to what a five-year-old girl was doing alone at  the location where she was attacked? What kind of parents would be so careless about the whereabouts of their girl child until she was rescued from a pedophile, albeit bruised physically and emotionally? Aren’t these parents, through their carelessness and negligence, guilty of predisposing their child to attacks by the sexual predator? Why did they refuse to be instructed and learn lessons from the preponderance of cases of sexual assault that have more or less become a daily occurrence in the country?  Certainly, the government has a duty to stamp out all forms of sexual abuse and  other types of criminality in the society, but parents should be the first line of defence, shielding their children and wards from the activities of outlaws, including sexual predators. This is a crucial responsibility that should not be outsourced to third parties.

It is evident that the society has lost its moral rectitude. On this score, we urge, as we have done repeatedly in the past, leaderships at all levels in the society to reform the society’s morals and values that have become largely warped. Specifically, there is the need to apprehend the spate of dysfunctionality in homes arising from ruptured marriages, as many criminals have been found to be products of broken homes. Raising children of high standards of character and conduct in dysfunctional family settings can be a Herculean task. Similarly, it would not be out of place to interrogate the quality of instruction that pastors and Imams dish out to their members in their worship centres because the majority of the criminals disturbing the peace of the society belong to either of the two major religions, Islam and Christianity. These sets of religious leaders need to realise that the more  their members fail to be responsible and law-abiding citizens, the more they exhibit the failures of their leaders and their religious organisations. In the same vein, the question could be asked as to whether  the traditional leaders, the custodians of culture and tradition, are properly  playing their roles as opinion moulders and legitimisers of behaviours and conduct. And is the government providing exemplary leadership by being selfless and conducting state affairs strictly within the ambit of the law? The decadence in the society is deeply entrenched and it would require radical actions by all stakeholders to arrest the rot.

The National Orientation Agency (NOA) is called upon to wake up from its protracted lethargy and stand up to be counted in the areas of value reorientation and moral rearmament. Given the spate of lawlessness  in the society, it is unequivocal that many citizens need reorientation and constant enlightenment to stay within the precincts of the law. We urge the relevant authorities to launch a painstaking inquiry into the base conduct of the ‘gentle’ rapist, ensure that he is diligently prosecuted, charged under the apposite  codes, and if found guilty, punished to the full extent of the law. And more significantly, the victim should be promptly availed the help she may  need for full rehabilitation in order to ensure that she does not grow up to become a damaged woman. All hands must be on deck to launch a lethal onslaught on, and rein in, the activities of rapists and pedophiles in the country. A society where impressionable children are not safe from the atrocities of sexual predators cannot lay any claim to civilisation.





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