BY DR. CHUKS OSUJI
If my people particularly the reading public could still remember that as a social crusader, I have written more than twice on a national malar called rape in our society.
Although I wrote two or about three years ago on the same subject I was on prophesizing on the impending doom of national doom and calamity. Today it is no longer a case of a rapist, it is cases of Rapists nationwide.
No day passes without so many reports of several rapes in Imo State, Lagos state, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, and even in northern states where rape was highly forbidden because of sharia law.
Today, both in the West and in the north rape incidence has become manifestly rampant.
It has reached a level that federation of Nigerian women lawyers, social crusaders, and members of the national assembly have stood up to condemn it. And some have advocated stiffer punishments for rapists.
Indeed those who commit rape are mostly insane persons. They are not normal perhaps they are animals among men. After all, sexual intercourse is an exercise or an act that begins with romance leading to normal action. But a rapist is usually aggressive, hostile, and belligerent. First, he must subdue his victim to accept by force his offer. He may be ugly and dirty, and agboro in a motor park, a butcher in the market, a hunter in the forest or engaged in any filthy job or occupation.
He might not have taken bath for days or weeks or even maybe sleeping with animals in the zoo yet he will come out to molest or rape innocently well-dressed females. I must admit that I am a Christian. but what is happening in many churches today have tended to lower our morale because the church which has been at the apex of morality has in itself become a venue for rape by some so-called pastor’s, new breed ministers of God who by their actions have become ministers of Satan.
Are we not horrified and trembled that the news of how so-called new breed pastor’s an evangelist has been molesting some of their members for illicit behaviour? Tufia! Today, it is happening that the nation has finally wakened up to speak loud and clear against rape in our society.
The problem with the legal system is that it is very slow and because of this, many rapist go free even on hard evidence. Therefore for us to tackle this menace there must be prompt review of our legislation specifically to deal with rape in our society. Once the law has been passed at the national level, it will not be question of state domestication. I posit as follows; that rape is not only ungodly is must be seen as an act of Satan using man to punish man. Therefore there must be stringent punishment for rapists. This may sound very harsh, any lawyer who defends a rapist, if the rapist is found guilty, he should be given life sentence, castrated but the lawyer who defended the rapist regardless of what the law says should be suspended as a legal practitioner in Nigeria for at least 10 years because it is the availability of lawyers to defend a rapist that gives the rapist the audacity to embark on this animalistic behaviour.
Secondly, any police officer that prosecutes a rapist successfully should be given two ranks promotion.
I leave it to my other intellectuals and social crusaders to suggest further punitive punishment for convicted rapists.
Finally, no rape case should last more than one month in court. For me, I would go for the castration of a rapist. After all, in the medieval England vagabonds were given a hot iron mark on their face to make them a public stigma. That and that alone stopped the operation of vagabonds.
Dr. Chuks Osuji. writes from Owerri, the Imo state capital.