By Patricia Amogu
Prof. Mabel Evwierhoma, the immediate past Dean of the Faculty of Arts, University of Abuja, says rape of justice is double jeopardy to the victim, an anticulture that must not be handed down to the next generation.
She said this during an online Virtual Lecture presented at the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) in Abuja.
The don noted that rape is contrary to our way of life as a people and does no people any good.
She spoke on the theme: ‘Rape As an Anti-culture in Contemporary Nigeria’.
Evwierhoma said that despite the annual observance of the International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women, or the country being a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of Violence against Women (CEDAW) (ratified on 13 June, 1985, and the optional protocol in 2001), women and girls in Nigeria suffer different forms of violence.
According to her, rape is contrary to the way of life held in high esteem in a culture and does no people any good.
“Our mainstream cultures still remain highly communal and rape is breaking them up.
“Adolescent rape is on the increase, and recently, geriatric rape has occurred in many communities in Nigeria, further creating the fear of rape as pandemic.
“The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics reported 2,279 cases of rape and indecent assault in 2017, those convicted for rape also accounted for a huge percentage of the total statistics.
“During the COVID-19 lockdown, the incident of rape increased and further proved that damage could be done when people are limited to enclosed spaces.
“Rapists challenge our minds to accept what should be an abberation, It is a process where the perpetrators abort the destiny of their victims.
“Rape is an anti-social act that could wash away our cultural values. The determination to check rape should be an agenda for all and should be pursued without fear or favour.
“One of the most rampant forms of violence that is perpetrated against women of different age groups is rape, and national and international laws criminalise the act.
“The rape of women is on the increase and women’s fear of rape now rules different spaces of interaction law.
Ryan Boll declares that physical and emotional abuse, and several physical abuses committed by male intimacies generally increases women’s fear of the crime,” she said.
She further stated that many victims know those who rape them, as their assailants are either family members, neighbours or even friends, and most assaults did not take place at night.
“There are instances where security agents and uniformed personnel as organs of the state, commit rape.
“Rape is a forcible unlawful sexual intercourse, without a woman’s consent, according to Section 357 of The Criminal Code Act.
Section 358 of the Act prescribes life imprisonment for rape, while Section 6 defines rape as the carnal knowledge as complete upon penetration.
Also speaking, Prof . Emmanuel Dandaura, a lecturer at the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, emphasised the need for more sensitisation on the new menace, stating that rape is an aberration of culture.
He commended the job done by the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), NGOs and civil society organisations, adding that there is a need to train our security personnel.
Prof. Muhammad Ndaji of the Department of Linguistics and African Languages, University of Abuja, commended the efforts of NICO in reorientation of the public on rape.
The Director in charge, Office of the Executive Secretary of NICO, Mrs Bridgette Yerima, commended the media for a job well done on reporting random stories on the subject matter, while thanking all the participants at the lecture.
“All hands must be on deck in the fight against this pandemic. Rape is an attack on our culture and should be treated as such”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lecture attracted 380 participants, including educationists from various higher institutions, civil society organisations, NGOs and 200 participants on Facebook. (NAN)