It is no longer news that the Nigerian girl-child has suddenly become an endangered species. No thanks to the daily assault and all forms of abuse directed against her especially rape, violence, child labour, ignorance, disease, malnutrition, maltreatment, you name it.
The media is replete with cases of these violations of the girl-child and women. More disheartening is that they are perpetrated by those who supposed to protect them. One wonders what had become of the society, a place now ruled by depravity, abomination, sacrilege and immorality.
Or how else would one describe the animalistic behaviour of randy fathers, uncles and male adults who daily defile their own daughters and turn them into sex slaves in their own homes?
Of all the crimes against the girl-child, rape is among the most heinous. This is because it causes social problems such as deaths, unplanned pregnancies and abortions, Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV) on those affected, leaving them emotionally disrupt.
In October 2018, there was a reported case of heart-chilling death of Elizabeth Ochanya, a 13-year-old girl, who died of health complications after she was serially raped for five years by no less a person than her aunt’s husband, Andrew Ogbuja, and his son, Victor Ogbuja, in Benue State.
Andrew, said to be the Head of Department, Catering and Hotel Management at the Benue State Polytechnic, Benue State, and his son, Victor, then a final year student of Animal Production at the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, raped the girl to death.
Consequently, a court in Makurdi remanded Andrew in prison and later released him, while the son Victor was at large. One would have thought that the nationwide outrage that greeted the heinous crime and protest championed by Civil Society Organisations demanding for justice would have put the beasts in the country in checks. But that is not to be. The rapists are on the rampage destroying future mothers of Nigerians and sowing seeds of discord in society.
Only recently a University of Lagos student, Chuka Chukwu, 19, along with four other students, was reported to have serially gang-raped a fellow student (name withheld). The victim was allegedly lured, gang-raped, videotaped by the suspects. The other defendants were Moboluwaji Omowole, 19, Peace Nwankama, 19, James Aguedu, 20 and Josephine Osemeka, 20. They were charged on four counts – the defilement of a child, permitting defilement of a child, procurement and sexual assault.
There are other cases reported and unreported, too numerous to mention.
Violence Against Women
In some countries like Nigeria, violence against women and girls (VAWG) is estimated to cost them up to 3.7 percent of their GDP – more than double what most governments spend on education.
According to a United Nations Children’s Fund, (UNICEF) all forms of violence and harmful practices against women and girls are of epidemic proportions in Nigeria.