By Osisioma Nwolise
Governments, civil society, law enforcement agents, the courts, and parents need to take the issue of rape very seriously today. This has become imperative because of the changing and increasingly disastrous dimensions rape has taken in contemporary times.
Rape used to be and remains the crime of forcefully having sexual intercourse with someone without his or consent. However, it is the motive and preferred escape strategy of the rapist that has been changing and now making the crime more dangerous to the victim and society. I had over five years ago written to alert the nation and humanity on the emergence of ritual rape, as the main factor in the upsurge of rape incidents in Nigeria and the world, especially in Africa.
I indicated in the write-up that ritual rape required up-grading the training and investigative capacities and competencies of the police, and new laws to enable the courts to apply appropriate punishments. But nobody listened. What has caused outraged over rape incidents today is the new dimension of rape and kill (R and K) as a preferred strategy to escape identification, arrest, prosecution, and punishment. This piece is to reiterate the changing phases of rape, not only in Nigeria, but in the world, offer some solutions, and plead with rapists not to kill their victim because it will not solve the problem of being identified. There are six causal dimensions of rape today.
The first is physic-rape from the human depraved raw sexual drive which results from visual deception of the man arising from the beauty of the face, exposure of the body, or warped imaginations; or just uncontrolled desire for sex.
The second is political rape, which involves the humiliation of the race, ethnic group, or nation of the victim. In pre-colonial Africa, the rape by a man from one kingdom of a woman from another kingdom could lead to war! In Sudan, during the Daufur war, the Arab Janjaweeds (militia) supported by the murderous government of President Bashir raped the African women and even boys as a symbol of humiliation and domination. This is the mere reason people should be careful about what they do because of the variety of interpretations that can be given to their actions.
The third causal dimension of rape is economic rape. This is business motivated but based on greed. The story of the blood minerals of Congo is well known. Greedy mineral (especially European) explorers recruited and launched hooligans on villagers whose soil harboured strategic minerals to consistently rape all categories of females and boys until the people evacuated leaving the place for the greedy miners to take-over.
The fourth is hormonal driven as seen in sexual maniacs who can even mount dead bodies to put off the momentary sexual “fire” burning in their body. Maniacs have had sex with their blood relations without qualms.
The fifth is ritual rape which is carried out with ritualistic intentions for money, political power, political influence, or elongation of the expiring life of an old man. This explains the rape of mad women, under-aged children including babies, as well as very old women of 80 years and above, as happened in Opi (Nsukka) some years ago. What is a 90-year-old man looking for in a one year or even six months old baby with undeveloped physical structures? He simply wants to kill the baby and use the child’s life to rejuvenate and elongate his own expiring life. Yahoo-plus operators drug unsuspecting girls, rape them and either wipe-off their seminal fluids, or implant ritualized fluid into them (girls), and they bleed to death or just die at home and become money-making machines.
The sixth and final dimension of rape today is spiritually induced rape. This is as a result of curses or spells, placed by angry or offended men on men/boys that had adultery with their wives or mutually agreed on fornication with an under-aged girl-child. The wicked or jealous, competitor, especially in polygamous families, can also cast spells on sons of opponents to make them commit rape in order to get them into jail or tarnish the image of the mother and father. As stated earlier, what raised the tempo of rape some years ago was the emergence of the ritual dimension. But what has raised the tempo further today and the outrage against rape is the emergence of the rape and kill dimension. My inquiries so far show that the perpetrators kill their victims to avoid identification and prosecution.
But this is a wrong assumption. That is why I plead for an immediate end to the killing of rape or kidnap victims on this assumption because killing them does not stop the criminal from being identified. This is because, Strategic Spiritual Intelligence (SSI) can still reveal the culprit, and once SSI is converted to Strategic Empirical Intelligence (SEI), the culprit will be identified, arrested, prosecuted and punished by the state. If he is not arrested physically by the state police, he will be identified, arrested, prosecuted, and punished by the spiritual police.
Thus, that idea of killing rape victims (which is now being copied by some kidnappers who kill their victims even after receiving the demanded ransom) should have perished. It is not a saving strategy at all. The saving strategy is not to rape at all, and if for any reason one rapes, leave the victim alive, and wait for the consequences no matter how long they take to come. The challenges to combating rape cases today are getting more complex daily. Previously, they used to be stigmatization, African culture of begging for forgiveness, compromising parents, shameful court processes especially lawyers who indirectly taunt victims, slow police investigations and at times lack seriousness. Some police personnel have told a rape victim “No be ordinary sex, is that why you want this young man to go to jail?” It must be emphasized here that rape is not “ordinary sex”. Rape can be a death sentence if the criminal or perpetrator has Hiv/Aids, Coronavirus, or Hepatitis B. The two main new challenges today are the killing of the victim which will prolong the investigation or even make identification of victim impossible if no physical or forensic clues are gotten, and the relatives of the victim do not believe in Strategic Spiritual Intelligence. Of course, the police will tell you that they don’t want to get involved in spiritual things.
But such a policeman will be the ignorant type because witches/wizards have been jailed in this country for tying down pregnancy and threatening the life of the pregnant woman with spiritual attacks. What is to be done to stem the rising cases of rape and the newly emerging rape and kill mentality? The first thing is to combat the high level of moral decadence and extreme materialism, in the country, which has made money king and human life worthless. In this Africa, before oyibo came, people lived, moved about naked in several areas even up to the 1960s with no records of rape.
It was an abomination to rape. In fact, just a few years ago, Koma people were found in Nigeria just using leaves to cover their vital parts; and yet nobody raped anybody there. Second, governments should cultivate the political will to make the security and welfare of citizens their primary obligation before people and families start suing the government for failing to protect them. Three, parents and victims should forget the issue of stigmatization and always stand up for justice, with all necessary evidence collected from the beginning including pictures, police reports, and medical reports.
A victim can hate her parents for life for compromising and selling her rights, justice and security.
Four, public education, enlightenment and mobilization are crucial now for the collective security of the girl-child and our womenfolk, and to enable girls to know the veracity and diversity of dangers facing them so that they can take all necessary precautionary measures.
Five, naming and shaming established rapists with an official register open to the public. Six, new laws are needed to punish ritual rape and to guide judges accordingly. Seven, police training and investigative capacities and competencies need to be upgraded. This should include the use of Strategic Spiritual Intelligence, to get clues where there are none; and to establish facts and truth.
Eight, the motive for every rape must be established so as to save the lives of victims of ritual rape. There is no point sending a ritual rapist to jail only for the girl to die, and he returns from the correctional facility (prison) later to enjoy his blood money. Nine, there should be the free treatment of rape victims in hospitals (government or rapists’ responsibility).
Ten, victims must be entitled to commensurate compensation. Finally, there has to be speedy investigation and prosecution of suspects, and severe punishment which will stretch between life jail, castration and death.
Nwolise is a Professor of Political Science and specialist in (Spiritual) Security Studies.