Rape Statistics: Hafsat Baba Ahmed, Kaduna commissioner for human services and social development, says between January and May 2020, 485 rape cases were recorded at the sexual abuse referral centre in the state.
The statement comes a few weeks after Mohammed Adamu, inspector-general of police (IGP), said 717 rape cases were recorded across the country in five months.
The Cable reports that speaking on a radio programme on Wednesday, Ahmed said the figure excludes the cases that were recorded by security agencies in the state.
The commissioner said Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna governor, has asked that all rape cases recorded since 2015 be submitted to him.
“It is not only girls that are being raped, even boys are not spared. If I tell you the number of rape cases we recorded five months ago, you would be surprised,” she said.
“This number is only from our sexual abuse referral centre. From January to May, we recorded 485 cases of rape.
“We must wake up, because every day, from morning to evening, I receive one complain or the other. Honestly, we must work hard.
My concern is that most times, parents don’t monitor their children. Some parents don’t know their responsibilities.
“I am handling a case where a father sleeps with his three daughters, aged three, five and eight. All the time I keep on blaming parents when their little children are raped.”
The commissioner said special courts would be established to handle rape cases.
“Sometimes even when the parents of a rape victim want justice, they are frustrated when they are asked to provide this and that at the police station,” she said.
“A child is raped and they will ask the parents of the victim to be bringing food to the culprit who is in the cell. That is not fair.”
In a related development, the 33-year-old man from Kwanar Dangora town, in Kiru Local Government Area of Kano State, Mohammed Z. Alpha, just pleaded guilty to raping 40 women in the last one year in Kano state.
Alpha also admitted before a magistrates’ court that his victims included an 80-year-old woman, whom he raped in the same town.
The suspect also pleaded guilty to the charge that he attempted to rape some children in a family home, a situation, which led to his arrest by the members of the community.
Police prosecutor, Badamasi Gawuni, thereafter, asked the court, presided by Magistrate Hassan to adjourn the case to the next sitting.
The magistrate, following the request of the prosecution, adjourned the case to July 20, and ordered the suspect to be remanded in a correctional home in the state.
According to a Vanguard editorial, the worst part of it is that these violent sex crimes sometimes end in murder or threats of same. And the culprits are more likely than not family members and people who should normally earn the trust of the victims. These include religious leaders, fathers and uncles of the victims and young men involved in cultism and drug abuse.”
Nollywood actress and founder of Passion Against Rape and Abuse Africa, PARAA, Foluke Daramola-Salako, recently depicted the prominent role that “religious leaders” play in this criminality:
“Seventy-five per cent of the cases I have on my table (involve) religious leaders, and a lot of the time, we don’t get to the end of it, because when we start, the family would come and tell us we should leave the religious leader to God”.
The stigmata that goes with being raped discourages the victims from coming out timeously and increasing the chances of the criminal being subjected to justice. In many cases, the victims are wrongly blamed for alleged “indecent” dressing. Debunking this notion, Daramola-Salako said:
“You hardly find rape cases against young women except for sexual assaults. We find it mostly among kids, teenagers and elderly women”.
The upsurge in rape is a crisis that touches on the mental state of the average citizen. We must keep the searchlight on it and sensitize our governments and people to exercise more vigilance at family and community levels to provide greater protection for our womenfolk. Rape is a violent crime that dehumanizes the victims and devalues their sense of self-worth. There must be no place in our society for sexual predators. We must chain and lock this monster in a dungeon. Our womenfolk and vulnerable people of all ages must be adequately protected.