Rape: Abuja needs special court – Residents
Following reported cases of rape in some public schools like Schools of the Deaf and Blind, respectively, in the nation's capital, residents of the territory have called for the establishment of a special court to address rape cases. Respondents are also of the view that relevant agencies saddled with the responsibility of creating awareness should scale-up campaign against rape. They spoke to Williams ABAH and Edrina EMMANUEL. Excerpts:
Zainab Audu: For me, I will say government is not doing enough to put stringent measures in place to punish the perpetrators of this evil act. It is pathetic to hear that a deaf and dumb, who does not know how life is all about, will be raped by someone who is entrusted to take care of them. It happens all over the places especially schools.
We must all join hands to fight this ugly trend. How can you explain a situation, where you send your little girl to school, only to discover that she has been defiled? I think there is urgent need for the government, and private school proprietors to carry out campaign against the incidents of rape in both public and private schools. As we speak, majority of the victims have been stigmatized. They find it difficult to reveal their experience to anybody.
Like you rightly pointed out, there is need for the National Orientation Agency to carry out a sensitization workshop in schools, to educate students on how to overcome the stigma associated with rape, and the confidence to report the case to the appropriate authority.
Chinyere EZE: The issue of rape has been on the increase in Abuja metropolis. Apart from the one that happened recently at the school of the blind, there are so many others that happened within the city.
Last year in Apo Resettlement area, two little girls of the same parents were raped by their next door niegbour, with a threat that if they disclose it with anybody he will kill them. The senior girl actually told the father how the man forced and raped them. The father of the victim reported the matter to National Human Right Commission, but as we speak, judgment has not been given since 2016. I think the government needs to take a holistic approach with a view to addressing this immorality. It has becomes a worrisome trend in our society today.
Like you said, the recent one that happened in the school of the blind is enough to wake the relevant authority from slumber in order for them to do the needful. If it can happen in a government owned school, then the private schools could be the worse. I think the management of those affected schools need to carry out discreet investigation and screening of their staff, and flush out the bad eggs
Oathman Alhaji: When I heard about this rape incident at the school of the blind, I was speechless. How did we arrive here? Something is really wrong in our land. If government places 15 years jail term to the offender of this heinous crime, it then means there is no effective implementation. Last year, I was in Nyanya magistrate court, when one case of rape that was brought to the court since 2011, was discharged for lack of evidence. I think the law enforcement agencies should take a step further in the dispensation of justice for rape cases in Abuja, and its environs. As we speak, if you carry out the statistic of the victims, they are mostly persons from poor backgrounds. A lot of compromise are going on in the area of rape cases in court. Sometime the family of the victims may not afford the resource to get judgment for the victims, and the case will just die down and at the end, the offender will go scot free. I will advise that government create a special court for rape cases to ensure that justice is done.
Faith Ehi: The government has not really taken any serious action against rape. They should place very serious penalty, it should be in our constitution that if someone is caught or involves in rape related case, the person should be sentenced to death or maybe 30 years in prison. In other words, more punitive measures should be taken to scare people. In our public schools, the way teachers relate with students/pupils, they fear their teachers more than respect.
In a situation where you fear your teacher and such thing happens the teacher will threaten them not to say anything. They should do something for those who speak out, some people will want to speak out and expose such act, but people will not truly listen. If there is a serious penalty people will not even try it.
Grace Dominic: Rape leaves a terrible scar and until it happens to you or someone you know, you will never truly understand the pain it comes with. Number one, the security of the country is zero and two, if such cases occur, legal actions can't be taken because the system is just anyhow. It is not that it doesn't happen in other countries but steps are taken fast, like medical checkups and the parents can sue the criminal. But in our country it is the opposite. Yes, if anything is to be done to stop rape in the FCT public schools, it has to start from the security. The government should secure the schools and teachers should also watch and keep tabs on their students and the teachers should definitely be watched too because it is not a surprise that some of the teachers are involved. You hardly hear of such cases in private schools because they keep their students and teachers in check.
Olowatunde Aduraseyi: Like seriously, the issue of rape now is so alarming in public schools. It makes our students feel so unsecured in the hands of their teachers or lecturers because of the nonchalant attitude towards the students, and this can serve as an excuse for an average parents for not allowing their children to acquire a sound academic and moral knowledge. I urge the federal government to come to a concession by eradicating the rate of rape in public schools.