Issues of child rape in Nigeria, What is the way forward?

As an Online Editor, I spend all the working days surfing the internet for news articles and creating contents. One recurring trend of news that amazes me is the issue of rape. Personally, I started feeling weird when my sexual urges started developing at puberty. Later, I discovered it was normal after relating with several guys in the within my age group. What throws me off balance is the issue of predatory adults having a carnal knowledge of underage girls. This is commonly referred to as child rape.

According to Premium Times, Nigeria recorded 96 rape cases between January 2012 and August 2014, but only nine convictions were secured.

On the 16th of July, a 75-year old man was charged to the Ikeja Magistrate court for raping a little girl as young as 13. Could that have been fun for the girl? What about the man? What about the case of a 27-year-old man, identified as Shehu Bashiru of Yabati Ward in Sabon Gari local government area of Kaduna State who allegedly raped a 2-year old girl to death? There are numerous cases that I don't have the luxury of time to make references too.

Several efforts have been made by the government to correct the anomaly in the society. On Wednesday, the 3rd of June, 2015, Nigeria’s Senate passed a bill that approved life imprisonment for rapists and those who have sex with children under 11years old.

The bill included various sentences and fines for other sexual offenses such as incest, child pornography, sexual tourism, gang rape, sexual harassment, prostitution of mentally disabled persons, lacing drinks with drugs with intent to sexually abuse, and deliberately infecting someone with HIV and other diseases. The bill also mandated storing names of sex offenders in a database. This offense will also limit their employment opportunities in Nigeria to areas where they will pose a lesser risk to people.

This is a good initiative by the government but how well has it worked? Several culprits are on the loose wildly raping underage girls because of the ease and accessibility. Most of them are scared of the consequences of the crime when nabbed but the urgent motivation clouds their reasoning of the end product.

 These are weird cases of end time but I don't want to address from the angle of spirituality. In this age of social media and the invasion of other agents of the media like the Television stations by adult contents which is evident in music videos and movies, viewers get turned on easily.

It is frustrating as a writer, a times I spend two weeks working on an intellectual article that addresses an issue of public affair and after posting online, it gathers a minute number of views around 60 to 100 as against when I make posts about the nudity of weird celebrities like Amber Rose, Kim Kardashian and the 'celebutantes' like Maheeda and Afrocandy, that could earn me hits of 10,000 on the first day alone. This accounts for the reasons why most bloggers focus on strictly x-rated contents to grow their blogs.

These contents on the Television, songs played on radio stations, other online contents, loneliness, pure pornography and the indecent clothes blindly worn by ladies contribute to the horny nature of the son of men. Since it is medically proven that a brain of an aroused human being performs below optimum level, such an individual is bound to make irrational decisions.

Some activists of child rights have advocated for long jail terms for rapists but I don't believe that will ameliorate the problem fully. Despite the documentaries about HIV/Aids and the massive campaigns on all media platforms, people still have unprotected sex. This accounts for the quality of one's decisions when hit by that urge. The failure to have sex at that point becomes a do or die affair in most cases. It leads to a state of restlessness.

I have weighed this problem over time, some of the solutions seem very controversial and odd but they will be quite effective. I support taking a rough route to arrive safely at a destination rather than taking the smoothest route and not making the landing point.

Below are my suggested solutions:

(1) A penalty should be attached to dressing indecently to public places:

It has become too easy for an average human being to think about sex every minute because it is what the society portrays. Walking around a busy bus stop could generate funny ideas in your head as plus-size ladies flaunt their bodies in skin-tight clothes. What is the fate of men that are lonely, poor and can't masturbate? Rape is frankly the last option.

(2) Easily turned-on men should avoid adult contents, be it on the social media or magazine or television:

 This mayn't be easy but it is very possible. It simply entails discipline. These contents may seem attractive and interesting but the playbacks in your head will certainly haunt you especially when you have no partner.

(3) Get a lover whose libido matches yours:
 Sex in a relationship is an issue we Africans shy away from. Most lovers find it difficult to accept they have been having sex except when married. Sex can't be sidelined. Scarcity of it has led to the destruction of several homes. You will always see men with their insatiable urge going out of the marriage for the 'extra'.

(4) Try to help 'yourself':
One of the major problems of every man is the 'Self' factor. When you don't have a lover and you can't control your sexual urge at the same time, find some means of easing yourself of the pressure. Some people masturbate while others visit brothels. These are the dark sides of the lives of people they don't want to discuss with themselves not to talk of anybody. Find your suitable pattern and avoid engaging in a demeaning activity like rape which could accommodate you in jail on a long-term note.

(5) Mother/Guardians should keep close tabs on their female children:
Since female children are highly vulnerable to underage rape due to their mental capacity. They are easily lured by unscrupulous adults. These adults sexually torture them and even go as far as threatening them with death if they share their plight with anyone. This puts the innocent child in a state of trauma. Mothers should help these young ones by monitoring their movements and educating them on the danger of staying behind closed doors with male folks.

Say No To Rape!
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About Osahon

I'm a journalist and a Political Scientist undergoing a doctoral programme focused on media, democracy and governance in Africa. My mission is to uphold the role of the media as the 'fourth estate of the realm' and also tell the Nigerian Story to the world. You can contact me on Phone number: +2347053302356.
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