Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Metropolitan Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Ignatius Kaigama, has expressed the fear that the spate of rape cases in the country were assuming a frightening dimension.
He charged Christians and Nigerians not to be afraid to speak out and act against ungodly behaviours, injustices, corruption, politics without morality and bad governance in the country.
Delivering a homily in a Mass to celebrate the 12th Sunday in the Ordinary Time at the Saint Charles Lwanga Parish, Apo, Abuja, yesterday, Kaigama lamented the situation where teens were being raped by adults describing the trend as a symptom of a dysfunctional society.
Kaigama cited President Muhammadu Buhari’s Democracy Day speech where he expressed displeasure over recent cases of rape and violence against women, especially of very young girls.
He further expressed the concerns of Pope Francis on child abuse when on May 7, 2019, the pontiff issued an Apostolic letter, Vos Estis Lux Mundi (You are the Light of the World) in which he acknowledged that “the crimes of sexual abuse offend Our Lord, cause physical, psychological and spiritual damage to the victims and harm the community of the faithful.”
“The increasing cases of the heinous crime of rape are frightening. A tender three-month old baby was said to have been raped last month.
The Inspector General of Police disclosed recently that the police arrested 799 rape suspects between January and May this year. The rape culture is as repulsive and reprehensible as it is dehumanising.
Rape inflicts life-long untold psychological trauma on the victims. Rape is not only a grievously sinful act, but also a very barbaric and criminal act.
The case of the student of the University of Benin, Miss Vera Uwaila Omozuwa, who on May 27 was reportedly raped and murdered by unknown persons, as well as other cases of rape and gang rape, is a symptom of an ungodly and dysfunctional society,” Kaigama said.
He said the Archdiocese of Abuja had formulated its policy to safeguard minors and vulnerable persons in compliance with the directive of the Catholic Pontiff and inaugurated a committee in this regard.