Surprise! That is their trademark. It is their greatest strength. It is what is propelling and sustaining them all the way. And they do it with precision. They hardly miss their targets. And they are ferociously on the prowl. They blindly devour whoever strays onto their landmines.
That is why we can never shout and scream enough. The alarming spike in rape cases these days is quite frightening. You would not know the next target. It could be any innocent female: minor, teenager, adult or even grandmother. Age does not matter.
The rapists no longer discriminate. The weird characters go for whoever catches their eerie fancies and fantasies. And they do it with strange relish. The female species is in serious danger.
Keeping mum and mute will be suicidal. Not in this unkind situation. We are not ready for that in these perilous times. The rapists are nothing but wild animals. They have completely lost sanity. They are the rare sons of beasts.
Unfortunately, they are increasingly developing a thick skin to our outrage. They appear to enjoy our lamentations. That is why they are deaf and dumb to the pains their ill-fated preys go through. In fact, the aches seem to be their main attraction to the hideous crime.
They are comfortable at home with the discomfort of the raped. They cherish the anguish their preys experience while the devilish act lasts. The ultimate is to see the abused in extreme excruciation.
They are motivated by it. That is what spurs them into action in the first place. And are encouraged by the tribulation and distress of their casualty.
A rapist’s mindset is upside down. He walks on his head and not on his legs. The dastardly act is meaningless to him. It is his own creepy way of life. The abnormality is the normal manner he chooses to live his awkward life.
He pretends to do no evil, see no evil.
Rape is soaring high; conquering and subduing. It is fast making a huge mess of Nigeria’s COVID-19. It is pushing hard. The rapists are restless. Rape is striving hard to beat the pandemic to its deadly game. It is taking COVID-19 to the cleaners. The intention is to displace and disgrace the coronavirus. Rape has joined the exclusive and prestigious league. It is making unpleasant waves in the high-profile club of banditry, terrorism, killer herdsmen, and the likes. It is giving them a good fight, making incredible inroads into their dread territories.
Help, rape case are ascending. Yes, rape has been our long-time partner. It has been living with us for as long as we know. But the surge this time is horrific and appalling. Simply unexplainable.
What was ignited in Benin, Edo State, on May 27, 2020, Children’s Day, has assumed endless dimensions. It has become a daily affair in virtually every part of the country. That is our cross.
The death of Uwaila Omozuwa was one rape too many. It adequately reflected the gross insanity and instability of the masterminds, planners and executioners of the shameful act. Their action is defeatist.
They day was bright and cool. Uwaila would not want to miss opportunities such a pleasant weather offers. She thought of exploiting it to the maximum, and opted to do what she knew how to do best.
She was a 100-level student of Microbiology, University of Benin. Under COVID-19 lockdown, she saw a great advantage in the favourable climate. Promptly, she headed to her new library, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Miracle Sanctuary Mega Parish, Edo Province 10, Ikpoba Hill, Benin.
Uwaila had sat for JAMB twice earlier. She met her miracle in the miracle sanctuary in her third attempt. So, she would not take the parish, her miracle centre, for granted. More so, her parents and siblings also attend the church. She was so used to the mega parish that every member of the family knew where to locate her. That was a given. And May 27, 2020, was no different. She walked in as usual and settled down to her studies, oblivious of what lay in stock for her.
Deep into her studies, the unexpected happened. Things have not been the same again. Every equation, permutation and calculation changed. She had been monitored and trailed by the evil men.
Just in the nick of time, the men of the underworld struck. And it was accurate and deadly. The rapists came and feasted on her, unrestrained and unchecked. Everything turned dark for the bright and beautiful Uwaila.
The assailants turned up in their numbers that Wednesday, and rubbished her. They assaulted, raped, abused and snuffed life out of her. All this happened at the speed of light.
When she became stubborn, the murderer-rapists reached for a fire extinguisher. With that they extinguished the bubbling life out of her. She was abandoned in a pool of blood to writhe in pain endlessly. The rapists would not care whether she survived or not. That was not part of the deal. Their deed was done. And that ugly chapter ended there.
Their co-rapists from other parts of the country were watching. They were also monitoring the activities of their cohorts. They saw an “unprecedented” immense success in the Uwaila incident. So? They were encouraged that they could get away easily without being challenged or caught.
The battle line shifted swiftly to Ibadan, Oyo State. The prey was another student. Eighteen-year-old Barakat Bello had just secured admission to the Federal College of Animal and Production Technology, Moore Plantation, Apata, Ibadan. She was to undertake the National Diploma programme in Science Laboratory Technology.
But she never did. Her attackers came calling on Monday, June 1, 2020. They were bold and daring. They carried the “war” to her father’s house in Moniya, Ibadan. The father, Krisimmi Elepo, in distress narrated:
“I was not at home when the incident happened. The victim’s younger sister was not at home too. She went for Quaranic lessons. But when she returned, she saw Barakat at the back of the house with deep cuts all over her body. She had been raped and killed.”
That has become their grotesque and monstrous trademark. The abominable sign they left behind each time they struck. And it remained indelible in the minds and hearts of their casualties.
That same Monday, their counterparts in Ekiti State also went to work. Three of them gang-raped an innocuous and harmless 17-year-old street hawker.
The girl was on her beat at the Oja-Oba Market, Ado-Ekiti. The men, armed with broken bottles, dragged her to a corner in the market and had their fill to the fullest. That was around 7pm.
Then the evil train moved to Lagos on Thursday, June 4. A four-man gang wickedly chose a 12-year-old minor as their victim. They violatedher and left her in trauma. The little girl was home at Ajah having her online class when there was a power outage.
The caring father rushed out to a filling station to get fuel. The rapists took maximum advantage of that time lag. They scaled the fence to the compound, and took turns to abuse her. They were done, home and dry before the returned.
Her mother: “She could have passed out if not that her dad got back home early. She lost a lot of blood.”
Then one ape, 25-year-old Yanana, did the unthinkable in Minna, Nigeria State. He pounced on a 85-year-old woman. He forced his way into her room and raped her. She was rescued by her grandson.
The modus operandi of these wolves is almost the same. They ridicule their hapless victims with impunity and abuse them with reckless abandon. They are certainly not of this sane world. They rejoice at the misfortune and discomfort of their preys. They conceptualize, plan and execute their evil project with the right accuracy and precision. It hardly fails. But when it does, they lay the blame squarely at the doorstep of their grandmaster, the devil himself.
Rapists are acidic. They are the wolves in our midst ferociously looking for whom to devour. We need stricter laws beyond the statute book to checkmate these animals in human skin. We have a Herculean task on hand: Flush them out. It sounds like a tall dream. But not totally wishful thinking.