JAMIL MABAI – Katsina
Ibrahim Sale, 28-year-old Vice-principal, Kadandani Community school, Rimi LG In Katsina State, allegedly raped his 12-year-old in his matrimonial home, despite living with his three wives.
The victim has now given birth to a baby boy.
According to the state’s Police Public Relation Officer Isah Gambo, rape cases have increased since the beginning of the year 2021 in Katsina State.
“Immediately we entered 2021, we just have to look at the statistics, within a span of six days, we had six rape cases with the arrest of about 8 suspects”.
With 21 recorded cases of suspected rape in the state within one month, the figures are quite alarming.
There were 287 recorded rape cases in the state last year. Whereas there are unreported cases of rape due to stigmatization according to Dr. Muhammed Umar.
“These are just very few that were reported to the Police, what about the ones that are not reported due to stigmatization associated with it”
Given such figures, experts in the state have divergent opinion on what these factors responsible for rape are. From ritual purposes for either fame, money, cultism or psychological factors which has to do with the disease of the mind.
Dr. Muhammed Umar, the Medical Director Turai maternity hospital Katsina said, the factors responsible are mainly socio-economic and psychological factors. While Jamilah Salihu a women gender advocate in the state said most of these factors have to do with ritual or cultism purposes. She cited references where aged people are asked to rape minors for a certain cause, with the belief, doing that will fulfill the attainment of that cause.
Dr. Muhammed Umar argued that the reason why rapists rape is because they have the disease of the mind, which makes them behave in a certain way that no normal person will behave. Dr. Muhammed added that if put under certain medications, a potential rapist can be cured.
“The rapist has what I can call. The disease of the Mind, what you can never expect to be nice to you will be nice to them, so they have the destabilization of the mind, that is why after the police investigations, they need a special consultation with a therapist”.
With a population of over 7 million people, 98% of the population in the state are Muslims, they value their religion and culture more than anything, yet, the ungodly act of rape is everywhere, from stories of a Father raping his six months old baby to a man raping his neighbor of 12yrs old to that of teacher raping his student, teenagers raping teenagers and to unnatural cases of men raping young boys are happening on hourly, daily and weekly basis.
Saudatu Suleiman, while she was 13 years old, was alleged to have been raped by her neighbor, who lives few blocks away from her parent’s house, she had to stop going to school after giving birth, now, she is 15 years old and struggles to cater for her 11-month old baby.
As a teenager, Saudatu struggles with pain throughout her pregnancy period, now neither the rapist nor the society cares about her well-being, she is left at the mercy of her struggling Grandmother, who works as a cleaner in a government school in Katsina.
“Nobody takes care of my baby except my Grandmother, she is the one that provides us with what to eat sometimes”
Traumatized and neglected, Saudatu shares an uncompleted room with her sister, a room with no ceiling, no window, with a single mattress on the naked floor.
Thank God to her Grandmother who paid their house rent, a house whose toilet has no roof, no door, and no window.
Few kilometers away from the city capital of Katsina, Walida aged 9-years, was allegedly raped by her father’s associate at Kayauki town and died a few months later.
We traveled to the village to meet her parents, who are still intoxicated by the trauma of losing their daughter who bled till the next morning before she was rushed to the hospital. With tears in his eyes, Walida’s father vowed never to forget and forgive his daughter’s rapist for betraying his trust. Her death has created a void in the hearts of her family even though her mother has given birth to a new baby.
“I was devastated, I lost my mother but losing her was not as painful as having my daughter raped. He knows she is my daughter, he knows I am her father and he knows that my daughter knew him, yet he raped her” said Walida’s Father.
According to statistics, girls of ages 8 years to 14 years fall victim to rapists, mostly from people close to them.
On average, these rapists are in their 70s, 40s, and 20s which led the Katsina State government to sign into law the child protection act, that will help in bringing and punishing rapist in the state.
Out of 10 cases of rape, hardly does one scale through court proceedings, reasons, rape cases are very hard to prove, hence, rapist either secure bail or hire professional lawyers who frustrate rape cases by unnecessary prolonging the processes.
Barrister Muhammed Mukhtar is against the culture of rape but believed that every rapist is presumed innocent until proven beyond reasonable doubt and he is entitled to have a lawyer to ensure his human dignity is upheld. Hence, rape offenses are bailable.
“The constitution says every person should be entitled freedom of liberty and also every person is presumed innocent except and until proved before a competent court of law”.
Until proven beyond a reasonable doubt, is the reason why Saudatu’s alleged rapist, was granted bail from prison after spending 8 months.
Rape, a raging monster in a state where teenagers rape teenagers and kill their victims.
Statements like until proven beyond reasonable doubt as enshrined by our constitution, parents only hope in protecting their children, is to step up policing the movements, interactions and sex educating their sons and daughters on how to identify potential rapist, with the hope, young girls like Saudatu can have a brighter future devoid of these monster rapist.