In a bid to end the menace of rape against minors, the Nigeria Police Force Command in Katsina State has arrested more than 40 suspected sexual offenders and persons involved in unnatural acts between April and June, 2019.
In a press statement issued by the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Gambo Isah, the police said the cases were reported from various parts of the state, including Katsina, Funtua, Kankia, and Dandume
Other places which filed reports are Bakori, Sabuwa, Kankara, Mani, Kaita, Kusada, Dutsin-Ma and Bindawa local government areas, Isah said.
He said that while the ages of the defiled children ranged between five and 14 years, the suspected rapists were aged from 21 to 65 years.
“The victims have either received or (are) still receiving treatments around hospitals in the state, (and) the offenders have confessed to have committed the offences and have been charged to court,” Isah said.
He said the police also arrested a 46-year-old man in Kankia Local Government (Area) who allegedly lured his niiece, aged 13, had unlawful carnal knowledge of her and impregnated her
Isah further said the police arrested another 65 years old man, who allegedly homosexually raped three boys aged between seven and nine years at Kasuwar Mata Quarters of Funtua Local Government Area.
The mother of one the victims told HumAngle that she sent her daughter on an errand to buy cooking oil when she was lured and raped by a man with a wife and three children.
The Medical Director of Funtua General Hospital, Dr Tijjani Bakori said most cases brought to the hospital were severe; adding that some victims had to undergo surgeries.
“Majority of the victims were below the age of 13 and mostly from less privileged families.
“This signifies the magnitude of the problems in Funtua and environs, and it is important for all stakeholders to intensify efforts to address the menace,” Bakori said.
Few months ago, a 35 years old headmaster at Alhazawa Primary School in Danja Local Government Area of the state was remanded at a correctional centre for allegedly raping a 10-year-old pupil multiple times in his office.
In March, in Musawa Local Governmemt of Katsina State, a 57- year-old man was arrested for allegedly defiling his seven-months-old step-daugher.
The baby who was later admitted at the Turai Yaradua Clinic, died as a result of the act, HumAngle learnt.
Also, at Unguwar Bawa in Danja Local Government Area of the state, two men were arrested over the alleged rape of a one-year old child.
The suspects allegedly snatched the baby from her mother and took turns to defile her, sources said.
Similarly, a man was caught allegedly defiling a six-year-old girl and he later told newsmen that a talisman asked him to mix his semen with the girl’s fluid to enable him to be successful.
Commenting on the development, an Islamic preacher, Malama Fatimatu Mohammed, said “ Islam forbids ‘zina’ (fornication) both willingly and forcibly” and urged the state government to act and check the trend.
An advocate against gender based violence, Sani Muhammad, shared his concern with HumAngle.
“Rape cases have always been high in Nigeria. The truth is that we live in a culture that normalises rape, violence and harassment against women.
“Rape culture refers to the tendency of seeing violence and misogyny as an expression or part of tradition or culture and begins with everyday use of sexist language and glorification of sexual violence in popular culture.
“Violence against women and girls does not take part in isolation. It is part of a systemic rape culture. It conditions women to live in fear of their safety, which limits their behavior.
“This is how rape function as a powerful tool of oppression to hold women in subordination to the male population,” he said.
Muhammad added: “Some of the major reasons that have emboldened rapists and their apologists in Nigeria in recent times have been low reportage due to family interference.
“Many victims and survivors live in fear of community stigma and as such would refuse to go through the process of seeking justice.
“Few victims are able to get assistance in terms of the clinical management of rape that helps provide useful evidence to convict rapists in court.
“There is not enough police dedicated to protecting ordinary Nigerians, and many of those even assigned to the police gender desks lack basic evidence gathering and investigative training and equipment.”
He said “parents and other stakeholders must invest in teaching young boys and girls comprehensive sexuality education to be well informed about CONSENT and to understand that “NO MEANS NO”.