Pilferers of fortune: of the girl-child and sexual predators
18. January 2019 at 15:26
It was a shocker. An incendiary bomb was at the verge of exploding. It was an unprovoked outburst of emotions; a spontaneous show of a value-impoverished society. To be sure, I zoomed the content of the news I was reading as I worked my phone through the Cyberspace.It was not a conflict situation, but much more. And most unspeakable of all. The headline sent a pulse, I shivered and trembled. It was about a catastrophe looming, waiting to explode if nothing is urgently done to reverse its unprecedented accelerating pace.
From time primordial, man has lived in the lair of his own conceit. Women are subjected to oppressive living. Doubly disadvantaged by gender discrimination and all sort of gender based violences. Their education are often compromised and are always at grave health risks, and threatened by violence. However, a lawless society is a sin-free society. Successive governments, over the years, have silenced our cries - an unruly sun that withered and robbed the compound petals of her fragrances, and the malfeasance that soiled our pride. Their views and concerns remained the incomplete complaints of our time, drowned by negligence, stigmatization and injustices. These inform this writer choice of heading "the pilfererers of fortunes", pilfererers; to steal stealthily in small amount and often again and again, carting away the fortunes that carpeted the land in a slow and painful death, dying with each moment that passes.
As the political literature goes, politics is a game of number; verily, number is politics and vice versa. One, two, three and four plays active roles in nation building. A UN statistic put the population of young people (10-24) in the world at 1.8 billion. The majority of which live in developing countries. Approximately half of them are adolescent girls and young women. Trends show that one in three girls, particularly in developing countries are likely to be married or encountered seemingly violence or abuse; child marriage, sexual assaults or trafficking. Should this trend continues, with no holistic counteract, the world, not only developing countries, I mean the whole wide world, is heading for the darkest hours ever.
Although the statistics, nevertheless, might be suffering from over-generalization or I would say tampered. The alarming revelation which spurred this writer's spine and enveloped the hustle and bustle of political tunes that filled the air was a tripartite reports of gender based violence that hooked the day, cloudy and stormy, all in a week? I muttered, with no answers to quench my inquisition.
According to the reports, three teenagers allegedly gang-raped a teenage girl who was sent on an errand by her uncle. As if that was not sufficient to break the day overbearing silence, An Ikeja chief Magistrates court also remanded a 54 years old cleric for allegedly defiling 12- years old twins. I was held abacked, what! A man of God! The acts respect no holiness. The defendant was said to have committed the act and/or unlawfully defiled the first twin on November 15 and sexually assaulted the second twin same month.
Similarly, an Upper Area court 1, Kasuwan Nama in Jos, sentenced a 43-years old mason to three years in prison for a raping a seven years old girl. The accused was said to have lured the girl into his room, raped her and gave her ₦10. This is outrageous! The country is suffering from moral decadence and outright degradation, but the institution is engrossed in political jamboree that raped the day of her maiden. Other seemly acts, I mean GBV - Gender Based Violence - might not witness the beamly light of justice, and you know, these tripartite acts single-handedly prone the country to a blurry future, and I therefore request an executive order, maybe order 10, to savage the human race and ultimately Nigeria.
Wouldn't it be legally awkward to assume that the country legal institution is well-off? An institution suffering from leprosy and undue deformities. Should a petty thief who stole food items be sentenced to countless years, and an outright corrupt official walking free and deciding the fate of the faithful, what would be the lot of the pilfererers who stole and are still stealing our fortunes? Our girls of their pride, and/or our to-be mothers into a lifelong physical, sexual and emotional trauma? Such a robber with no border deserves a pat on the back! A travesty of the Nigeria institutions; moulding earthen pots with labour, but breaking it with pleasure and ease - a futile pilgrimage!
There are no shortcuts to a palmtop. Hillary Clinton, an American politician and diplomat, is of the creed that "Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world" she was and is still right. These girls and young women possess huge untapped potential. When educated, healthy, safe from discrimination and gender-based violence, and equipped with the right skills and opportunities, they hold the key to unlocking many of the world’s most pressing problems: reducing poverty, advancing gender equality, catalyzing countries’ social and economic development, halting the spread of HIV, reducing maternal mortality, and ending violence against women, among many others.
As educated mothers, they will invest in the survival, education and success of the next generation. As leaders of today and tomorrow, they can be a force for social change. Yet despite the potential of girls and young women, they are often overlooked in the planning and implementation of many development programmes, and are often excluded from participating in decision-making processes in their families and communities. Many youth serving programmes tend to benefit older, educated, urban, and largely male youth. Not only is investing in girls and young women a human rights imperative, but it is one of the smartest investments any country can make.
On the spur of the moment, we suffer much, we die. All these values seem far-fetched, a mammoth task for the gods. Government negligence and certain traditions of the Nigerian people position these spelt doom. Who will appease the day and unearthed the hidden pilfererers? Even if girls are in school, they are the first to leave when needed for domestic chores, and are often forced to dropout due to child marriage or pregnancy. Who do we call on? The government or ourselves? Who will hear our unalloyed beseeches? Our girls are dying as cock crows and the future in blurry fear. The Perpetrators - the pilfererers of our fortunes - are well pleased, enjoying the nourishment of a trouble-less mealtime, while our girls are in comfort grievance, a living-dead as every seconds passes by. We have left our pot unwatched and our food now burn. Until the rotten tooth is pulled, the mouth must chew with caution.