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EDITORIAL

Incest, Offence Against Morality

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Nigeria is fast degenerating into an incestuous society. Cases of fathers sleeping with their daughters and even impregnating them have become so much of an everyday occurrence, so also is sexual liaisons and even wedlock between siblings.

It is desperately abnormal for a man or woman to be sexually attracted to someone he or she knows, directly shares bloodline with. Incest is animalistic which every culture and religion in the country strongly reprobate. While the case of Cornelius Chiadi Ezeibekwe from Ekwulobia, Aguata local government area of Anambra State and his 17-year-old sister blew open because their incestuous activities resulted in pregnancy and an abominable consensual wedlock, many more of such reprehensible sexual liaisons between siblings flourish under wraps in our society.

What by far takes the cake in the reported cases of incestuous liaisons are the ones involving fathers and daughters. Some fathers have perfected the art of seducing their adolescent daughters and in some cases by blackmail, coercion or bare-faced rape.

Equally bizarre is that many of these depraved fathers do not see anything wrong or feel scruples about their unholy acts. Those of them who have been unlucky to face the law cite love for their daughters or their daughters’ strong sex appeal for their actions. Another recurring excuse is their belief that it is not outsider’s funeral that they sleep with their daughters or even pregnant them. Same reason are also usually cited by brothers for incest with their sisters.

Nothing excuses a father’s lust for the flesh of his own daughter or brother for that of his sister. The only name for such is perversion, depravity or even insanity, all of which flow from psychological disequilibrium.

We understand that the depravity of fathers sleeping with daughters and even mindlessly making them mothers in the process can also be as a result of such fathers’ entanglement with cult groups or a stipulation in some rituals they seek to address their want. Whatever is the reason, incest between a father and daughter mocks fatherhood. It clothes the man permanently with a garment of shame; sunders his home and leaves his debased daughter a disorientated and emotional wreak.

Aside all these, the incestuous trend in our society today is breeding children, who would grow up to face identity crisis that would only make them angry youth. The identity and emotional crisis which certainly would afflict products of incestuous affairs make them prime candidates for psychological disorders.

Product of an incestuous liaison between father and daughter would have a mother that is at the same time his sister and a father that is at same time his grand-father. The one from siblings, will have his biological father doubling as his uncle and his aunt, his mother too.

Also depressing is that in some occasions where incestuous affairs between fathers and daughters result in pregnancies, abortions are often procured just to make way for the escapade to continue.

Apart from our cultures and religions, science and medicine frown at incest having established that products of incestuous liaison face a high risk of becoming imbeciles or suffering from chromosomal irregularities as a result of the sameness of the bloodlines.

Incest is a crime in Nigeria by virtue of Section 3, subsection 1; sub-sub section b of the Matrimonial Causes Act. Also Section 33 of the Marriage Act forbids sexual relations and marriage among people who are related by blood. It is captured as “Prohibited degree of consanguinity.” Incestuous relationships or marriages are further prohibited in the 1st Schedule (Section 3) of the Matrimonial Causes Act, Cap 220, Law of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 1990, where it lists the prohibited degree of consanguinity to include that between father and daughter, mother and son, brother and sister, uncle and aunt, niece, and nephew.

Again, Section 214 (3) of the Criminal Code Act (a criminal law that is applicable in and covers all parts of Nigeria), Caption 77, Law of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) prescribes a minimum of 14 years imprisonment for those found guilty of incestuous liaison, which it referred to as “offence against morality.”

We are bothered that in spite of the many laws that criminalise incest in the country and the punishment the offence attracts upon conviction, which could be as heavy as life, fathers, especially, still feel no inhibitions in taking their daughters to bed and even going ahead to pregnant them.

Offences against morality, in our opinion, assault both our sensibilities and lowers the worth of man against those of wild and domestic animals.



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