The immediate reaction of any one with humanity in him to the story of a six- month old baby subjected, at that young age, to the horrors of rape is, first, rage, then revulsion because it is bizarre, bestial and wicked. It is a sin against God and a crime against humanity. The issue now is not the pains the little baby is going through but that the lunatic is still alive. Even more annoying is the fact that she is now a tourist attraction for the high and mighty who should be concerned about making sure that another baby is not exposed to that horrendous experience.
Government’s response to the sordid act is the usual maddening platitude- whoever is involved will face the law. Waste of time. The animal is known since he is a close confidant of the parents. What he deserves is instant justice the type a Kenyan woman was reported to have meted out on a man she caught defiling her daughter. She grabbed her kitchen knife, cut the idiot’s manhood, flung it out through the window, a dog passing by picked it up and was making a meal of it when neighbours stop it and retrieved from it what was left of the man’s “johnny”. At the hospital, the doctors managed to suture it back but told the man that beyond urinating, his manhood was useless to him. That is the kind of treatment the rascal in Kano should have received not this plan to waste time and resources taking him to court and further advertising the little girl’s plight for the records.
Those taking that legalistic line of action are those whose immediate relations have not tasted the horror we all call rape. To them it sounds distant, unrealistic, something to be amused about. They even insinuate that it is a psychological problem, that the perpetrator deserves pity and should be taken to a psychiatrist for examination. When it happens to someone close, it ceases to be funny. It will not be statistic anymore as the rest of us see it through the usual refrain ‘this number of women are raped every day’. When it happens to you, it will not be figures. It will be real, mind-blowing and a nightmare you will wish forever went away to no avail.
There have been suggestions regarding the type of punishment rapists deserve to get. If the victim is an underage, one of those suggestions aver, the offence should be life imprisonment. Those suggesting this also accept that the crime is horrible and perversive. In their opinion, anybody who rapes a child is mentally sick. Such an individual, then should not live among people even if they are prisoners. So, what is he being taken to jail for? This is not a crime, particularly this one in review, which should be punished to serve as a deterrent. We need to find a way to stop him and his ilk from ever thinking of rape. But what, really, is the sexual interest of anyone in a six-month old baby?
That uncontrollable he-goat in Kano should thank his stars that he is not in Germany, he would have been castrated. That is what the government should be considering because, we must admit that the rate at which the psyche, the humanity of the victims is destroyed, some permanently, deserves no less a punishment. He doesn’t have to be a serial rapist. Even then, a serial rapist counts one first. So, we owe ourselves a duty to stop him from counting two.
As it is now, the criminal justice system in Nigeria is too soft on rapists. It must be revised to make the penalty for the sin stringent enough. Handing out six-month imprisonment to rapists has not served any purpose and will not. That may explain why it has become so rampant. Stop for a while to imagine the pains the parents of that child in Kano who was violated by one mentally deranged fool are going through.
In our opinion, the country has no business pampering rape as an act or rapists because that is what we are presently doing. It is a criminal offence all over the world. The difference between this crime and any other is that the scar is there forever. The victim’s self-esteem is tampered with, damaged irreparably.