Victor Ogunje in Ado-Ekiti
A legal luminary and the Founder of the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), has recommended penile castration of rapist as an effective method of checkmating the menace of rape in the country.
The eminent lawyer also called on the federal government to declare emergency on rape matters amend the laws relating to rape such that the punishment for culprits of rape would not be mere imprisonment but outright castration to serve as a deterrent to others.
Babalola, who spoke in Ado-Ekiti yesterday, emphasised that castrating perpetrators of rape cannot be said to be too much bearing in mind the physical, psychological and emotional pains they inflict on their victims and their families.
Recalling the cases of the 22-year-old Vera Omozuwa, a 100-level student of the University of Benin and the 19-year-old Barakat Bello, a student of the Institute of Agriculture, Research and Training, Ibadan, who were raped and murdered, the prominent lawyer said the society could not afford to fold its arms and watch the alarming and worrisome situation to continue unchecked.
Babalola said: “The prevalence of rape cases is not only alarming, but worrisome. It is worrisome in the sense that it is inconceivable that a male could forcefully rape someone and goes further to kill her. Today, we have cases where fathers rape their daughters, which to me, is abnormal. We have young men raping young girls and killing them, why?
“Every concerned Nigerian is worried by the problem. You can imagine your daughter going to school and was gang-raped. This is totally unacceptable and we should rise with one voice to fight the menace.
“In my days, when I was young, rape was unknown. There were no super rich people but there was no poverty. To me, poverty is one reason why people rape. An unemployed person who is also poor will find it difficult to have a lady friend or wife and when he has desire and there is no means, he can be pushed to raping a lady”
He also blamed the frequent cases of rape and murder on the hard use of drugs, stressing that anyone on drugs could not be presumed to be normal, which may have been responsible for some fathers raping their own children.
He also frowned at some herbalists who assure people that making use of women’s underwear or cutting parts of a lady’s genitals could make them rich.