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AnuOluwapo Adelakun: Is the QC Molestation Saga Another Case of ‘Na Only You Waka Come’?

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More Downloads-4For those who have been on my neck to drop my 2 cents on this Queens College issue, you finally have your day. I know I’m not supposed to be cajoled to say something about this since I am a gender advocate; but what many people do not know is that when it comes to delicate issues such as rape, I am anti-silence. Yet silence is what naturally follows when girls get raped in Nigeria. “Oh please don’t let her go to court o because people will see her face.”  “Don’t  speak of or publish her stories so that when she wants to get married, men will not find rape associated to her when they google search.”

This piece is dedicated to my dear friend who gave up on the Nigerian judiciary system and let that guy from the ‘rich Nigerian family’ walk away after brutalizing and raping her like a donkey. I wish he got served some justice.

The danger of letting a rapist off the hook is that another unsuspecting lady will fall prey to his demons.

Now unto the Queens College matter. I know that people have their various assumptions about the moral standards of girls who attend Queens College. I have heard all sorts of horrible things, but I have seen much more amazing things through my friends who attended the school. One thing I have come to conclude and believe in, constantly, is the fact that the Nigerian girl or woman is an endangered specie when it comes to many things that matter outside the kitchen. The recent gender opportunity bill that was rejected by the Nigerian Senate unequivocally implies this.

However, treating the Queens College matter in its own context, I think many have been left in a limbo as to what side to sway their support. We have a case of a man tagged as a rapist by one student, yet a multitude of other girls protest in a very rare occurrence saying their schoolmate is soiling the image of a good man. The girl and her mother are finally given an opportunity to seek justice and are asked to appear to explain their own side of the story but both were nowhere to be found.

Hmmm… here are my thoughts:

Sometimes the whole world can be WRONG
I had a teacher in primary school who delighted in pulling at the growing breasts of my then 10-year-old self. He’d push me into dark corners to steal a kiss; but my family loved him, many parents did. He was an elderly former ‘Seminarian’ who taught us Elementary Christian Religious knowledge and was perfect in the eyes of many. He threw  a selected few of us birthday parties (never the boys) and was all over the place helping our parents ensure we got admitted into good secondary schools BUT HE WAS MOLESTING US ALL.
It took an observant grand-aunt of mine to notice how flirty he was around me and how hesitant I was to be around him. Once I knew I had her support, I threw open his can of worms. However, it  took some of my other classmates another 10 years to speak out about him molesting them. By that time however, the school had discovered his true pedophilic self and fired him. A protest is not enough to prove a man’s integrity. How many times have Nigerians collectively voted in ‘Men  and women of intergrity’ who turn around to be wolves in sheep clothing?

People tell lies
We are not ignorant of the fact that many people are wasting away behind bars because some others hung crimes that weren’t their doing on their necks. Distinguishing lies from the truth when it comes to rape in Nigeria  is one thing I have witnessed as being very difficult to do. A good number of times it’s “his word against hers”  like this Queens College case, where some reports say the mother of the molested girl showed up to report the case at school the night after the incident – having been informed by her daughter over the phone. She however,  got shut down because the teacher in question is said to be a favorite of the Vice principal. Other reports say the mother never showed up to report any case and that the teacher whom the girl claims molested her at night on the school grounds after lights out, doesn’t even live on the school grounds.

Both men and women lie but we can only hope that the truth will always prevail even though our judiciary fails us sometimes.

People become judgemental when a girl is raped
Many times, from the police station, the judgment has already been passed. If she’s  pretty then she probably had sex with the guy but maybe things went wrong somewhere or perhaps, she’s a runs girl who simply faced an occupational hazard or she’s  even a blackmailer. A vaginal swab test to prove penetration, scars from the assault and bloodied under wears  are sometimes not enough.  And the guy?  He simply couldn’t control his desires or was getting back at a girl who had rejected him or trying to use the girl for rituals e.t.c (You will find many more scenarios on African Magic)

Una well done o.

Rape is rampant in our schools
This is a cross gender issue. Both girls and boys get raped every now and then by their classmates, teachers, e.t.c. and schools need to wake up to this reality. Furthermore, security measures, rules and regulations that would inhibit such should be put in place. I also believe strongly that many of our secondary school students are deficient in good emotional education which can teach them  reasonable steps one can take to prevent oneself from falling prey to rape, what to do if faced with such disgusting situations as rape, and how to deal with it.

Not everyone wants to speak out
This is something I have come to realize and people actually have the right to be silent about their rape experiences even though we encourage them to speak out. Speaking out doesn’t necessarily mean coming out on social media to start a hashtag trend or going on Tv to discuss the intimate details. There are many NGOs and individuals who work hard to get justice for rape victims or simply help them heal and move on, yet we never know who these ladies are if they do not want to unveil their identities to the public. However, many Nigerian parents/ guardians  are lost in the ‘a-good-name-is-better-than-silver-and-gold’ mirage while their wards suffer the emotional pain of being taken advantage of. If the girl has been a rebellious or wayward person, it’s even worse because they think people won’t believe them even if they’ve had to suffer being stitched up in their vaginas after some ‘animal’ walking scot-\free on the streets of  Nigeria raped them. If they are strangers in the place they got raped it’s even worse. Where do they want to start tagging people from, How?  Who?

This Queens College case has a lot of attention on it and my hope is that it won’t fade away without justice being served like many hyped cases before it – especially since neither the girl nor her mother are yet to show up to the school despite having a visitation from the investigative panel set up by the Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah.

I just hope this is not another ‘Na only you waka come’ situation.

AnuOluwapo Adelakun is a Women & Girls rights advocate, Journalist and Documentary Filmmaker working on issues affecting marginalized girls and women in Nigeria. She's a UNICEF Voices of Youth alumni, Carrington Youth Fellow of the US Consulate in Nigeria, US Consul General Award Recipient, UN WOMEN/Empower Women Global Champion for Change and UK Chevening Alumna. She's also an ardent reader of African literature and an unrepentant fan of the BBC series 'Call the Midwife'.

8 Comments

  1. olorificent

    April 11, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    From d moment I heard d story, I so believe d man is guilty. I experienced same in my sec school days but fear no gree me talk,wen I eventually did, I told d half truth dat he tired to.. I later heard after my graduation dat he did same to a jss2 gal and dat one exposed him, d useless man is he jail naw. Suntimz I Jt feel guilty dat If I had mentioned d whole truth den, he wud nt av hurt dat gal and many others after me dat kept quite like myself. One need to be extra careful of diz favourite teachers,headmaster, housemaster, etc

  2. Great

    April 11, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    I don’t trust anyone when it comes to sex matters o,I pray daily about it against it happening to my children

  3. Ginger

    April 11, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    I’m from a very “wealthy” family. Notwithstanding, most of the girls I know have been molested. These are girls who are also from some of the biggest and most powerful families in Nigeria; yet we were all molested by personal tutors, Ikoyi club swimming coaches, senior boys in secondary school etc. If this happened to privilege and excessively sheltered children like us; what gives for the orange hawker or the average Nigerian. This means that EVERY Nigerian woman is more likely to have been molested than not. Even now that I’m in England, it’s a fact that 1 in every 3 girls on campus will be sexually harassed or abused. Less than 13% of rape victims speak up, less than 6\100 rape victims have lied about being raped, ever.

    So WHY is it people’s default reaction to believe that the woman is lying ? Simple, apart from the horrid sexism and discrimination faced by women, there’s an obvious MISOGYNY that underlies society, ie society HATES women. Women live to please and be liked by these men, but society still hates us. And that is why a woman that gets raped has to be white or morally pure ie a virgin walking back from Sunday school, before she’s believed

    • ElessarisElendil

      April 11, 2016 at 4:47 pm

      You started well, but…………………..

      1. Your numbers are cooked. You should be more careful tossing out things as fact without at least references. Mine show, that yeah, your numbers are cooked.a washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2014/12/17/one-in-five-women-in-college-sexually-assaulted-an-update/

      2. Society hates women. Yup, hates them so much, that more women than men have died in wars? Hates them so much that in every emergency situation, its the men and children that go first? Hates them so much that women do all the most dangerous jobs in the world??; Hated so much that “you should never hit a man” is cliche? Such hate!
      A long time ago, man hated the dark, hated the neanderthals, hated the megafaunals. If men hated women, it’d be very obvious. For starters the opportunities you have would be denied, afterall what will women do?? Beat us?

      3. Ironic that unlike the OP who wrote a very balanced article, you didn’t point out the greatest tragedy of all. People simply do not believe a Man can be raped by a woman. That being raped by a man so shameful that most men simply move on or commit suicide.

      The actions of a few deviants affect us all; put us all at risk. Our collective safety should be the discussion here not your particular brand of divisive feminism.

    • Ginger

      April 11, 2016 at 5:18 pm

      My numbers aren’t crooked. I’m studying gender and sociology in university. 1 in 3 women in a UK university campus gets sexually molested by the end of her first year. Why you sent me a post from a Washington university is beyond me, and confirms that you’re not a troll, just not the bright bulb

    • molarah

      April 13, 2016 at 1:35 am

      Elessaris, you’ve missed the general point of Ginger’s submissions, and embarked on a red herring trail. Your points don’t take away anything from the overall message of her comments, so I wonder if you are just trying to be contradictory.

  4. Ginger

    April 11, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    I was talking about women that get raped. Don’t know why you’re telling me about men that get raped, I know that in 2011, about 15000 men and 85,000 women in the UK were raped. I also know that almost 100% of their rapists were men.
    Society is misogynistic, enjoy your male privilege if you’re a man, but the joke is on YOU if you defend men and you’re a woman.

  5. ElessarisElendil

    April 12, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Ohh………so this is where your “genetic” attacks came from. Sorry kpele, can’t have an academic discuss anymore without anger involved??

    Back to your numbers, your second statistics are on the mark. The first is from if I recall a Telegraph UK survey. Not empirical. Now my Maths is terrible(won’t deny) but 85,000 out of 32.2 million women is around 2.(something) percent. Not the epidemic, your earlier numbers tried to paint it as. Although in hindsight, “cooked” may have been the wrong word.

    “I also know that almost 100% of their rapists were men.”: *Sigh* I could be petty and say unlikely or bring your proof(if I recall, there was a story about an Oxford girl accused of raping her girlfriend) but blaming the male gender for the actions of less than 1% of our gender is cruel don’t you think? This is a problem that affects us all caused by sexual deviants who have to be set right. Not an opportunity to pass blame.

    No…..society isn’t misogynistic(defined as a hatred of women), society can be sexist, won’t argue that but misogynistic…..no! Women are literally placed on pedestals. Looked at dispassionately, society seems to hate men more.

    ???I practically glory in my privilege. My Mother washes the car, goes to the market, cooks, cleans the house…..ohh wait, no she doesn’t. Why? She pays most of the bills, looked at dispassionately, a man is only as privileged as the cash in his pocket. Your’re rich, bet your gateman doesn’t feel the “privilege”.

    Discrimination isn’t gendered, time was when gender students knew that, but alas!

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