By Oguns Sammy
Rape in Nigeria has become almost a monthly affair. There is no month in the country when news of rape is not heard and those who are vulnerable in this saga are mostly girls and funny enough, boys are also raped by girls.
While it is difficult to get the actual number of persons that are sexually molested worldwide, according to data released by United Nations Children’s Education Fund (UNICEF) recently, says over 120 million girls are victims of sexual violence saying , out of this number, one in four are boys and one in ten girls are below the age of 18 years.
What then is rape? According to Advance Oxford Dictionary, rape is “to force sexual intercourse or other sexual activity upon someone without his or her consent.”
Many victims have been traumatised in the process while others have gotten one form of infection or the other and if not well handled could lead to barrenness of the victims.
In some cases, many of the victims are bruised during the exercise and even strangled to death in the attempt to resist the action.
While many instances of rape are common in recent times, one cannot forget in a hurry the case of a 28-year old student, Uwavena Omozuwa who was raped and killed in the Redeemed Christian Church in Benin, Edo State.
Another is Ochanya Ogbanje who at five years old started to live with the Ogbanje’s family and was allegedly raped when she was eight years old by Victor Ogbanje, her aunty’s child and Andrew Ogbanje and she (victim) reportedly died on the 17th of October, 2019.
Again, in 2019, June 28 one Biodun Fatoyinbo, a Senior Pastor with Common Wealth Zion Assembly allegedly raped one Busola Dakolo. The court dismissed the case and asked her to pay fine for wasting the court’s time.
But. more recently is the one involving a prominent man of God, Bishop Elijah Orhonigbe, Founder/General Overseer of Victory Revival Fasting and Prayer Ministry in Warri, Delta State.
The Bishop allegedly raped a 19-year old girl (name withheld) in Warri.
The man of God was said to have invited the 19-year old girl in pretext of deliverance in his church but Instead of doing the normal prayer and delivance, he was said to have raped her.
The case of Bishop Elijah Orhonigbe and other cases in Nigeria have generated lots of comments among Nigeians.
One of such is the General Oversser of Family House Church, Ugborikoko Road, Effurun, Pastor Emmanuel Osiegbu.
He condenmed the act of anybody raping any girl let alone a man of the pulpit. He said however unless, it is a set up, anybody involved in such a henious crime needs adequate punishment.
He said no matter the situation, even though the Pastor is under obsession, he should not be involved in a rape adding, that these are the kind of people who give bad name to those genuine men of God.
He said: “These are the chalatants in the household of God. I mean, how can a man who claims to be a Bishop in the household of God condescend so low to be involved in a rape?”
Pastor Osiegbu said, agreed that the work of God is risky, if the Pastor knows that he is weak in flesh, he must find a way to deal with it otherwise, he (Pastor) may be in trouble.
He said although nobody rejoices in anybody’s calamity but it is good to avoid acts capable of denting the image of a man of God and rape is one in this regard.
He said: “If you know you are a genuine man of God and you are weak in the flesh, you must find a way to deal with it or else, you will be in trouble.”
Emmanuel Osiegbu said although a man of God could also be set up, saying if it does happen, such a man of God will be vindicated and such a person who does that (the set up) would have God’s punishment.
On the criteria in detemining a genuine man of God , Pastor Osiegbu said the manner or behavior of the Pastor will determine whether the man is genuine or not as the Bible says, ‘by their fruits, we shall know them’.
On his part, a renowned man of God, a philanthropist and timber merchant whose business place is opposite Udu Harbour Market, in Udu Local Government Area, Delta State, Mr Igho Kiapele (JP) said, in most cases, about 50% of girls are the cause of their being raped as many dress in a way that lures men into the very act.
He said people should not rush to criticize the men of God because they are humans that have flesh and blood.
He said “Being a man of God does not free them from having flesh and blood and many of the girls’ dressing tend to harass the men of God and make them commit.
He cited cases of girls dressing and exposing their vital organs such as the breasts and under wears thereby causing sexual harrasment, adding this happens in some churches.
He said that in such a situation, the Pastor on the altar would lose concentration for seeing a private part of the girl in his front as he preaches the gospel of God.
He said: “Many of the girls are the cause of sexual harrasment because many dress provocatively.”
The renowned football coach who did not only coach footballers but supports different football clubs financially, morally and otherwise said the mother of the girls are not helping in this matter as many of them dress worse than their female children.
“What then is the moral message the parents especially the mother wants to bequeath on the children,” he asked.
He said however that for man of God to be involved in a rape is suicidal, saying his duty is to go about his ministry with the fear of God since he is the representive of Jesus Christ on earth.
He also advised Christians to be careful of the church they attend as many of the Pastors in many churches are out to make money instead of preaching the gospel of God.
Kiapele however advsed Pastors who are more of the flesh to marry more than one wife instead of involving in a rape.
He said: “Women outnumber men because men are more exposed to risks than women in all areas of life.
So, if a man marries more than one wife as most moslems do, there would still be women unmarried.”
Igho Kiapele (JP) also advised the government to sensitise the citizenry on their right to enable them know the danger of rape in the society just as he equally advised people especially girls to dress properly as one is addressed the way one is dressed
The duo condemned rape its entirety and therefore are of the view that anybody caught in the act should face the wrath of the law to serve as deterrent to others.
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