MUCH ADO ABOUT AREGBESOLA’S PROPOSED BOKO HARAM LEGISLATION AGAINST RAPISTS
The recent report that Osun State Government is sending a bill to the State’s House of Assembly to make way for a Law to castrate rapists in the State, to say the least is unfortunate and quite deplorable.
The scourge of rape is a disturbing social epidemic and of course, an issue of utmost concern to all and sundry. It
Rape is also recognized as an element of the crime of genocide when committed with the intent to destroy, abuse and unorthodoxly malign in whole or in part, a targeted ethnic group or a particular race.
The prevalence of the crime and its devastating effects on its victims as well as the society is appalling, so much that there is consensus on the need to punish the offenders as well as finding a lasting solution to the scourge.
Altogether, castration is no doubt a vicious, despicable, barbaric and a worse form of punishment than death penalty which we are still trying endlessly and agitating through several campaigns and crusade to expunge from both our Penal and criminal legislation.
Today, nothing more reminds me of the medieval times than the recent attempt by Aregbesola to bring back the hands of the nasty, brutish and pre modern era. This attempt also prompts one to reminiscence the Amina’s adultery saga in Kaduna State. This singular act painted Nigeria in a bad light in both local and international scene.
Besides ringing loudly of the barbaric sentiment of “cutting a thief’s hands for stealing”, this suggestion of cutting off the manhood of a convicted rapist is also devoid of any rational, analytical or meaningful understanding of rape and its corresponding penalty. Instead, it reeks of a pedantry we could all do well without.
By suggesting surgical or any other guise of castration as punishment for sex offenders, the Legislation will be reducing the crime of rape to a mere fleshly act of the insertion of penis, fingers or other objects into a woman’s vagina.
It is a mockery and debasement of manhood to the implication that if a man’s testicles are removed physically or his libido lowered through surgical operation he would not be able to, nor would have the desire to, rape a woman again. How wrong the promoters of this barbaric Bill are.
Rape it must be noted is not merely a bodily activity aimed at deriving pleasure. It is, in fact, about desecration and despoliation of a female’s right over her body.
This present attempt to use castration as punishment against the sexual offenders is a sheer foolishness and immaturity on the part of the promoters of the Bill in Osun State and it is obviously an attempt to score a very naïve political high point over a serious malady.
Using gender, religious and political sentiments to achieve untoward attention is unbecoming amongst our politicians whereas the side effect of such should be a paramount consideration which all must strongly condemn.
Though the overwhelming majority of rape victims are women, a woman may be convicted of raping a man, a man may be convicted of raping a man, and a woman may be convicted of raping another woman.
Furthermore, a spouse may be convicted of rape if the perpetrator forces the other spouse to have non-consensual sex. Assuming without conceding and if I may put to test the proposed penalty for rape as Aregbesola is canvassing in the proposed bill, what form of castration would therefore be meted towards a female rapist?
agree that more stringent measures need to be put in place to address the malady; they do not however have to be cruel. It is also imperative to spell it out that truncated conviction rates with lengthy days in court and our attitude to the victims of rape are the foremost reasons why rape is not discouraged. It has nothing to do with castration.
To, Alhaji Rauf Aregbesola, while thanking him for taking more than passing interest in rape related crime, he ought to be called to order and properly guided as he is presently exhibiting crass ignorance of the legal, socio-cultural and religious understanding of Nigerian Federation as appreciated by the 1999 Constitution as amended.
I must not shy away from stating for the umpteenth time that it is the exhibition of such trait as the above by Rauf Aregbesola, a chief executive of Osun State and or State of Osun that Egalitarian Mission Africa was constrained to request for his medical certificate to ascertain his sanity or the otherwise.
It is therefore expected as we wish, fervently pray and hope against hope that the legality of the request for medical certificate is determined in time by the court to save the polity from such erratic decision or policy coming from the stable of the incumbent Governor of Osun State.