Onukogu Kanyochuqu Jubal and Kabir Akintayo write that dalliance between fathers and daughters has assumed a pervasive proportion in the country. Psychologists who weighed in on this report provided useful insights into the perversion.
Sometime ago Nigerian music diva- Omawunmi had a painful cause to render her popular song “If you ask me.” The song made a mockery of a love relationship between a certain father and her daughter. Asa, Nigeria’s songstress export to the international arena, also had similar cause to capture same trend in hit song “Fire on the mountain.”
Fathers not just sleeping with their daughters, but going carelessly further to put them in a family way is worrisomely becoming an everyday occurrence in the country.
In March this year, Taiwo Olubayode, from Odode-Idanre, Ondo State, earned a nine years sentence with hard labour and no option of fine from a court sitting at Oke-Eda, Akure, the Ondo State capital for impregnating his 16-year-old daughter.
The 56-year-old lived in Oke-Ijebu Street, Odode-Idanre, in the Idanre local government area of the state.
The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps which secured the conviction prosecuted Olubayode on one count of having incestuous relationship with his daughter.
The offence, according to the prosecutor, was contrary to and punishable under sections 31 (1) and 31 (2) of the Ondo State Child’s Right Law of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, 2007.
The NSCDC prosecuting officer, Mr. Ebriku David, told the court that the victim and her boss reported the case to the NSCDC’s office in Idanre, when it was discovered that the girl was pregnant.
According to him, the case was transferred to the Akure division of the corps, where the victim informed the command that her father was responsible for the pregnancy.
David also told the court that the convict had earlier confessed at the NSCDC office that he committed the offence.
In her ruling, the magistrate, Mrs. O.A. Edwin, said it was a shame that the man slept with her daughter to the extent of putting her in a family way. Olubayode was found guilty of the charge and was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment with hard labour, and without an option of fine.
In April last year, a 34-year-old man, Mohammed Ahmed, confessed to the operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC)–who nabbed him in Osogbo, Osun State, that he was the one who deflowered his 14-year-old daughter and habitually had sex with her.
Ahmed further disclosed that he had taught his daughter how to “have good sex” and, whenever he saw her, he could hardly resist the urge to “take her to bed.”
Ahmed indeed declared that he never saw nothing wrong in taking his daughter to bed, rather that all he saw in the teenage girl was a sex machine.
“I don’t know what came over me. I have been having sex with my daughter. Any time I was having sex with her, I did not see anything wrong in it.
“I only have sex with her six times since April 2015. But, I am regretting it now that NSCDC officials arrested me over the matter.”
After he divorced his wife, Ahmed found a worthy replacement in his young daughter.
The daughter, a Primary Four pupil of a public school and her nine-year-old sister were both living with Ahmed their father in a single room apartment and, according to the head of Public Relations and Protocol Unit of the NSCDC, Wale Folarin, the officers acted promptly and arrested the man on a tip-off from one of his neighbours, who claimed that the girl always screamed whenever her father was having sexual intercourse with her.
“The whole truth was revealed when the said neighbour enquired of the girl why she always cried at night and she disclosed that her father always forced her to have sex with him. The horrified neighbour reported the case to us and we did not hesitate to arrest him.”
Three years ago, Constance, a divorcee finally remarried and relocated outside Lagos. Her only daughter, Tope from her first marriage refused to be taken away from the school where she was doing so well and opted to live with her father. “I was against her living with a man who didn’t even bother to know what was happening in his daughter’s life before we split,” Constance explained.
“She was then 17 and I didn’t discourage her from asking him if she could live with him until she finished secondary school. I was sure he would refuse and was greatly surprised when he not only agreed for Tope to live with him, but promised to assume full responsibility for her education.
“It was a relief in a way as I didn’t want my new husband to have the problem of a step-daughter on his hands. He lavished gifts on her and she became really sophisticated over the years.
“Then her father’s new wife blew the whistle on both of them. One of the children, a 16-year-old boy, picked up Tope’s mobile to call one of his friends. When he was through, a text message came in for Tope and he accessed it out of curiosity. Then he noticed other messages from their father’s mobile, read them then promptly handed the phone to his mother. The messages she read made her shiver as it became obvious to her that Tope was having sex with her father through the series of text messages he sent to her.
“I felt sick to my stomach. By this time, Tope was in the university and her stepmother had kicked her out. She now lives on campus and told me she would soon relocate to a one-room apartment she’d found near her university. Her dad paid for everything and she’s refused to severe relationship with him.”
When confronted, Tope lied that what she had with her father was just a one night stand when both of them found themselves drunk.
“When I reminded her of what I read from the text messages her father sent to her, she flared up. My current husband has warned me to be really careful here or I would be the enemy. But how can I be careful about an incestuous relationship between my own daughter and her biological father?”
In July this year, a man was busted in Kano, after he turned his daughter to his sex slave for over seven years, a magistrates’ court was told.
Ibrahim Mohammed, 56, had to be remanded in prison custody for his baffling act, but not before damaging his offspring biologically.
The prosecutor, Inspector Aluta Mijinyawa, told the court that the accused began to sexually assault his daughter in 2010 when she was just seven-years-old.
He said Mohammed had been having sex with the girl, even as a minor since the death of her mother in 2010, adding that “the victim was seven years when her father’s sexual assault on her began, is now a 14-year-old girl.”
Mijinyawa further told the court that the girl, having now grown up “to know what is good and bad,” resisted the father, who threatened to harm her and ran to report at the Metro Police Station in Kano on the act which contravened sections 275 and 390 of the Penal Code.
Meanwhile, a women group in Kano, Hotoro Women Development Association, said it would sponsor the education of the unfortunate girl, whom her father abandoned her education on the account of denying him sex.
The association’s project manager, Dr Zainab Nagee, said the court had been asked to allow the girl be assigned to her grandmother, “to enable her resume normal life and go back to school, which we promise to sponsor.’’
Incest as it is generally known, is an act of sexual intercourse with relatives, either between father and daughter, son and mother, brothers and sisters, or among cousins. It is against both Christianity and Islam. Hence, no culture tolerates such act which is regarded as a taboo and forbidden. In the recent times different stories of father abusing their daughters sexually became talk of the moment. Most of those sexually abused by their fathers are minors and teenagers of between the eight to 19 years.
Most of the abused young girls sometimes are noted to be afraid to speak up or report such issues because often times, they are threatened not to speak up.
Head of Department, Psychology, Benue State University, Professor Josiah Shindi, elaborated more on the cause of perverted sexual relationship between fathers and daughters. “Abnormalities are on the increase in our society, at first it will be frowned at, then later condoned, after sometimes it will be encouraged by the same society. There was a time when putting on ear ring as a man was frowned at, but right now all those abnormalities are becoming normal simply because the society are encouraging it. Now girls dress like men why men too are plaiting hair. This is how it started. A society that fails to kick against abnormalities at its early stage should be ready to accommodate various deviances.” The professor who defined abnormalities as deviation from the norms and value of a society said the society has a great impact in people’s life. “Psychologist believes that environment shapes people’s life, when you are doing something wrong and the society not only kicks against it but also educates people against such act, it will definitely shelve such a behaviour.”
Explaining why a father would abuse his daughter sexually, he said: “It is a disease that is categorised into two, those who are unable and those who are unwilling, some people could not control their sexual urge, whenever they are that mood, they view everybody as sex objects, regardless of who is he or she. They need someone to satisfy their sexually urge and they are categorised as those that are unable, while those that are not willing knows that what they doing is abnormal but still go ahead with such act. So there is need to diagnose, ascertain and differentiate from those able and unable, the only prevention is education, train them and teach them what is normal. Also, there is need for sex education, this will enable mostly young girls to know about sex. Although sex is regarded as private matter, there is need for sex education to enlighten teenagers so they can be free to discuss it with the same society.”
According to an Ibadan-based lawyer and psychologist, Onukogu Okechukwu Stanley, the perverted attraction between fathers and daughters is termed by psychologists as ‘genetic sexual attraction,’ GSA, and “it has been the bane of many families,” he noted.
Analysing incestuous relationships further, the expert said: “Whilst trying to analyse the rationale behind this abnormal behaviour, psychologists have pinned the name GSA – genetic sexual attraction on it. This affects parents and children and brothers and sisters who are reunited after a long number of years. Normal taboos have not been built up within the family, with the result that there can be abnormal sexual attraction.
“There are cases in the GSA epidemic where there was never a normal father–daughter relationship. GSA is rare between people raised together in early childhood, as most siblings have evolved to prevent incest. Several factors may contribute to GSA. People commonly rank faces similar to their own as more attractive and trustworthy. Heredity produces substantial physical resemblance between close relatives. Shared interests and personality traits are considered desirable in a mate.
“In cases of parent–child attraction, the parent may recognise traits of their sometime mate in the child. Such reunions typically produce complex emotions in all involved.”
According to a Warri-based clinical psychologist, Hayward Brine Ojobo, the issue with incestuous fathers are quite deep, and can be attributed to a number of reasons and cannot only be explained away as “the devil’s work,” but also, as an age-long taboo which the society must come together to fight.
“Most of these men are highly disturbed sex addicts. Others do it for diabolic reasons, others are occult men, some are psychologically derailed, while the rest simply have no values and do not know where to draw the line between a wife and daughter.
“In the Bible, one of lot’s daughters was scared that their family would be wiped out after their mother turned into a pillar of salt and she got her father drunk and slept with him (Genesis 19: 30-38). They had a son.
“Somewhere else, in the same Bible, a daughter-in-law, tricked her father-in-law, after she dressed up like a prostitute, waited for him by the road-side and lured him to bed (Genesis 38:11-30). These things did not begin today. Evil is as old as man-kind.
“What we can do to help young girls who live with their fathers, families who are still complete and all other types of families where these hushed evil occurs is to beam our search lights on them by having closer-knit communities.
“We have abandoned our communal ties and everyone is shying away from the other; we need to build them again and ingrain the old values of communal parenting. We are Africans and we must kick against these things, by looking deeper into ourselves and our communities to keep our children, nieces, wives, daughters, sisters and the rest from such men and boys.
“Our laws have been silent on these things and these offenders are going free daily. We need to do these simple things to be safe and keep our sanity in these baffling times,” he concluded.