Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Petition to find rapists of a Nigerian student

There is a terrible video circulating in universities and colleges in Southern Nigeria, and on the web. It shows five young men violently raping a female student at Abia State University, Uturu. For more than one hour. These animals recorded their act, conveniently blurring their own faces, but not that of their victim. Her crime was, according the rapists, that she "insulted" one of them. She was therefore being taught a lesson with gang rape. I have heard the audio of this sordid crime. The victim knew some of her rapists, and called them by name. And the rapists inadvertently identified themselves on tape. Moreover, their voices are so clear anyone who knows them could easily identify the voices. Yet, the university authorities have, like the stupid ostrich buried their heads in the sand, denying knowledge of an incident that is out there on record. The State Government too has not taken any meaningful action to apprehend and bring the strongest possible arm of the law on these dastardly, arrogant, soulless criminals. Perhaps they are sons of prominent citizens; who knows. But the violation of this young woman cannot be allowed to go unpunished. It is not just one woman that has been violated by these five men; it is our humanity, and something drastic must be done about it. Otherwise, the Vice Chancellor of Abia State University, the Governor of Abia State, and the President of Nigeria (along with other persons in position of authority within these domains) will be held morally accountable to what has happened to this woman. The local and national government must show that they are on the side of this young, victimized citizen. She could be our daughter. And her cries will continue to tug at the conscience of our humanity, until the criminals are brought to book. My hope is that, ultimately, this case will shed light on the culture of unrelenting and brazen violence against women in contemporary Nigeria.

In the meantime, there is a petition drive at Change.org calling on the Abia State Government to investigate what ought to be an easy case, and quickly bring the criminals to justice.   To sign this petition, which is the least most of us can do, please click here.

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