Sexual abuse, which somewhat has become a daily occurrence in Nigeria, appears to be taking a dangerous dimension. Fathers now appear to be in competition in this unholy romance with their daughters. But what could be the attraction of a man to want to sleep with his child? Olatunde Odebiyi, who has been following this ugly trend, reports.
My father wakes up often at night time, sneaks into my room, and have sex with me.”
The above is the disgusting account of a young girl who preferred to be identified simply as Moradeyo. She is the first child of her parents. They are five in number; four are boys. They live in Ajah area of Lagos State
Her father, whom she declined to give his name, appeared to have lived up to his responsibility as the head of his home, even as an average income earner. But, behind that façade is a monster, who could be likened to the category of people late Afro-beat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, referred to as ‘Animal in human skin’ in his chart-buster album, ‘Beast of no Nation’. Her mother, she revealed, is a full time housewife.
Moradeyo’s nightmare started when one of her younger brothers was about to be born. She was 14 years old at the time. While her mother was in labour at the hospital, her father who had accompanied his wife, rushed home, pretending to have forgotten something required for the baby’s arrival.
Suddenly, in what looked like a scene from a Nollywood movie, her father grabbed his daughter firmly and dashed her a hot romantic kiss, which left Moradeyo dazed. “It happened so fast that I thought I was in trance,” she said, adding, “His penis almost sprouted out of his trouser as it became so strong.
“Just then, he threw me on the floor and raped me. He thereafter warned me never to tell anyone. Thereafter, he continued having sex with me, mostly at night when everybody was asleep, until I lost count of the number of times.”
Moradeyo is now 20 and in secondary school while her brothers are in nursery and primary schools. When she couldn’t take it any longer, she confided in her class teacher, because, according to her, she was no longer finding sex with her father tolerable. This, however, led to the arrest and detention of her father.
Temitayo’s case is not different. Her father had always pretended to be a caring man till he was arrested for sleeping with her. The man defiled her daughter as a toddler. She is the only child. Her mother was never a stay-at-home woman; she worked as a house-help and returned only on Saturdays to leave again by Sunday evening. This explains why she was not in the know of this incestuous act.
“My father would have sex with me every afternoon once he brought me back from school. He slept with me on countless times but I was afraid and ashamed to speak out,” Temitayo, now 24, recounted in tears.
The debauched relationship only stopped when, like Moradeyo, she summoned the courage to tell her school teacher, who subsequently reported the case to the police and got her father arrested.
Timothy Idowu is a father who delighted in lusting for his daughter. He deflowered and on many occasions, raped his daughter, Vivian. As a teenager, Vivian said, she had to pack out of her father’s house in Aradagun, Badagry, to stay with a family friend in Ikotun, a suburb of Lagos, who later contacted the police.
She said she could not bear it anymore, as her father raped her repeatedly. She said anytime the family slept at night, her father would sneak into her room and rape her. This happened uncountable times.
Vivian, who was in senior secondary school at the time, saw the police station as her only refuge. She said: “My father deflowered me many months ago and he had been raping me since then. Whenever he did it, he would clean up the mess and warn me not to tell anybody.”
14-year-old Uzor also spoke about how her father pounced on her and raped until she was disfigured. According to Uzor, her father repeatedly raped her around 6:30am on December 2 in their home at 4, Akintunde Street, Oyingbo, until she found it difficult to walk. She moved in with her aunt in Ogijo area of Ikorodu, after the demise of her mother. The aunt, who was expected to assist her in furthering her education however appeared to have jettisoned the idea.
Said Uzor: “I used to hawk pepper and tomatoes for her. My father was not pleased that my aunt did not enrol me in school. He threatened to take me away and he eventually came and took me to his house. But a few days after, he raped me again.
“I was in the room sleeping, when he called me that fateful day to warm soup in the kitchen. A few minutes later, he called me to meet him in the bedroom. I thought he wanted to punish me when he called me because I was always scared of him. I wanted to shout, but his weight was too much for me. My father is fat and I was struggling for breath as well as to push him off,” Uzor told this reporter.
In December 2018, 58-year-old Johnson Okon reportedly raped his daughter when his wife went out. The then 14-year-old girl, who confided in her mother after the alleged incident, narrated that it happened in their house at Charismatic Road, Berger, in Ikorodu.
She said: “My mother was not around when the incident happened, so, when she returned, I confided in her so that she could take action. But to my shock, my mother blamed me, scolded me and warned me seriously not to mention anything like that to anyone. I really don’t know if she didn’t believe me or she was trying to protect my father. So, I had to run away from the house to where I felt safe.”
A medical practitioner, Elizabeth Olatunji, recently narrated to the Lagos State Special Offences Court, how a 51-year-old electrician, Folorunsho Oluwaseun, sexually assaulted his 17-year-old daughter for over six years. Oluwaseun is standing trial before Justice Sybil Nwaka on charges of defilement and sexual assault. It was learnt that he allegedly committed the offence at his 40, Popoola Street, Offin residence in the Ikorodu.
The doctor, who works at the Department of Family Medicine, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, B. T. Boye. She said the forensic examination conducted on the victim indicated a long and repeated penile penetration, which lasted for six years.
Olatunji, who is also a consultant at the Mirabel Centre, where rape victims in Lagos State are referred, noted that the medical examination showed that the victim sustained an injury to her private parts. She equally alleged that the defendant assaulted the victim’s sister.
“Our main finding was on the hymen. There was a transition on the hymen. The victim told me that she was angry. She said her father was not only sexually assaulting her; he was also assaulting her younger sister. She said her father began sleeping with them shortly after their mother left them.
“The girl also said that when the incestuous act persisted, she reported to her grandmother but grandma ignored her, saying there was no cause for alarm as long as her father did not get them pregnant,” Olatunji further said.
Not too long ago, the Ogun State Police Command said it arrested a 45-year-old man, Idowu Owolabi, for allegedly raping his 21-year-old daughter. Owolabi, who has three wives, was accused of having carnal knowledge of his daughter since last year. The suspect was arrested on January 28, following a complaint lodged by his daughter at the Divisional Police Headquarters, Oja-Odan in Yewa South Local Government Area of the state.
“The first time my father raped me was when I followed him to the farm at Fagboun Village. He forcefully had carnal knowledge of me right there on the farm. Thereafter, my father repeatedly raped me, with a threat that he would kill me if I dared to tell anybody about it. It was like living in a house of horror,” she said.
Reacting to this never-ending unholy romance of immorality, a cleric and Diocesan Bishop of Lagos Mainland (Anglican Communion), Rt. Rev. Akinpelu Johnson, condemned the trend, describing it as ‘evil acts.’
“The father-daughter sexual romance is wrong and should be condemned by all. Usually, families will not talk about these things because there is a stigma attached to it. The victim grows up with it and sometimes it causes psychological issues that can lead to her becoming a psychiatrist patient or drug dependent,” the cleric said.
He, nonetheless, warned that parents should desist from dressing in front of their children. “There should be vigilance within the family while government tries to deal with those who are caught,” he added.
Wife of the Senior Pastor, Fountain of Life Church, Nomthi Odukoya, had recently also decried the act of incestuous relationships between fathers and daughters. According to her, “such is not a sign of righteousness and obedience to the Bible.”
Odukoya urged fathers to have self-control over their emotions, adding that parents, especially mothers, owe it a responsibility to educate their children about sex. She advised that education about sex for the children should be a weekly conversation.
“Mothers, most especially, must be close to their children. You must be free to talk to your children about everything and they too must be free to talk to you about everything. You must educate them about sex. This is something we do not like to talk about in the church but I am saying that we have to talk about it so as to help the children.
“If you do not educate your children about sex, someone else will, and they will be exposed to wrong counselling. It will amaze you what your children will tell you when you bring up sexual conversations with them. At age five, they already know what you did not know when you were a teenager.”
Chief Imam of Secretariat, Community Central Mosque, Alausa, Ikeja, Abdul Gefau Abdul Hakeem, said that Islam forbids the act.
“Islam is a perfect religion in the sense that God has explained everything just as Prophet Isa has said that once a female child is in the age of reasoning, she should not mix carelessly with the father anymore. The same thing with a male child also who is not expected to mix carelessly with the mother once at the age of reasoning.
“Islam has also told us that once a child is in the age of reasoning and you have discovered that from inception she likes having affairs with men, because children are different, you should quickly give her out in marriage. That way, she will not mess up. But the child who is not interested in things like that can be left.”
The cleric noted that once children are about seven to 10 years old, they should be separated and their parents should observe privacy.
“Parents should not be sleeping with each other and put the child beside them. From ten years of age, children of opposite sex should not freely play all kinds of play together. Parents, especially the mother, must be very close and should know everything about their children.”
The cleric however noted that accommodation challenge may hinder some of these things because, according to him, some families live in a single room apartment. He, nonetheless, stressed that there must be something to demarcate privacy. He noted that several parts of women attracts men and seeing them may get them aroused. He therefore advised that mothers should ensure their children dress moderately right from childhood.
“Our parents in those days dressed fully covered; men wear buba and sokoto, while women wear buba, iro and gele, so attraction is less. The tight clothing’s women wear is part of the cause; even though they would think they are wearing cloth, men can picture virtually everything in their body because their dressing is tight.
“Fathers sleep with their children at home because of the clothe they wear; some wear very tight and skimpy clothes because they are at home; some ladies dress in the house exposing their breasts, forgetting that when they put food on the table for their father, they bend and he sees all their breast.
“Once men see what they should not see, their emotions change and they become destabilised, such that they do not know what they are doing at that moment. And this is the same challenge we have in the home today: why should a lady be half naked because she is at home? What is the difference between the girl at home and the one outside? Just that his wife told him she is his daughter. What if another man comes tomorrow and says he is her father? It is the responsibility of the mother to give her husband food not the children.”
A father, Wole Ogunleye, said it is against the Yoruba culture for a man to sleep with his own daughter. “I don’t know what to call such act; it is something that is out of place and anyone who does it in Yoruba land is regarded as an outcast. Such a person is not fit to live with human beings. With what is happening and the level of civilisation, the standard of education and the modernisation in Yoruba land, I cannot believe that somebody will sleep with his daughter when there are women, ladies out there that you can do whatever you want with.
“What I feel can trigger such act is search for security, money ritual or may be the act is extending to yahoo plus. The urge to make money is what is driving people into such act. If not, there is no reason for any man to sleep with his daughter. It is abnormal. When I hear something like that, I am ashamed.
“I will not recommend spiritual healing or whatever; rather, there should be a kind of capital punishment. Such a person needs a drastic action to serve as deterrent to others. A lot of things are happening in Nigeria; it is just like a policeman who is meant to protect you taking the arms to kill you. Such persons need to be checked,” Ogunleye said.
For Mrs. Iyabo Garba, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. “It is a taboo. Nigerians talk of God but do not practise what is in the Bible. When you are God-fearing, you will not engage in such act. We need to know more about God and our pastors need to be able to preach the truth.
“It is not ordinary. If you love your children, you will not even think of such act. You will not do things that should not be heard of. We can stop it by preaching it with all means. We should preach against it so that people will have the consciousness that such act is not good and they should not do it.
“Some of the girls abused do not know what they are doing, because some of them are abused very early. We have to preach and counsel our children who are already abused because counselling goes a long way in healing the wounds.
It’s a daily occurrence – Neuro psychiatrist
A clinical psychologist, Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, Ibiyokun Olawale, said such incidences are happening everywhere and almost every day. He described it as unimaginable and called it sign of end time. Olawale confirmed that many victims are referred to the hospital for some evaluation and assessment, noting that the act is disgusting, and can’t be understood.
He is of the opinion that matters should not be settled at home. “Instances where the father will just beg the mother and the child to settle the incident is not the best for such a child because there are several consequences and psychological effects on her. There could be the consequence of mental issues on the part of the girl as a result of flash back of the sexual abuses of many years. A lot of complications may build up and affect her interpersonal skills. It can lead to traumatic stress and demoralise the victim. It can also affect her marriage.
“The victims cope differently. Some of them will need therapy to come back to their normal self; they will need a lot of counselling, guardian and intervention, and they should try to move on and keep the incidences as past. The situation of such victims needs to be well managed, as such incidences are not that easy to forget. For the others, the effect is immediate and there are also those it affects after a long time.”
However, a former Edo State Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, Mrs. Magdalene Ohenhen, has expressed concern over the rising cases of men having sex with their daughters.
Ohenhen, who spoke during a protest organised in Benin-City to denounce the scourge recently, said: “It’s a very sad situation. Edo State is becoming something else and the earlier we stop it, the better for us. It is becoming a normal thing in Edo State for men to impregnate their own daughters.”
She cited the case of a man who slept with his own daughter for over 10 years before it was reported. She urged men to desist from the act, saying, “It is time we stopped this insanity. Edo State forbids it, it is a taboo. We are begging Edo men to stop sleeping with their daughters, it is an abomination.”
A Chief Superintendent of Police, Dolapo Badmus, reportedly said, “Incest is against the law of the land. A man who is caught having sex with his daughter can be charged with incest, defilement and sexual harassment. We have arrested a number of them and charged them to court while some of them are under prosecution.
She however said, “I don’t agree with the school of thought that incest is on the increase. What we have is awareness; children are now exposed and they understand how to go about their cases. Also, there are NGOs everywhere, providing people with the opportunity to report these cases to the appropriate quarters. The accessibility of the police is another factor. Victims can easily access the police. It is awareness that has increased.”