An obscene video of the raping of a woman, allegedly by Fulani herdsmen, who filmed and circulated the dastardly act, is drawing condemnation, just as another gang-raped woman in Anambra has died in her home state of Ebonyi.
Rape, a weapon of choice by herdsmen against women, has become widespread across the country, from the North to the South. Many women have been raped in recent months, leading to death after the women were subsequently attacked with . nearby objects. The case of a University of Benin undergraduate and another young lady in Ibadan are under investigation.
But the rate of rape by women by herdsmen is assuming frightening proportions.
Worse, many of the women do not step forward because of the stigma attached to it. In the north of the country, an unwritten code of silence prevails as the women suffer psychological pains in silence. Some are quietly divorced, while many bear their pain with forced equanimity.
“Others don’t dare mention their rape on the farms, bush paths, and streams littered over here where we do not have water supply near our homes,” a source said in Niger State years ago.
Another said: “When you hear of banditry and kidnappings, be sure you did not hear the full story. In the South, they are a little more open; in the north, use your imagination, but the situation is terrible, it has been with us for decades and we pretend about it all. The herdsmen is considered a dangerous specie here”.
The source, who insists on anonymity, added curiously, “but you will be shocked it is not only herdsmen. Do you remember the son of a prominent Nigerian and Governor advocating gang-raping someone’s mother? What happened? Didn’t that state government weeks after begin to advocate against rape? That is the world we live in”.
He adds, “do you recall insurgents impregnating those they abducted, including peoples’ wives? What do you think is responsible? Minds are sick and barbaric, and only God can save and deliver all up here and down there where people are more open about these things”.
Meanwhile, a middle-aged woman who was allegedly raped to coma in a farmland at Ebenebe in Awka North local government area of Anambra State by suspected herdsmen has reportedly died in her home state of Ebonyi.
The woman, whose name was given as Agnes Okekpe from Abakaliki local government area was said to be working on a farmland in the community as a labourer late last year when suspected herdsmen who went into the farm with herd of cattle allegedly gang-raped her until she lost consciousness. She was later taken to her state by her relations for treatment where she recently died.
President-general of Ebenebe, Mr. Paul Nnatuanya, while narrating the emotion –laden story, said the woman’s ordeal was the common thing his people have been experiencing, in addition to the destruction of farmlands by suspected herdsmen.
He said: “The information we got from Ebonyi State was that Agnes has died. After she was raped to coma, our people took her to the hospital where she was revived. She died as a result of the trauma she suffered.
“After she was discharged from the hospital, she travelled back to her place in Ebonyi State; perhaps, to continue treatment there.” She didn’t continue with the business she came for.” “Her colleague who was able to escape said that before the rape, the herdsmen hit the woman with a log of wood, which made her weak and unable to raise the alarm..
“The herdsmen also took the money the woman tied on the her wrapper and it was the victim’s colleague that ran back to the town to alert the residents, who found her lying helplessly on the farm. When the villagers stormed the scene, she was already lying unconscious on the ground.”
▪︎ Additional reports by Vanguard