May 22, 2018

Naija people, why are we like this? – Peju Akande

Naija people, why are we like this? – Peju Akande

I am not a prophet o, but next time you go to a comedy show, watch out for the cucumber jokes.

Like many of us on social media, I was assaulted with the sex tape of a beauty queen with the now famous cucumber. I wasn’t impressed by it, why?

She’s above 18years; she didn’t appear to have been coerced in anyway and I’m no judge over what an adult chooses to do with another consenting adult on matters of sex. I don’t care about the two nymphs, neither do I give a damn about their cucumber. What got me miffed was all the ruckus the video caused on many social media platforms.

Why na, my people?

I guess anything that has to do with sex usually has that much effect on people. Ok so why aren’t we raising the same kind of dust when kids, are sexually assaulted?


Why don’t they get this much stir and shares and tags from social media users like the cucumber babes?

No shares and reposts when recent reports claimed that at least, an average of 62 kids are raped daily in Lagos state alone and this is coming from a report that had clearly stated rape cases are grossly under-reported.


Kids as young as 6 years are raped, married off, abused daily and we aren’t raising hell’s fury over it.

It’s even more flabbergasting when one considers information like the one given by Mr. Evans Ufeli, during a quarterly public dialogue that focuses on Child abuse which states, Nigeria has only recorded 18 rape convictions in its legal history!

Shouldn’t that outrage us as a people?

Surely we’ve all been victims of one attack or another before; crime, abuse, rape, jealousy, religious riots, bullying, political thugs; mass ethnic attacks et al. While all victims may not experience the same level of emotional distress over their abuse, they do suffer a common fate; they all feel violated and traumatised. Can’t we relate?

Psychologists have reported cognitive dysfunction in raped children, this includes; poor concentration, excessive aggression, anti-social behaviours that often leads to these girls being unable to build intimate relationships with men later on in life.

Victims may also exhibit instances of drug dependency later on in life. Many live with depression, they become suicidal and suffer years of self-loathing.

My people, I think we should be raising social media dust  for reforms to our justice system, against laws that allow a 60 year old man abduct and marry a 14 year old child, for instance.

So do we not feel an iota of pity for the traumatised kids who are constantly being violated and having to live with it.

I witnessed a sorry sight days back; a child of about 9 years had just been rescued from a man caught raping her in an uncompleted building; both were being escorted by a motley crowd to the police station. Her abuser appeared to be in his 40s and had come under suspicion when he was seen loitering around the site. When he disappeared into one of the rooms, site workers followed to find out what he was doing there; thankfully he was caught pants down. They raised an alarm and promptly rescued the girl.

The child, a 9 year old said to be in primary 4, attends one of the neighouring schools and had been sent on an errand by her madam. She looked unkempt with rags for a dress; her thin fingers clutched a 100 naira note and had fresh bruises that had blood seeping slowly out of the cuts. I suspect she must have dug those fingers into the wall to stem the tide of pain sweeping through her small body as the man raped her. Her eyes were red with unshed tears and her lips patched.

Was that the money for the errand or the ‘keep quiet’ money the paedophile gave to her? She did appear very hungry.

I was horrified, even more so when a few adults began to berate her as being a useless girl who ought to have known better and avoided the man, whom I overheard someone say had been caught with another child before!

Haba, people haba! You’re killing this girl all over again with your careless remarks. How can a minor be blamed for the crime of an adult?

This child will never be a child again! Her innocence has been stolen, she has been brutally robbed! She is one of the thousands of children raped on a daily basis in our country.

What kind of warped reasoning is this? To think that this same man has been walking free since his last ‘arrest’ and had the audacity to perpetuate yet another crime against this kid is totally sick!

I died over and over for this child and the growing number of children both male and female that are sexually abused daily; many of whom are silenced by our refusal to acknowledge their suffering and shame.

In this part of the world, victims aren’t regarded with sympathy beyond the period of torture. They are mostly left to climb, all alone, out of the dark hole they’ve been thrust into by their abusers to pick up the broken pieces of their lives.

In truth, these people never heal!

Why aren’t we concerned for victims of sexual assaults? Why are we more agitated over sex tapes of consenting adults who have decided the next best thing to do for excitement is to desecrate a vegetable and leave us looking with suspicion at any woman who picks up a cucumber in the market?



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