April 15, 2024

The incessant criminal activities by suspected cultists in the Southwest of Nigeria are becoming alarming, as they are not only attacking and robbing people of their possessions but also raping young ladies.

These cultists, after raping their victims, beat them and often cart away some of their valuables.Their recent activities in 2023 in Ode-Remo, Isara, and Ipara-Remo communities of Ogun State, which host students and some staff of the Gateway ICT Polytechnic, are not such that one will pray or wish to witness. Many students were robbed, and some females were raped, severely injured, and killed.

One of the rape victims who was identified but whose name was withheld for security reasons was a staff member of the polytechnic who was raped and thereafter attacked and threatened severally for fear of disclosing their identities to law enforcement agencies.

Her family house in Lagos State was attacked after she recognised and disclosed the identity of one of the cultists to the police as a familiar face in the neighborhood. However, this disclosure has not put an end to their activities since the police have yet to arrest the culprit and his gang.

The supposed set of cultists invaded the communities again in the early hours of Saturday, November 25, 2023, which was said to be the third time in that month, according to witnesses.

This violent attack created a tragic experience for the community, as one student was killed, several injured, and properties were damaged.

This alarming situation raises a lot of questions about the security of the community and the need for urgent action to put an end to these incessant attacks.

According to information gathered by our correspondent today, January 31, 2024, the culprits are yet to be arrested, even though the police promised to be making efforts to apprehend them, especially after the report that the lady who identified one of the culprits has been under severe threat for her life and her family attacked to scare them into disclosing the whereabouts of their daughter.

Also, some students and members of the community criticised the response of the state police to the attack, claiming that the local forces have failed in their duty to protect lives and properties and have also not given an adequate response to the situation.

In an interview with Mrs. Adesanya Morenike, a widow who is the mother of the rape victim, she lamented that her family house in Lagos has witnessed attacks twice since the incident happened to her daughter.

She claimed that her daughter is depressed and frowned at the stigmatisation she is facing in the society.

She complained that the gang has been threatening her daughter’s life since the identification of one of their members as a rapist in the Saapade attack.

“Our home and properties have been vandalised twice in different attacks; neighbours who tried to intervene were also attacked and warned that my daughter will be killed when she is found by them, as they will not stop hunting for her” she lamented.

When our reporter asked about the safety of her daughter, whose name is withheld for security reasons, she told us that her daughter is the principal witness, and that is more reason why she is crying out to the government and well-meaning Nigerians to please come to her rescue and make sure her daughter and other victims of the attack get justice, and to cry out to Nigerians that the lives of her daughter and family are at risk.

The widow’s daughter’s case is one of several rape cases that happened in Nigeria in the year 2023.

The stigmatisation of rape victims, despite several advocacy efforts against the menace, hinders victims of rape from speaking out. This also affects getting justice for the victims.

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