Controlling the rise of rape in Nigeria

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rape in Nigeria restartnaija

People buy special and powerful dog breeds for protecting their families and other important things. However, if the dogs are not well-trained and directed towards their primary purpose of protection, they become in-house threats. Men are endowed with physical energies for protecting and providing for their families and society. When they are not enabled to use these energies for protection and provision, they become threats to those they should protect. The rising occasions of rape in Nigeria points to a mismanagement of physical, emotional and intellectual energies in Nigeria.


Several reports emerge to indicate the high occurrence of sexual harassments and rape in Nigeria.[1] The events of rape in Nigeria occur in both poor and rich families, cities, offices, churches, schools and streets. Some security personnel are alleged to sexually exploit victims of natural disasters and terrorism they should protect in IDP camps.[2][3] Some cases of rape in Nigeria happen without physical force, but with inducements and veiled threats of sack, query and withholding salaries. Many of these are unreported because the victims are afraid of stigma and attacks, or are poor, traumatized and disbelieved. The few that get reported to the authorities are either not pursued by the police or the victim is advised to keep silent lest she disgraces her family.[4]


What is rape?

Rape is the unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.[5] The use of penetration in the defining rape may imply that men are not raped by women. Hence, other forms of “sexual contact or behaviour that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient,” are called sexual assault.[6] Though anybody can be sexually assaulted, most reports focus on women and female children.


Social relationship between man and woman

Theists believe that after creation, God gave humans dominion over all creation for procreation, sustenance and fulfilment. This power to creatively dominate nature manifests when humans develop their social and scientific intelligence for exploring and utilizing nature. By intellectually conquering his environment, humans procreate resources for satisfying their bodily needs (food, sex and material acquisitions). Due to their physical strength, men are more disposed for production and security, while women manage and distribute the products for social growth. When men successfully organize their society for collaborative productivity and security, they become attractive to females who normally seek protection and provision.


Hence, the successful application of man’s intellectual procreation provides resources for satisfying and sustaining the sexual procreation.


Causes of rape in Nigeria

  • Social structure for unproductivity and poverty: Colonialists created Nigeria by violently tying different unconsented peoples and their resources under a militarized government[7] for exploitation.[8] At independence, colonialists replaced themselves with indigenous officials from different communities to continue exploiting the different people’s resources for former colonialists.[9] Since the imposed government seizes all people’s production resources[10][11][12] for foreigners, many Nigerian men remain unproductive and poor. And when they are unable to attract desirable female partners due to poverty, they resort to rape in Nigeria.


  • Psychological need to prove dominance: man’s natural instinct for domination and victory constantly seeks expression through intellectual, physical and psychological battles. Thus, bright societies create healthy means of productively expressing dominance and victory using sports, music, arts, debates and technological exhibitions. But when the instinct of dominance is not properly channelled to productivity, it resorts to vices like cultism, drug abuse and rape. Hence, some people rape women and children, not because they lack money, but to feel dominant or victorious over something.[13]


Nigeria’s militarily sustained structure does not support enough means for productively expressing the natural instinct of dominance. Government’s seizure of mineral resources for foreign industrialized nations hinders Nigerians’ possibility of creating wealth from natural resources. Hence, progressive avenues for expressing healthy dominance like sports, arts, technology and academics lack foundational support for growth. Supplying materials for these activities remains inconsistent due to the high cost of importation.


  • Sexualisation of the society: man’s instinct for procreation can manifests in two ways: sexual and/or intellectual procreation. The elements a society emphasizes influence people to channel more energy either to intellectual or sexual procreation. When a society channels more energy to intellectual procreation, the result is often an increase in productivity and wellbeing. When focus on intellectual procreation reduces, the energy naturally diverts to sexual procreation, resulting in an increased desire for sexual activities. And since sexual procreation does not require intellectual rigour, it becomes more appealing and affordable.


The high occurrence of sexual harassments and rape in Nigeria is linkable to intellectual unproductivity and social sexualisation. Many of the regular comedies, movies, music-videos, dance-steps, reality shows, modelling, internet, adverts and entertainments have high sexual contents. Sahdguru of India noted that 70% of the internet traffic is directed to pornography.[14] This high dose of sexual-suggestive content eventually saturates the minds of both adults and minors. This leads to a continuous search for avenues to express the sexual fantasies even by rape.


  • Child-marriage and poverty: due to delay in social enlightenment and productivity, some cultures still practice child-marriage and other forms of forced marriages. This child and forced marriages occur especially among the poor people. Even the poor girls who are not forced into early marriage are often abused at work as nannies, house-maids or sales-girls.


Some of the effects of rape on the victims include:

  • Hatred for the opposite sex and resort to lesbianism and homosexuality.
  • Loss of value for love and life, which could lead to suicide or terrorism.
  • Mental, social and physical instability of victims.[15]
  • Infections


Reorganizing the society for proper management against rape

Despite many efforts to condemn and legally combat rape in Nigeria, it continues raging even among social protectors. Hence, the people will develop a new strategy that evaluates the social, biological and psychological causes of rape. Since sexual urge rises in the insufficiency of avenues for intellectual productivity, the strategy will emphasize social reorganization for productivity. This new strategy will involve:

  • Conducting a social research to discover and acknowledge the different Nigeria’s peoples, their beliefs about humans, respective lands and resources.[16]
  • Organizing intercommunal conferences among sections and groups towards a national conference for Nigerians to agree on their mode of partnership. Thus, constitutional decisions and laws will reflect the people’s beliefs and agreement for a productive partnership.
  • Inviting local and foreign-trained specialists to train Nigerians to process their local resources for more industrial production.
  • Releasing the people’s lands and resources for industrial productivity and eventual tax-payment to the central government. This will encourage the government to protect the people’s productivity for better tax-returns, and encourage citizens to become productive. A productive men with active industries will channel their energies to creativity, and thus attract and sustain desirable female partners. Also, gainfully productive men can then provide for and protect their wives, daughters, sisters and female relatives from rape.


Managing the new society against rape

Despite creation of jobs and means of intellectual productivity, some people may not easily give up the habit of rape. Hence, Nigeria will adopt other positive measures to curtail rape.

  • Conscientize the society about the beauty and dignity of consented and well-timed sexual relationship using mass-media, preachers, movies, songs and interactive talk-shows. Sexual relations are proper in the context of marriage to express and improve human love, especially between a man and woman. Though this method does not emphasize on condemning rape, it extols consented and purposeful sexual relationship as a precious milestone of development.
  • Rediscover, modernize and fund different indigenous games and sports as healthy means of expressing the natural instinct of domination. Also, properly organize and fund other sports like football, basketball, volley ball, tennis, boxing, arm-wrestling, wrestling, swimming and general athletics. Sustenance of this activities will demand more productivity from Nigerian producers for the nation’s economic sustenance.
  • Fund competitions in academic works, technological exhibitions, productivity, arts, music, fashion and general creativity.
  • Enable existing agencies to investigate and prosecute rape-complaints and provide counselling, protection and reintegration of the victims.
  • Readjusting the laws on rape to include, apart from prison-term, paying heavily for social, physical and psychological damages to victims.


It is in man’s nature to conquer and dominate his environment either as an individual or as a group. Nature gave them rough and jagged energy to conquer elements in their environment for their good. When a society denies men access to natural resources to conquer productively, they unleash their jagged energy on women and children, even fellow men. Humans are bundles of energy. If they are not well-directed for productivity and harmony, they become destructive.



[2] Amnesty International, 24th May, 2018. retrieved 5th September, 2018.

[3] Dionne Searcey, “They Fled Boko Haram, Only to Be Raped by Nigeria’s Security Forces” in New York Times, 8th December, 2017.

[4] The Guardian, “Nigeria has a rape culture too” in The Guardian 14th January, 2013 retrieved 16th October, 2018

[5] Wikipedia,,

[6] Vanguard, “Rape: Nigerians speak on psychosocial implications, solutions” in Vanguard News, 28th June, 2018.

[7] S. O. Oyedele, “Federalism in Nigeria” In Issues in contemporary political economy of Nigeria. edited by Hassan A. Saliu. (Ilorin: T.A. Olayeri Publishers, 1999), p.57

[8] Walter Rodney, How Europe underdeveloped Africa, 2009 edition (Abuja: Panaf publishers, 2009), p.217

[9] Walter Rodney, op. cit. p.319

[10] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 2

[11] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 2, paragraph 1

[12] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 3

[13] Nigel, Barber, “Is rape about control or sex?” in Psychology Today Apr 05, 2011.

[14] Sahdguru

[15] Vanguard, “Rape: Nigerians speak on psychosocial implications, solutions” in Vanguard News, 28th June, 2018.

[16] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, “The social research for a new Nigeria” in Restartnaija June 5, 2018. retrieved